Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Like Manna From the Gods

For those of you who truly believe that the gods of government can spend your money more effectively than you yourself, please read the following from The Courier News Online...

Like someone who skips a credit card payment, the state would save money now but owe more in the long run — perhaps $30 billion more, according to Republicans.
The Democratic plan calls for reducing state contributions to the pension systems for teachers, university employees and state workers. The state would pay about $2 billion less over the next two years than the law requires.
The move wouldn't have any impact on retirees' monthly checks. Democratic supporters claim it wouldn't even hurt the pension systems' long-term solvency because the plan includes provisions to control pension costs over the next 40 years.
What it would do is free up money that could be used to pay for schools, health care and other government services.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich says that's a trade he can live with if it closes a $1.2 billion deficit without raising taxes, cutting services or opening new casinos.
"What's the point of a budget? It's not just to make the numbers work," he said. "The budget has to work for people. It has to help people live better."...

...Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson, R-Greenville, said Democrats still were tinkering with the numbers to come up with money for programs that would win more member support.

Let’s get this straight, Mr. Blagojevich’s plan is to have the state of Illinois not pay it’s legally mandated requirements to the state pension funds. He will then use the money he saved to pay for other programs. Possibly accruing an even higher debt in the future...sounds oddly familiar to me.
But let’s look at this a little differently. Let us say I have a mortgage. And my monthly bill has just come due. I decide I am not going to pay my bill this month, and even next month for that matter. Oh boy, since I didn’t send in my required payment, I now have actually saved money. ‘Saved’ money by not paying my mortgage payment. ‘Saved’ money by not paying a bill. What a financial god I truly am. Now I can used that extra money I ‘saved’ by not paying my bills, to buy that new HDTV I’ve been wanting. Wow, a win-win situation for me as I see it...if I’m an idiot.
Obviously there is no savings, only additional debt. The ‘saved’ money is still owed, but now also borrowed upon to pay for other bills and some new ‘compassionate’ programs. Mr. Blagojevich knows this. So why would he, and the state legislature for that matter, engage in such irresponsible behavior?
In the end, I believe it is because it is not their money in the first place. They did not exert a drop of energy to earn it. It comes to them, seemingly, like manna from the gods. And heaven knows there is always more where that came from.

Crossposted @ The Wide Awakes