Daily Archives: January 9, 2011

States face serious budget challenges; no help from federal government

In a speech delivered in Phoenix last Friday, David Stockman, budget chief under President Ronald Reagan, painted a gloomy picture for the economy.  According to the Arizona Republic, “Stockman told the assembled legislators, business and civic officials and others that the nation’s Capitol will offer no help and probably will complicate matters.”

“Washington will become a fountain of harm as you struggle with our own problems,” he said, but the article did not describe what might spew forth from that “fountain of harm.” It did mention that “His prescription for restoring balance to the federal budget calls for a mix of tax hikes, budget cuts and entitlement reforms, such as means-testing Social Security.” (read more here).

Why was there no mention of the bloated military and war budget, the maintenance of bases in countries around the world, or the enormous levels of wasteful pork barrel spending that Congress has become addicted to?

What is a state like Arizona to do?

The feds will do what they will do. The states will need to solve their own problems using their own resources, despite whatever destructive measures continue to emanate from Washington and New York.

In the coming weeks, we will be offering our own prescriptions for actions to be taken at the state level. These will outline basic measures that states need to implement in order to address their deepening financial woes and to make the inevitable transition to a steady-state economy. What we have in mid will be much more radical and salutary than anything being offered elsewhere. Stay tuned. –t.h.g.

The horror in Tucson

I was shocked and dismayed to learn of the assassination attempt on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the killing of several bystanders in my home district of Tucson, Arizona. I express my heartfelt condolences to all those whose lives have been thrown into turmoil by this heinous crime.

I think it is clear that such violent attacks are being encouraged by the vitriolic rhetoric that has become commonplace in American politics, particularly the tirades that are directed these days against so-called “liberals.” Such rhetoric only serves the narrow self-interest of power-seekers and does nothing to promote collaborative inquiry and improvements to the status quo.

It seems curious that mainstream news reports about the assassin chose to highlight his alleged advocacy of a new U.S. currency. An Associated Press report had this to say:

In one of several YouTube videos, which featured text against a dark background, Loughner described inventing a new U.S. currency and complained about the illiteracy rate among people living in Giffords’ congressional district in Arizona.

“I know who’s listening: Government Officials, and the People,” Loughner wrote. “Nearly all the people, who don’t know this accurate information of a new currency, aren’t aware of mind control and brainwash methods. If I have my civil rights, then this message wouldn’t have happen (sic).”

Will that kind of journalism serve to discredit all monetary reformers and critics of the money and banking regime? That remains to be seen, but I think the American people, in the face of recent economic events and financial revelations, are now sufficiently informed to recognize the difference between lunatic ranting and sincere attempts to improve the human condition. –t.h.g.