A large insurance company has been flooding the television channels with an advertising slogan “Only Pay for What You Need.” It’s an interesting exercise to apply that idea to various public spending issues.
The Labor Department recently reported that the economy had 10.1 million job openings in June. This comes amid a booming recovery as the pandemic lockdowns ease and there were 8.7 million unemployed workers in July.
When the folks at the Georgetown Climate Center put forward their memorandum of understanding for thirteen New England and Mid-Atlantic states to sign onto, it was a blow to the interstate carbon scheme that only three states (plus Washington DC) signed on. It was a further blow that in two of those states where the Governor gave the okay, Connecticut and Rhode Island, the left-leaning legislatures in both balked at adopting legislation that would actually allow their states to participate in TCI. So, as of now, they’re still out. That leaves Massachusetts, which does not require legislative approval to participate, as the only state left on the field. And now even Massachusetts’ participation in TCI is in jeopardy.
Daniel Henninger, a Wall Street Journal columnist who I admire, had this to say recently about the likely effect of enactment of the Pelosi-Biden $3.5 trillion domestic spending bill.
“This is not just a bill about spending numbers, Henninger writes. “It is a do-or-die effort by the now-progressive party to enact four new lifetime entitlements—universal prekindergarten, universal child care payments, universal paid family and medical leave, and two years of community college. No one has been clearer about the stakes than Speaker Pelosi, who describes it as a “once in a generation” effort. She’s right.”
Watching the Afghanistan debacle unfold, it’s easy to understand why people and pundits are grumbling that the Commander in Chief needs to go. His competency is highly questionable. Even before the election there were legitimate questions raised about Joe Biden’s mental state, and less legitimate conspiracies about his being a Trojan Horse candidate who would step aside or be removed to make way of Kamala Harris. None of this is going to happen. He won’t resign, he won’t be impeached, he won’t be Article 25-ed. Democrats won’t let it happen. Ever. At least until after the mid-term elections in November 2022. They will go full-on “Weekend at Bernie’s” before they let Joe go. Here’s why…
Steve Klein, Chief Fiscal Officer for the legislature’s Joint Fiscal Office, recently made a presentation to the Pension Reform Task Force. The Task Force is charged with coming up with a plan to fix the state’s public pension crisis, the result of decades of underfunding and financial mismanagement that has led to a $6 billion and rapidly growing unfunded liability. Currently, just keeping the state pension system afloat consumes over 12% of all General Fund state spending and fixing the system will take even more money. So, the Task Force asked Klein where such a pot of cash might be found. The resulting slide show was not encouraging.
Annette Smith of Vermonters for a Clean Environment has been closely following the meetings of the Climate Council, which is drafting a sweeping plan to save us from climate change.
A story in the Mountain Times, Woodstock struggles to solve restaurant shortage, describes in detail the tourist town’s “impossible equation” with labor, regulatory, and supply issues that are hampering the overall ability to meet the needs of visitors. Many restaurants can’t open seven days a week because the federal government is paying workers not to work. It’s gotten so bad that when a tourist bus showed up in the popular Vermont tourist town and disembarked 44 hungry people, there was no place open for them to eat. Can you say “hangry”? The tour company subsequently canceled its future bus trips to Woodstock.