Monday, January 15, 2007

On Having to Provide Policy Suggestions

There is an interesting comment from “respectful” yesterday under my McHenry County Blog posting on the Democrats wanting to raise taxes:

Tell us how to meet our obligations to the pensions, Medicaid, and other entitlements without raising taxes and without going deeper into debt?
Of course, I did this in 2002 when I ran for governor as a Libertarian.

Look at this chart.

It includes both general fund and the capital budget from Fiscal Year 1992 through FY 2002. Do you notice that Governor George Ryan had figured out he had to cut spending?

(Guess how many of the budgets I voted for my last four years in office.)

Maybe George was too late for the downturn in revenues, but he did figure it out.

That allowed Democratic Party candidate Ron Blagojevich to energize the state employees whose institutional jobs were threatened. Anyone want to figure out which institutions Ryan closed (or budgeted to close), plus built, but never opened, that Blagojevich promised to keep open, re-open or open for which Blagojevich’s promises went by the wayside?

Since then, general fund revenues have gone up, what, about a billion a year? (I haven’t kept track.)

But so has spending.

And that is a basic problem for taxoholic and spendaholic Democrats (and Republicans, if the shoe fits). They have spent even when the money was not there. Here’s a 12-step program I suggestion in 2002 for the taxoholics in Springfield.

So my solution then was basically to stop spending more money and let revenues catch up.

File your condemnation below or on McHenry County Blog, where the rest of the article is located.

5 comments:

Shaking My Head....,  10:28 PM  

Take a look at IDPH's llinois-National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (I-NEDSS).

This is from their press release:

"I-NEDSS is expected to be fully implemented in about four years at a cost of $10 million and will be able to collect information on all 77 state-mandated reportable diseases. I-NEDSS has been developed under contract with Integrated Software Specialists of Schaumburg and with the active support and efforts of an advisory panel of local health departments. Funding for development and implementation of I-NEDSS comes for the state’s share of federal bioterrorism funds."

The link to the original press release is:
http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/press05/2.9.05.htm

Problem is, that if you know how the old paper form based system worked, well, that's basically how the 'new system' works. And all the nonsense about "local health departments" is just complete crap. You ought to hear what the local Health Deartments are saying after trying to make this thing work.

There's 2 more interesting parts:
1) Supposedly, the I-NEDSS System still isn't complete. And according to what I've been told, the numbers are a whole lot higher than $10 mil, and it's still not complete.
2) But the most interesting part is that virtually all hospitals in IL already had computer systems for tracking infection diseases within their institutions. There's 2 main private software vendors for this type of software, and they had the great bulk of the market in hospitials, and with doctor's groups. So what's the State of IL do? - let's re-create the wheel and spend big bucks doing it, and according to what I'm told from insiders, the I-NEDSS System can't digitially share data with either of the other 2 private systems.

Want a revelation? - compare the 'old' data entry forms (manually prepared & sent to Springfield) to the 'new' I-NEDSS data entry screens. If both sets of software were novels, there'd be a serious case of plagerism at play here. $10+++ mil for this??

Anonymous,  1:58 AM  

"compare the 'old' data entry forms (manually prepared & sent to Springfield) to the 'new' I-NEDSS data entry screens. If both sets of software were novels, there'd be a serious case of plagerism at play here. $10+++ mil for this??"

So a system that is supposed to collect the same data as a paper form has been designed to look like the original paper form? Those bastards!!! Why, they should have made it completely different, so users would have to totally relearn how to do their jobs. What were they thinking!?!?!?!?

Plagiarism? This is data entry, not Comp 110. Efficiency trumps 'originality'.

"and according to what I'm told from insiders, the I-NEDSS System can't digitially share data with either of the other 2 private systems."

Extremely dubious claim. 'Can't easily share', perhaps. Or, 'can't share because of a legal or privacy constraint', maybe. But unless the data is stored in encrypted files written backwards in Klingon and numbered in base87...there's a way.

Jeff Trigg 12:11 PM  

But Cal, this would mean they would have to be able to study the budget for more than an hour before voting to pass it.

Yellow Dog Democrat 3:58 PM  

Cal....comparing state spending to the inflation index makes no sense. Government doesn't buy toasters.

Look at energy costs and health care costs, two of the largest ticket items in the state budget after labor costs, which have been flat. That's where you'll see spending rising the fastest.

Also, if you want to rant about cutting expenses, fine, but I haven't heard you explain specifically how you would close the state's structural budget deficit. Give us a list of suggested cuts and their price tag. Tell us whether you plan to continue to shift the burden for funding public eduction onto the backs of local property taxpayers. Without specifics, your "plan" is just a campaign prop. And not a very good one, judging from how your campaign turned out. Or maybe i wasn't the message, it was the messenger.

BTW -- can't wait to read your analysis of spending by the Bush administration and GOP Congress. Atleast Democrats are willing to pay for what they buy, unlike the GOP, which wants future generations to foot the bill. I'm sure you'll take them to task for it. Not.

Cal Skinner 6:56 PM  

The libertarian in me cannot defend Republican spending in Washington.

Please read your last paragraph and tell me how it applies to Springfield Democrats over the last four years.

Finally, you say, "...comparing state spending to the inflation index makes no sense. Government doesn't buy toasters."

Well, taxpayers do buy toasters once in a long while, but their incomes did not increase as fast as state governmental spending over the period in the chart.

They have energy and health care costs and somehow have still have to find the money to pay their taxes.

To them and to me, government is not the beginning and ending of our existence. It does not come first.

Our families do and we prefer to decided how to spend our money over allowing the government(s) to do so.

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