Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just So We're All Clear

About what's happening here. Republicans have been complaining about the size of the stimulus endlessly for the last few weeks. Now the 'conservative' state legislature, comprised mainly of Republicans are going to use the stimulus money to cover themselves.

"I guess we're happy they weren't worse," said Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville. He said that, by tapping federal stimulus money and cutting programs, Utah lawmakers will be able to balance the budget without raising taxes, a step he added "could have been devastating."
Some even directly say they are disappointed by the lack of a stock market bounce from the stimulus (as though that is somehow relevant), while getting ready to spend it to cover their own budget.

It would be hard for a Republican in Utah to complain about the stimulus package now, since it is covering them for their hole in the flat tax (oops, we didn't make enough money, even though everyone seems to be complaining about how much they're paying this year compared to last, long live regressive taxes, or something like that). But some are still trying, because they're conservative, or at least try to act like it.

Now that this "money stuff" is out of the way they can get back to the real important work of making sure gays can't legally do anything and all alcohol is behind no less than four curtains and a six inch concrete wall, because after all, these people have to get reelected on something, and it's probably not going to be the economy.


  1. Agreed. Utah should reject the money.


  2. ok, so where are we going to come up with a half trillion for utah's budget. it's nice that you remain consistent in your criticism of the stimulus, but now reality sets in, if you don't take the money then you've either got to cut popular program's funding (gasp), or raise taxes (tripple gasp). that's why the legislature is willing to take the money, they aren't overrun with options at this point.

  3. Good point, Craig. I think a combination of budget cuts and using the "rainy day fund" should do the trick for now. If the things get even worse in the future, then I guess we'll have to decide which programs are absolutely necessary and raise taxes to fund them if necessary. But for me, cutting all "non-essential" programs, as determined by the people, and using "rainy day funds" should come before accepting federal funds or raising taxes.

  4. Well, I disagree completely of course, but at least you're consistent. In my opinion this is why we needed a stimulus (even bigger than the one that passed) because bottom line we need spending to get the economy moving. Using the rainy day fund will cover most of the 2 year shortfall (everything i can find puts it at ~413 million). Barring taking federal money or raising taxes that still leaves about 80 million worth of further budget cuts over the next two years. That means less spending, which is not a good policy move in a downward cycle. The best thing for the economy would be to take the federal money, spend it, and spend the rainy day fund.

  5. (After much pause) Why do they always fall silent when you talk about anything further out than this year's budget?

    JHP, I'm with you on this one. Go nuts. Rally the conservative troops. Oppose the acceptance of any stimulus funds in this state entirely. Quote Hoover. Sign every Rep. up if you can.

    Then let's check back on those representatives in... oh, say, 2 years and see how that works out.