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Saturday Morning Round-Up

by: DocJess

Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:42:00 AM EDT


Everyone is talking about the fact that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. There was one other award given out on the same day, and with all the excitement, you might have missed it. The Family Values Porn Fan of the Year 2009 award went to Newt Gingrich. You can read all about it here

In other Obama-related news, the President has endorsed Bill Thompson. We've mentioned him before, but he might be under your radar. There is, however, a 99.9% chance (and that might be low) you know the name of his competitor: Mike Bloomberg. It is a difficult position for President Obama. Thompson is a Democrat: Obama is the head of the Democratic Party. Thompson is a black man running to be mayor of the largest city in America, which happens to be located in New York State, whose Governor is a black man and who Obama has asked to withdraw from his re-election rate. Couple this with the fact that Obama and Bloomberg see eye to eye on many things, they're friendly, and there is a very high probability that Mayor Mike will hold on to his seat. 

Moving on: not that you'll be surprised, but the IIE is still homophobic, in addition to being racist, misogynistic, and basically against everything else rational, sane, decent people support. The House this week passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. this will expand the 1969 Hate Crimes Act to include crimes motivated by gender, sexual orientation, gender identification and disability. The right tried to kill the bill, saying it would lead to Nazism, necrophilia, pedophilia and beastiality 

This is a good time to remind you that the March for Equality in Washington, DC is tomorrow. The Times points out that there is some difference of opinion on whether a national program, or state by state action is the better path. President obama will be speaking tonight at a Human Rights Campaign fund-raiser. 

Finally, California is in even worse shape than people thought. Turns out they're already a billion short. This comes back to the validity of the economic models that people use. States work on the accrual basis, this California "booked" income based on the taxes that people owed. Well, that works well for economists and accountants. Not so much when you have to write actual checks on the money. And the money isn't coming. Fewer jobs, lower wages, homes reassessed downward, foreclosures, and decreases in business income, spending and flat out population are causing problems. Once again, the model is wrong. 

DocJess :: Saturday Morning Round-Up

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Accrual Accounting (0.00 / 0)
It's true that state's have to balance their books, but unlike most families, they don't necessarily have to balance them every two weeks. That's why no alarms are going off right now. The models may be off, but we won't hear much until the gap significantly increases. As economic times improve, tax collections could reasonably be expected to rise. I'm not sure the model is wrong, although it happens. More often, the model's foundation is solid, and some assumptions at the perimeter (growth rates, transfer payments from Washington, unemployment estimates) are off by a bit. That's where the adjustments in the model are made. Also, since states have constitutional requirements for balanced budgets (the nation does not have that provision), the governor and the legislature will have some painful reconciliation decisions to make if the situation does not improve. The only way to manage a $100 Billion organization (current General Fund of CA) is to build models and adjust them to reality.  


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