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Author Topic: No soup for you!  (Read 589 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Jun 30, 2009 at 14:24 »

So, I think I've made it pretty clear I'm not a member of the Ed Rendell fan club.  Yes, I know there's an apparent disconnect supporting Obama but not a fellow Dem in Rendell.  But every year since he's been Gov, Rendell has done this little dance at the end of the fiscal year called "give me all my spending increases, or I won't pay the state workers."  And we have an impasse where the pressure slowly mounts on legislators to cave in to whatever Fat Eddie wants, because if they don't do it in 2 weeks, the state workers stop getting checks and the next thing... government shuts down.

Well the fantastic news is that in the worst economic pile of shit of our lifetime, Rendell is again jacking up the budget.  And now he wants to hike state taxes, too.  Smart guy.  I'm with the state Repubs on this, when they say no new taxes.  Rendell grumbles that "we can't cut our way out of this," when spending has gone up astronomically while he's been in the mansion.

DPW's budget, since FY 2002, has risen 62.6%, or a little over $4 billion.  If we went back to 2002 levels, we'd kill the deficit and have a $2B surplus.

K-12 spending, while a noble cause, has gone up 37.6%, or over $2.6B, and I wonder whether that's been smart investment or flashy bullshit.  That's about the deficit right there.

Treasury, up 151%, or around $600M.  The Lt. Gov.'s office, up 41.9%, or $400K.  Seriously, WTF does the Lt. Gov. actually DO?  Corrections, up 42.1%, about $500M. 

It's all too much.

Oh, this year, since I took a new job outside of the Executive Branch, I don't have the luxury of a two-week cushion until my pay gets dinged.  Yep, this Friday the money stops.

I cannot tell you how much I hate that fat, greasy bastard.
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Big Virgil
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 30, 2009 at 15:32 »

You better start stockpiling Gophers right now.

That stinks.  I think you work for the State, so pay for all state workers stops on Friday?  If that's the case, I imagine they would remedy the situation before that happened.
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I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.
jonzr
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 30, 2009 at 15:34 »

You still have checks in the checkbook eh?  No problem!
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 30, 2009 at 15:53 »

You better start stockpiling Gophers right now.

That stinks.  I think you work for the State, so pay for all state workers stops on Friday?  If that's the case, I imagine they would remedy the situation before that happened.

No, I'm the lucky 1% that gets hit right away.

The rest get two weeks of pay.  It's screwy, but that's how it goes.

O/U on budget resolution in PA:  July 15.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 30, 2009 at 15:54 »

You still have checks in the checkbook eh?  No problem!

If Vernon Hayes can do it, so can I gol dang it!
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 12, 2009 at 08:39 »

Just by way of update, the Finnys were finally paid all back pay this past Friday.  That was 2.5 paychecks missed for me and 1.5 for Mrs. 

After all the political angling, Rendell finally signed a stopgap budget to pay the Commonwealth employees after weeks of saying he couldn't possibly do just that.  I'm up to the gills with disgust for all parties in this, as no one has been totally upfront about the budget issues.  Rendell uses us every year as pawns; people like (D) Rep. Dwight Evans are condescending towards taxpayer concerns over rampant spending and increased taxes in the midst of a serious recession; the Republicans finally grow a spine after years of caving in, but can't admit that part of the largest increases (to DPW and PDE) are due to the shell game, of decreased Fed spending having to be made up for by increased local taxes.

And so the budget stalemate in Pennsylvania continues.  Our entire budget is about the amount of California's former budget deficit; I had thought September would be a realistic target for an agreement, but now I'm not so sure.  The last two agencies I have worked for have dealt with procurement, and as far as I can tell we're buying products with IOUs.

The impact on Mrs. F and me was not so terrible.  Our credit union offered a 0% impasse loan, and we had enough money in savings to last a few months anyway.  We tightened the belt, and once the back pay came in we paid off whatever we had borrowed, and no ill affects aside from a postponed vacation.  Some folks were not so lucky.  They didn't have money saved, lived paycheck to paycheck, had kids to feed, mortgages to pay, and might not have had the best credit to get sustaining loans.  Remember, this amounts to people having to take out loans for money they had already worked for and was due them by the government.  Bad enough you have to work until April to make your actual keeper pay, then this...

The level of intelligent discourse, both at the local and national level, on a variety of political topics... I thought it was disgusting before.  There's simply no intelligent medium any more.  It's all knee-jerk posturing, media that's beyond self-parody, and a growing disconnect between pols and constituents.  Worse than the pols per se are the birther types, who feel that the best way to solve this country's pressing issues is to roll around in our own shit.  The folks who cry "socialism" don't even see the real problem, which is sad.  I think I'll go back to hibernating from all of it...
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 12, 2009 at 08:55 »

The level of intelligent discourse, both at the local and national level, on a variety of political topics ... I thought it was disgusting before.  There's simply no intelligent medium any more.  It's all knee-jerk posturing, media that's beyond self-parody, and a growing disconnect between pols and constituents.

I'm right there with ya.  It's sad that we've all basically come to expect getting effed over by our politicians.  They're supposed to work for us but instead, we're just sheep to them.  They work the herd and take from it what they will.  What's sad is that the media plays along, it's so obvious.  For every decent opinion piece or "expose" there are 50 pieces that (imperceptibly and deceptively) tow the line.  What's sadder still is that we allow it.

Quote
I think I'll go back to hibernating from all of it ...

It's hard not to when you feel powerless, isn't it?

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Big Virgil
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 12, 2009 at 09:50 »

A lot of States seem to be in the same boat.

Colorado has 4 mandatory furlow days.  They are designated days that everyone has to take, so they don't have to pay employess or operate State facilities.  I don't work for the State, but work closely with the State, and I heard yesterday, they are offerening pretty nice buy-outs and early retirement offerings.  In addition to that, it sounds like they are going to start laying off State workers.

The state is already in Fiscal Year 2010, which isn't pretty financially, and 2011 looks worse.

Not good for peeps.
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I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.
Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 12, 2009 at 10:25 »

I think most states start their FY July 1.  Early returns for tax collections here in PA are pretty dismal, so figure if we were crunched for the 08/09 FY, next year will be worse.  Which only exacerbates the tax more/cut more divide between the parties.  Certainly no thinking outside the box by either side.

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