People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, August 20, 2007

It Was Here. Now It's Gone. Who Knew?

In February 2005, Geoffrey F. Segal wrote the following ("Virginia Spending and Budget Reform,"):

While transportation and budget surplus issues dominate this legislative session, how to pay for infrastructure improvements, specific budget amendments and education issues are also being hotly debated. The landscape is much different this year from last year. The talk of deficits is gone, rather we’ve had a surplus for two consecutive years ... supporting some legislators’ beliefs that we would grow out of the deficit. The surplus at the end of the last budget this past June 30th and the projected surplus at the end of the current budget is at least $1.2 billion.

The real problem facing our state is the average annual growth in spending of 8.12 percent between 1997 and 2006. If this continues we will face another tax battle in a few years and it will make last year’s “mud fight” look tame in comparison.

Since the 1996-98 biennium budget cycle (former Gov. George Allen’s first budget) the Commonwealth’s budget has seen a dramatic increase. In just 10 years, the two-year budget has grown from $34,751,813,652 to $62,724,671,691 – an 80.5 percent increase. The budget has grown an average of 16 percent each biennium over this time. At this rate the biennium budget will reach more than $110 billion in 2012-1014.

Growth has been most dramatic in the non-general fund with increases of more than 112 percent between 1997 and 2006. However, general fund spending has increased at an alarming rate as well, topping off at just over 85 percent. When the budget is looked at from an annual perspective, the growth is more dramatic -- nearly doubling!
The state budget has nearly doubled in ten short years.

Non-general fund spending has gone up 112%. In 10 years.

"If this continues we will face another tax battle in a few years ..."

Grab your ankles. Today's news*:

Kaine: Virginia budget gap will reach $400 million
By Pamela Stallsmith, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will introduce his proposed spending plan for the 2008-10 biennium in December.

Virginia will face about a $400 million shortfall during this current fiscal year, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine is expected to announce today.

Sources told The Times-Dispatch that the Democratic governor will inform the General Assembly's money committees this morning that a slowed economy will result in less available cash than projected for the period covering July 1 to June 30. The current biennial budget is $74 billion.
The state budget has nearly doubled in ten short years.

Non-general fund spending has gone up 112%.

"If this continues we will face another tax battle in a few years ..."

We saw it coming ...


* That headline needs to be reworded to read: "Kaine budget gap will reach $400 million"

What You Get When You Buy Into 'Free' Health Care

Politicians, particularly of the Democratic persuasion, often talk dreamily about the health care delivery system that Canadians have available to them. Drugs there are cheaper. Hospital and doctor visits are cheaper. Surgeries are cheaper. Diagnoses. Preventive care.

Who wouldn't want a system like that?

Well, Canadians, often:
No room at the inn
By Dob Surber

The Dionne quintuplets were born on May 28, 1934, to a humble, French-speaking couple in a farmhouse outside of Callander, Ontario, Canada. They were identical sisters and for the first 10 years of their lives, the five girls were the No. 1 tourism attraction in Canada.

Then came free health care for all Canadians. Which is why the four identical Jepp sisters were born in Great Falls, Mont., instead of Calgary this weekend. The Canadian parents flew 325 miles to get to an American hospital.

Can you imagine being about to go into labor for four births, and then flying 325 miles to get to the hospital in another country? Incredible. Michelle Lang, Calgary Herald, reported:

"Their mother, Calgarian Karen Jepp, was transferred to Benefis Hospital in Montana last week when she began showing signs of going into labour, and no Canadian hospital had enough neonatal intensive-care beds for all four babies."

73 years ago, a poor French Canadian mother was successfully able to give birth to five girls in a farmhouse in Ontario, but then the Canadian government took over the health system and — voila — Karen Jepp has to go to an American hospital 325 miles away. (link)
You want cheap? Hillary et al. are prepared to give you cheap. Be aware though what that's going to buy you. And what it won't.

You want life-saving, cutting edge, best-on-the-planet medical care? Work to improve on the wondrous - and expensive - health care system that we now have at our fingertips.

The choice is yours.

On The Media & How They Can Be Manipulated

To find out how The New Republic "got suckered" in the "Baghdad Diarist" scandal (its third such embarrassment in the last decade), check out Richard Miniter's piece in Pajamas Media.

One wonders if the mainstream media maintain any standards these days ...

A Stopped Clock Is Accurate Twice a Day ...

... and the kids who disgorge nothing but nonsense each day* out of the editorial boardroom over at the Charleston (WV) Gazette can, on very rare occasions, get something right.

Today provides us with one of those extremely rare occurrences.

In this week's offering of something called Potpourri:
State development officers poured $4 million of taxpayer money into a Pendleton County golf course to boost employment — but the club went broke and the state will lose $3 million of its investment. This is more proof that caution is needed when trying to buy prosperity with tax money.
Write that down. Caution is needed when trying to buy prosperity with tax money (in fact, an extremely low IQ is needed, but no matter) . Coming from the government-can-do-no-wrong Gazette. Will wonders never cease?

Of course, the dawn brings a new day ...


* This is typical of this bunch. Also in today's Potpourri: "On Thursday, almost every gasoline station in the Kanawha Valley raised prices about 20 cents per gallon. When they all do it at the same time by the same amount, it smacks of a plot."

I Want To Know Who Counted Them

Does this strike anyone as a bit unbelievable?
Fish can't play through
Roanoke Times editorial

There's a stink of dead fish lingering over Blacksburg Country Club, and clearing the air will require cooperation and some cold, hard cash.

The malodorous incident took place last month. An employee at the private club outside Blacksburg was mixing a fungicide in a spray rig, and it overflowed. Workers hosed down the site and figured that was the end of it. After all, they were about to spray the chemical around the course; a heavy dose near the maintenance shed shouldn't have been a big deal.

But it was a big deal. The chemical washed into the North Fork of the Roanoke River where 10,335 fish died over a 1.4-mile stretch downstream from the club. The belly-up included 169 endangered logperch. (link)
OK. Killing fish is a bad thing. And someone must pay.

But I want to know who had the dip net, going up and down the Roanoke River, counting bodies? Exactly 10,335? Not 10,336? 10,327? And separated by species?

If it was a state employee, do we have state employees with a lot of time on their hands? Do we have too many state employees?

Quote Of The Day

From David Limbaugh:
Is Barack Obama black enough? Is John Edwards Latino enough or woman enough? Heaven save us from the bean counters.

Isn't it ironic that while the sin in racism is judging, prejudging or treating people differently on the basis of their race, those most conspicuously exercised about the sin are often its most habitual practitioners?
"Misguided or calculated resort to race? ," The Washington Times, August 20, 2007

She Asked For It. She Got It.

I made mention of this gal the other day, the illegal immigrant who was treating with contemptuous disregard the laws of the United States, the one who seemed to be begging the government to arrest and deport her.

She got her wish:
Immigration Activist Arrested Outside L.A. Church
Elvira Arellano Taken Into Custody Sunday Afternoon

Associated Press

(AP) Los Angeles An illegal immigrant who stayed in a Chicago church for a year to avoid separation from her 8-year-old son, a U.S. citizen, was arrested Sunday and being processed for deportation.

Elvira Arellano, who arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday after leaving her sanctuary to campaign for immigration reform, was arrested around 1:30 p.m. outside Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church where she had been speaking to reporters, said the Rev. Walter Coleman, pastor of Adalberto United Methodist, the Chicago church.

Arellano was "being processed for removal to Mexico based upon a deportation order originally issued by a federal immigration judge in 1997," U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a news release.

Immigration activists promised protests and vigils to support her. (link)
When she returns again, and she will, throw her in prison.

We have laws in this country, Conchita. You want to be an American? Do it the proper way or stay home.