Thursday, December 17, 2009

Daily Kos: State of the Nation, 20 Answers

The Daily Kos has a pretty good "Q&A" about the federal legislation churning through that other Washington.

Kos' answers are to Nate Silver and his 20 questions For Bill Killers.

Read the Kos answers (and questions) here.

Why this matters to this Washington: states form their policy, and resulting legislation, around what the federal government is, or is NOT, supporting. Had the feds done their job and passed Healthcare Reform Washington State attempting to fund some of those things that might be covered in the federal legislation. The delay tactics by Republicans, and Democrats (DINOs, in particular), cause states to just keep cutting things they know will not get supported, or might not be supported, or could be supported.

Washington State's "short"100 day session starts in January. It requires hacking 2.6 billion dollars out of the budget of the state or out of the budget of tax payers. The bigger problem is that if/when federal legislation shows up there will be holes between the feds and state where real people will not get support, or, there will be overlap in policy and the state budget is projected to cover something already covered by the feds. We waste our legislator's time, and possible enact taxes, on actions that will just go away in 2014.
A simplistic view would be to just say that we can adjust later. That one point is true, and ignores the complete waste of time, money, and effort, to enact state legislation. IT IS WASTEFUL.

So, why would Republicans want to delay, other than pushing this into an open campaign season?
Well, let's look at the federal stimulus package that was eventually passed this year. The stimulus package was going to pass no matter what Republicans said or did. What the republicans were able to do in many cases is force state to complete their budgets without knowing exactly what the federal government would "stimulate" (though they could guess on some of it). So, states may have cut things they didn't need to, or support things that were eventually covered (overlap). It was, in a small way, a way to force cuts on states.
Washington State pretty much ran in place on the budget waiting for the the federal legislation, and then passed the state budget at the end. Worse yet, much like this short session, you have state Republicans calling for cutting right now, in a Special Session, without the benefit of knowing what the federal government is planning to do. It is true that there will have to be cuts, but cutting something you can support temporarily until the feds take over just impacts people, you know, people.

The shorter and simpler answer to much of this is that Republicans hate government (name the part they like... see) so having bad government is good for killing government. The people, the majority does not call its self Republican, debate the size and shape of government but want it to be good and work.

Right now, government is not working as well as it could, that's what Republicans want. Is that what you want?

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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