by John Hawkins | February 8, 2011 1:16 am
The New York Times has a novel theory. It seems that conservatives actually WANT states to go bankrupt so that we can implement our nefarious agenda!
As states groan and stumble through the recession, some politicians are trying to exploit their financial crises for ideological purposes. Many Republicans want to use hard times to fundamentally reduce the role of states and public employee unions, in the same way federal tax cuts forced a debate on how to cut the deficit.
Some want to cut back severely on federal aid to the states, no matter how much new joblessness that may cause, while others want to ensure that Washington will never bail out a state close to defaulting on its bonds.
The latest pernicious idea, pushed by Newt Gingrich, Jeb Bush and several members of Congress, would allow the states to declare bankruptcy, for the principal purpose of tearing up union contracts and negating pension obligations.
…Dozens of states give pension and health benefits far more generous than in the private sector. Their costs have resulted in significant cutbacks to basic state services for the poor and middle class.
But bankruptcy would fight fire with gasoline, spreading instability to the bond markets, scaring off investors who might think they would never get repaid, and making it much harder and more expensive for states to raise desperately needed capital. Some bond experts say even talk of allowing states to declare bankruptcy has rattled markets.
…Governors also have a huge megaphone at their disposal, and should not hesitate to remind both the public and union members that financial emergencies require sacrifice. Government employees accept a special civic responsibility when they go to work for the taxpayers that is not always shared by their private counterparts – they are working to serve their state’s needs, not just themselves. (That point would be easier to sell if the sacrifice were universal. Giving tax cuts to billionaires and asking middle-class employees for givebacks makes little financial or moral sense.)
Though the bankruptcy proposal has not caught fire in Washington, it demonstrates that some conservatives are serious about experimenting with volatile new ideas. To contain the damage, lawmakers and unions need to get equally serious about dealing with costs that are beginning to infuriate the people who pay the bills.
First off, the states that are closest to defaulting are all liberal states that have been run into the ground by left-wing policies. California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey are closest to going under — which explains the really bizarre New York Times take on this issue. So instead of just saying, “Gee, I guess the unlimited spending, massive government, and unions advocated by papers like ours don’t work very well,” the NYT liberals have to twist themselves into pretzels to try to shift the blame to conservatives somehow.
After all, it’s not as if conservative polices are causing the problems in these states and conservatives aren’t hoping they won’t be able to pay their bills. To the best of my knowledge, there are no conservatives calling for states to default on their bills for no good reason. To the contrary, everyone seems to be hoping that these states will go the Chris Christie route and get their budgets under control. Moreover, it would be FANTASTIC if the governors of these states can come to some sort of accommodation with the unions that allow them to keep paying their bills.
However, the reality is that these states are so far in the hole and are still so riddled with liberal Democrats who don’t seem to realize that they can’t spend unlimited amounts of money, that it’s entirely possible that they may soon be unable to pay their bills. It’s all well and good to say, “Well, don’t get to that point,” but what happens if they do?
Conservatives have been doing something that the New York Times didn’t have the guts to do: We’ve been coming up with ways to deal with this problem. Of course, the New York Times and other liberals do actually have a plan in mind — they just don’t want to say what it is because they know it’ll be unpopular. What they really want is for these states to go bankrupt and for the federal government to just pick up the tab. In other words, liberals bankrupt these states, the taxpayers in the more responsible states pay for it, and then business will go on as usual.
That’s not going to happen this time. This time, the American public and the Republican Party are going to step up and deal with this problem instead of kicking the can down the road. That means we’re not just going to bail these states out. That means all these cushy union deals that are bankrupting these states are going to have to go away. If they don’t like that, then don’t go default. That would be best for everybody. But, if the GOP is put into a position where it has to pay the Fiddler to save these liberal states from their own responsibility, you better believe that we’re going to pick the tune and it’s going to be one that the American taxpayers want to hear.
Source URL: https://rightwingnews.com/deficits/the-new-york-times-theory-conservatives-want-states-to-go-bankrupt-so/
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