Friday, May 8, 2009
So it begins.
My blog begins today. I am entering the cyber age of political communications; albeit kicking and screaming. In spite of the challenges and potential pitfalls of posting political information and commentary for all the world to see, it has become necessary as the hunger for information makes demands.
The news from Dover today is that in the early morning hours, the Delaware House passed a gaming bill. Why should this concern teachers and school employees? Only because this issue has been foisted upon us by many of the political powers.
The Governor has repeatedly attempted to bring teachers and other state workers into the fray. The idea being that the revenue from the gaming is tied to our proposed salary cuts. Well, if so it must be in a "stick" over the "carrot" sense because the 8% salary cut is still on the table.
The relief for us, in the seeming resolution of the long-running gaming battle, is that we can move on to real revenue solutions. Gaming, was never the kind of comprehensive answer we needed to the revenue crisis, any more than is wage cuts.
We need a fair and up-to-date tax system in this state to preserve the Delaware quality of life, which is threatened by the current economic situation.
The Delaware State Education Association and other public employee unions have repeatedly stated that we cannot cut our way out of this budget crisis. By contrast, the Governor attempted a reverse spin and said, "With this proposal, we cut more than we raise because we cannot tax our way out of this problem." That sounded quaintly Reagan-like.
In truth, many economists including Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, and Peter Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office believe that states cause more harm to their economies during recessions by spending cuts than by tax increases.
I'm no Nobel Prize winner, but it stands to reason with the State as Delaware's largest employer, cutting their workers' salaries 8% is like trying to fight the darkness with more darkness. Turn on a light Governor.