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January 21, 2003


I probably failed. Still in response to a pretty theoretical and apparently overall well-informed discussion over at
Jane Galt I posted this in the comments:

In this Wrestlemania cage match, style points go to Matt Johnson for 1) staying focused to one or two, yes, points and 2) being n right. The commnets here started bouncing back and forth, stretching the argument like silly putty, so I'm glad somebody called this and tried to direct the discussion toward coherency.

This is needed for a non-expert like myself.

Unfunded mandates are the answer to why states are up the creek. Most states have balanced budget amendments so they are forced to cut, so that would probably explain the flatness of spending over the last 20 years.

You all probably knew that but didn't mention it. Yes increased property taxes mean greater revenue but that only goes so far.

In Washington state at least you have someone, Tim Eyman, who gets the people to pass initiatives that lower fees and taxes and limits the ability for tax increases, with a vote (votes cost money top, ya know). Sounds great, except there are critical areas of the budget which cannot be cut without hurting not just the government people but THE PEOPLE. That is what is happening everywhere.

Tax cuts fuel growth when they are drected toward the right people. How's that for a theory? Rarely does it fuel federal spending. I see no logic there. In fact as the states get healthier I'm sure the federal government feels more comfortable cutting funds off for various areas.

So then when state coffer revenues drop, everything is hit at once. So much for stability.
Your discussion above seemed remarkable lacking of consideration of the human element of theory. That's what journalists do. Now tell where i'm completely !@#$%ed in the head in regard to my thinking here.Still, it was informative.

UPDATE: 1-21-03:01:21 Gawd, I can be wordy.