Catching up

DaysofWeekLast week ended up being busier for me than usual. I don’t believe I’ve ever gone a week between publishing posts in the history of this blog. Nevertheless, sometimes stuff happens – and last week was one of those times.

The big news on the federal side is, of course, the sequester. It has been discussed ad naseum everyhere, and continued on the Sunday talk shows. Those in areas where defense spending isn’t prevalent think it’s not a big deal. The opposite is true for those of us who are, as Cokie Roberts pointed out yesterday. The effects are already being felt, with more to come.

A couple of other national stories of note:

  • Bob Woodward – it didn’t take long for the story of his being threatened by the White House to fall apart. Perhaps my favorite article on this whole thing comes from The New Yorker. I think Woodward just wanted to be relevant again – but he sure picked a strange way of doing it.
  • Dennis Rodman – His trip to North Korea landed him in the media for the first time in years. It also earned him an incoherent interview on This Week.

Besides the sequester, Virginia is talking about the recently completed General Assembly session. Most eyes are on the transportation package, the first real effort to inject money in this system in nearly 30 years. It is a strange combination of taxes and fees. One – the hybrid tax – has generated the most controversy, with Del. Scott Surovell and Sen. Adam Ebbin teaming up on an online petition to urge the governor to veto that part of the legislation. At least one hybrid owner I know won’t be signing it.

The other big piece out of the GA was the budget – and the effort to expand Medicaid. Which, as it turns out, wasn’t much of an effort at all. I’m told it’s even worse than I described it, which is a shame. My only question is this: since it was created via the budget, can it be stripped out of the budget by the next GA or governor? If so, I’d really like to see that happen and let’s just start over. My understanding is that this was originally the governor’s decision to make, anyway, not that of the legislature.

Locally – where to start? So much going on 🙂 In order to keep this short, just these two:

  • Portsmouth – Oh my. New councilman Danny Meeks is stirring up a hornet’s nest over there. The saga of the appointment of a new city manager and city attorney has generated a bunch of actions and reactions, with charges of racism flying back and forth. Plus we have the paternity thing going on with married councilman Bill Moody and his girlfriend. (Good summary here.)
  • Norfolk – The first salvo in the Democratic primary for Commissioner of the Revenue was fired Sunday with this ad by challenger Evans Poston.  I hope the voters get a chance to see the candidates debate.

Lots more out there. I’ve got a busy week ahead but I hope to find a few free minutes to post some of them.


6 thoughts on “Catching up

  1. It really makes no sense to me how the sequester can hurt the economy. If the government is not spending that money, then it does not have to borrow that money (or print it). If the government is not borrowing that money, it is available to be borrowed by others to buy houses, cars, business equipment, etc. If the government is not printing that money, then our currency is not inflated as much as it would be.

    Jobs may be lost, but because of government inefficiency, even more will be gained if that money stays in the private sector. Assuming ALL of the 6.1 million jobs Obama claims credit for are attributed ONLY to the $840B stimulus, that’s $137,700 per job. The private sector creates jobs for about half that cost. So we cut $84B from the government. That money remains in the private sector. We lose 600,000 jobs because of government cuts, and create 1,200,000 in the private sector.

    Seriously, I don’t see the problem here.

    1. What you are saying is, cuts like this are fine as long as we don’t want to use govt services you take for granted, Like TSA, FDA, etc. Law enforcement. If you think it’s just fine, you are wrong. Your math is odd too, how long would it take to create those “double amount” of jobs? Notice that jobs are not all that easy right now.

      In any case, President Obama creating 6.1m jobs is about 6m more than his predecessor. A step in the right direction.

      You are also assuming that corporations would spend money on jobs. Something they have been hesitant to do.

      1. You’re trying the ALL-OR-NOTHING argument, and it’s BS. We’re not talking about eliminating TSA, the FDA, or law enforcement. However, the federal government will have record tax receipts this year, and will spend more than last year, even with the sequestration.

        Yes, there would be a delay in job creation. No doubt. But part of our problem has been going for very short-term answers that create more long-term problems. But you are also right that it is very difficult to create jobs in the current regulatory environment, and the ACA is not helping.

        But even the CBO said that the stimulus jobs cost at least $228k each. (I was making much more generous assumptions for him.) The private sector creates jobs for much less.

        And if you want to start the blame game, the job losses came started when the Democrats took control of both houses of Congress. Yes, Bush should have vetoed that mess, but Obama voted for it, too.

    2. Holy cow.

      You think the United States of America borrows money from the same source a car loan comes from, and that it’s a zero sum game?

      Wow. Just…just wow.

      Also, the inflation rate is about where it was in 1999 when we were operating a budget surplus. It was 2.2% that year. Last year it was 2.1%

      About the only thing we agree upon is that this makes no sense to you.

      1. Mostly, yes. Less than one-third of our debt is held by foreign governments or foreign investors. The rest is held by U.S. citizens or by some branch of our governments.

        If they were not putting that money into government bonds, where would they put it?

        BTW, in 2011, gasoline went up 26.4%. Now, no-one’s got the money to buy much else. Demand stays down, and “core” inflation stays low.

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