Wednesday, May 09, 2012

1015 OMG, Austerity!

1015  OMG, Austerity!

Back in the school days, our parents voted each year on a proposed budget.  Most times, the budgets were approved even though they usually meant a tax increase.  There was always the threat hanging in the air -- clearly articulated by the sponsors of the budget -- that with rejection came “austerity.”

In the case of a local school district that means cutting all discretionary stuff, firing faculty (but not administrators) reducing or eliminating bus service, extracurricular activities, athletics and programs in music and arts.  No one ever seemed to consider the third way, which was to cut some stuff, but not to eliminate everything that wasn’t mandated by an outside authority.

(Note to PA readers:  in the real world school and public library districts vote on budgets every year and political parties are barred from participating in school board elections.)

Now, here in America and over in Europe, there’s that threat of “austerity” once again.  Except now it’s not about music and art, it’s about medicine, social security, welfare, food stamps, road repairs, and anything else you happen to like or need.  (But never congressional or White House staffs, overlapping agency programs and the Pentagon.)

The problem both here and there is the so-called leadership falling at the feet of the central bankers.  The bankers can’t help themselves... they’re doing only what’s in their DNA:  trying to squeeze money out of people who don’t have it and wrecking the lives of people who can’t fight back.

So they’ll do what they’ve always done, cutting benefits, extending work days, years and eligibility ages.  Not one of these guys ever had to work for a living.  But they depend on the rest of us for their ill gotten gains.

The EU has to kill the Euro and send Brussels back to the backwater it was before someone decided it was the capital of the continent.

Austerity in school budgets can sometimes hurt.  In national budgets, it can kill.  And it will if we don’t kill it first.

Shrapnel:

--Lugar lost his primary in Indiana and North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.  Lugar was one of the few normal Republicans left in the Senate and North Carolina has created the (Bible) Belt and Suspenders template since a law banning same sex marriage already was on its books.  This country is turning into a Parody of the parody movie “The Dictator.”

--Israel’s centrist party has joined with Likud to form a coalition government.  What, you may ask, is an Israeli centrist?  An Israeli centrist is a guy who wants to give away only half the country.

--Karma’s a bitch as you might ask Thomas Bodenschatts, of rural Cambria County PA, but you can’t.  Bodenschatts, 66, ran biology programs at local schools and was collecting frogs along a road when he was struck by a car and killed. The coroner has elected not to dissect... er... conduct an autopsy.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

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