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Archive for the ‘Domestic Policy’ Category

New Ideas Of State Reps

8 February 2010 Leave a comment

I got this email recently from the Progressive States Network and thought I would pass it along to the readers….some of the ideas are pretty good and innovative and some are just dumb….

Job Creation Opportunities During a Recession

Kauffman Foundation – The Economic Future Just Happened
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation – 2008 State New Economy Index
Kauffman Foundation – Better, Faster, Cheaper: The New Bootstrap Job Creator”

State Venture Capital Funds

National Governors Association – State Strategies to Promote Angel Investment for Economic Growth
NASVF – U.S. State-Supported Venture Capital Funds

Encourage Technology Transfer and Commercialization

Pennsylvania Economy League – A Continuing Record of Achievement: The Economic Impact of Ben Franklin Technology Partners 2002-2006
U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration – Construction Grants Program Impact Assessment Report
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation – 2008 State New Economy Index
Batelle and the Association of University Research Parks – Characteristics and Trends in North American Research Parks

Strengthen Industry Partnerships & Clusters

Keystone Research Center – Pennsylvania’s Industry Partnership Strategy
Steel Valley Authority (SVA) – Early Warning and Layoff Aversio
Seattle Foundation and SkillUp Washington –  Creating Stronger Workforce Partnerships In Manufacturing
National Fund for Workforce Solutions – The Principles of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and Their Implications for Public Policy
National Governors Association – Cluster-Based Strategies for Growing State Economies

State government needs all the help it can get….but unfortunately politics is NOT always the best for the state…just the individuals that play the game……

SB 2288–Speculator’s Dream

29 January 2010 2 comments

There are times when the state legislature does something that is a blatant disregard of the people it represents and SB2288 is such bill….which states:

AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF A COUNTY AND/OR THE GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF A MUNICIPALITY TO GRANT A PARTIAL AD VALOREM TAX EXEMPTION FOR AGRICULTURAL PROPERTY THAT IS BEING CONVERTED TO A RESIDENTIAL USE IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE DIFFERENCE IN THE ASSESSED VALUE OF THE PROPERTY FOR AGRICULTURAL USE AND THE ASSESSED VALUE OF THE PROPERTY FOR RESIDENTIAL USE; TO PROVIDE THAT THE EXEMPTION SHALL END WHEN THE PROPERTY IS OCCUPIED BY A HOMEOWNER; TO PROVIDE THE MANNER IN WHICH A REQUEST FOR SUCH EXEMPTION MUST BE MADE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

This appears to be a boon for the purpose of land speculation….

A case could be made that land speculation is the cause of almost every major recession/depression that has occurred whether nationwide or statewide…..The 19th century economist Henry George describes it:

That land speculation is the true cause of industrial depression is, in the United States, clearly evident. In each period of industrial activity land values have steadily risen, culminating in speculation which carried them up in great jumps. This has been invariably followed by a partial cessation of production, and its correlative, a cessation of effective demand (dull trade), generally accompanied by a commercial crash; and then has succeeded a period of comparative stagnation, during which the equilibrium has been again slowly established, and the same round been run again. This relation is observable throughout the civilized world. Periods of industrial activity always culminate in a speculative advance of land values, followed by symptoms of checked production, generally shown at first by cessation of demand from the newer countries, where the advance in land values has been greatest.

This bill is just another attempt to help the land speculators while depriving the state of much needed tax revenue…in these days any reduction in revenue can only lead to a cut in needed services….

Once again, the state legislation is dealing the people of the state a bad hand, just as they do every session…the people need to stop sleeping through the day and wake up politically…they are paying these people to do nothing but screw them at every session….

Communities Of Color

20 January 2010 Leave a comment

I will bet that you are about to read me the riot act over the title, right?

I am referring to a bill before the state legislature, HB 148—which states:

AN ACT TO CREATE THE “MISSISSIPPI COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITIES OF COLOR TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION ACT OF 2010”; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO DEVELOP CERTAIN PROGRAMS AND STRATEGIES PROMOTING PREGNANCY PREVENTION AND PROVIDING INFORMATION ON THE CONSEQUENCES OF UNPROTECTED, UNINFORMED AND UNDERAGE SEXUAL ACTIVITY; TO AMEND SECTION 41-79-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

Don’t you just love these guys and gals?

It seems that the state is worried about teen pregnancies in the “Communities of Color”….not this is a total racist thing…they seem to be implying that only teens of color are getting pregnant….why do we not go visit a trailer park and count for ourselves…..

You know a lot of this BS could be solved by actually teaching sex ed in the classroom….but that collapses every session and every session they try it again…it has turned into this perverted little game…..

But to put the term, “communities of color” is just plain and outright moronic….if this is truly non-racial then I suggest a better title for this Act…..

Fixing Mississippi’s Economy

18 January 2010 Leave a comment

State after state after state is reeling from the results of the recession……mostly because they have cut taxes to the bone….a promise to get elected……and now the revenues are NOT there……almost all are scrambling to find money for the few services left in the state’s budget….

A report in the Clarion-Ledger:

With the economy continuing to deplete tax revenues, Gov. Haley Barbour said the state is considering some kind of credit assistance that would help small businesses without duplicating programs offered by banks and other agencies.

As the governor and others talked about how the lack of credit is forcing some businesses to close, Jerry Host, president and chief operating officer of Trustmark National Bank, reminded those gathered that the country’s economic problem is complex and needs a multi-faceted solution. Just as other businesses have not gotten expected contracts, Host said banks also are missing anticipated income because businesses have canceled expansions that would have required loans.”The return of a healthy economy is not just dependent on bank lending, it requires the recovery of consumer spending, which in turn increases revenues and leads to healthier businesses – large and small,” Host said in an e-mailed statement sent after the meeting.

The governor repeated his commitment to attracting new jobs as another method of replenishing lost taxes.

Okay there is just so much wrong with this whole approach……first, cutting taxes to be elected is why the state is suffering with low income….second, the state is notoriously always the worst state for employment….none of these “job creation” schemes has panned out in the past…..why would it in the middle of a recession?…….third, “replenishing taxes” cannot be done by cutting more taxes or giving more tax breaks….I have said the demand is the answer liquidity means NOTHING to anyone…..

One question….why are churches tax exempt?  Sorry…I digress…..may I suggest that a new way of thinking about taxes should be considered……why not try Land Value Taxation (LVT)?…….this would be a good way to generate new taxes and if done corrctly all other taxes could possibly be eliminated……

But sadly….NO one in Jackson has the guts let alone the cajones to even consider this…their longevity in the legislature could be in jeopardy…God knows we cannot live without their worthless, do nothing butts…..(in case you missed it..it was sarcasm)…..

Mississippi’s Legislative Session–2010

12 January 2010 Leave a comment

The guys and gals have returned to work in Jackson and that means the good, the bad and the ugly are far as bills go….I will be watching and ranting on the ones that hit me the most and then at the end of the session I will do my annual posts…..The Good….The Bad…..The Ugly….my analysis of bills and their effects on Mississippi….

As usual the Legislature will spend much time commending people and such…….it has started and now the rest of the session will be an exercise in futility….all it will do is pad some politicians resume for use in his/her re-election campaign……looks good…sounds good….but is NEVER intended on passage…..

look for bills on sex ed….radar for sheriff…..schools…..obesity……Medicaid….the usual suspects….

The Genius Of The State Politician

5 January 2010 7 comments

For years I have been a staunch opponent of the tax breaks and tax cuts that are thrown around liberally just to gain votes….I have said that all this will come back to bite them in the butt……BAM!  The jaws are open…..

New US census data show that state and local government tax revenue continued their year-long plunge in the third quarter, falling by 7 percent from the same period last year. In response, governments are cutting spending on social programs, infrastructure and education, and are laying off or cutting the wages of government workers.

It was the fourth straight quarter in which tax receipts fell on a year-over-year basis, the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Summary of State and Local Tax Revenue shows. Collections for 2009 through the third quarter were down $76 billion, or 8 percent, from a year ago, while federal tax revenue fell even more sharply in the same period, by 19 percent.

Every major form of state and local tax revenue declined. Totals for sales and personal income taxes fell by 9 percent and 12 percent, respectively. The erosion of these two taxes, on which state governments rely, is owed largely to unemployment and wage cuts.

Taxes on business profits fell precipitously, by 18 percent in the third quarter, year-over-year.

Property tax collections actually increased by 3.6 percent in the third quarter of 2009 from 2008. However, analysts explain that government property assessments have simply not yet caught up with market-determined home and commercial real estate values. This gap is expected to begin to be bridged in 2010, imperiling municipal and county governments heavily reliant on property taxes.

According to a study by the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), states cut nearly $150 billion in spending to balance budgets in the current fiscal year. But already, 36 states have seen gaps reopen to a combined deficit of $28.2 billion. These deficits will worsen. In 2011, 35 states making estimates predict a combined deficit of $55.5 billion. In 2012, just 23 states offering data already estimate red ink totaling $68.8 billion.

No state has been spared from falling revenues. Energy-rich states that averted budget crises last year were hit particularly hard by third-quarter revenue declines, among them Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, North Dakota and Alaska. The latter, with a 65 percent decline, experienced the biggest year-over-year dropoff. In all, 22 states, including Illinois, saw a third-quarter revenue decline greater than 10 percent.

These shortfalls will inevitably lead to more cuts in social spending and further layoffs, wage cuts and furloughs for state workers. Layoffs of government workers could produce the next wave of unemployment in the US, where fully 15 percent of the non-agricultural workforce is employed by state or local governments.

Sounds like a crisis coming, huh?  They were warned……they will not get much help from the federal government either…….and who will suffer the most?  The poor and the middle class….that is who…and yet they will help return the same batch of idiots to power at every vote…… wait there is a saying that describes this phenom…….”Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome”……

Sorry people, but the only way that services can be provided to the people is with revenue and revenue comes from taxes…….sorry, it is just that simple…….if you want the services for your family then tell the politicians they need to find a more equitable way of taxation…….May I suggest Land Value Taxation (LVT)……it is worth a look…..that is if you truly care about the people you represent……but that may be a bit much to ask of you guys……

Time To Make The Coast Presentable

Recently I read an article in my local paper about the “program” to Clean-up the Coast ahead of the National Governors Conference to be held on the Coast in the coming weeks.

It is all about appearance….we would not want the nation’s govs to get the wrong impression of Mississippi….and besides this will cost no or little cash…and that is what the governor and the politicians want.

If they think they will embarrass Bubba into playing ball and not littering…they are on CRACK!  Bubba cares less about what the Coast looks like as long as he can drink beer, riding around wasting gas in his boat and going to Hooters.

What these moronbic politicians should be worried about is the condition of the people in the state.,..that is a never ending embarrassment….low education…high amount of poor…high teen preggies…..crappy health care…these thing is what should be worked on and not how many years Toyota gets a free ride on taxes.

Mississippians are slobs and they will seldom change…but good luck with trying to bullshit the other governors.