March 18, 2009
RE: Sen. Basnight wants deep cuts at DPI
Posted by David N. Bass at 4:28 PM
Terry, I'm forced to conclude, given your list of proposed cutbacks at DPI, that you hate children. Cutbacks in economically turbulent times? Why, it's almost as villainous as siphoning money from the N.C. General Fund Lottery (!!!).
Sen. Basnight wants deep cuts at DPI
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 3:41 PM
Democratic Senate President pro tem Marc Basnight believes that the NC Department of Public Instruction needs a trim. He would like to cut around 500 positions at DPI, which currently employs around 800 people.
To assist Sen. Basnight in his cause, I have compiled my list of superfluous DPI departments, divisions, and programs (number of employees, not including vacancies, in parentheses). Consider this a 200 position warm up.
1. Office of the State Superintendent (5)
2. Web Services and Publication Sales (7)
3. Publications Production and Outreach (9)
4. Policy and Strategic Planning (7)
5. Program Monitoring and Support Division (25)
6. District and School Transformation Division (82)
7. Behavioral Support and Special Programs (11)
8. Healthy Schools (4)
9. Talent Management and Development (14)
10. Licensure (24)
11. School Planning (8)
12. Office of Charter Schools (6)
NSP grant awards announced
Posted by David N. Bass at 3:25 PM
Carolina Journal reported on Housing and Urban Development's Neighborhood Stabilization Program in February. Today, Bev Perdue announced who gets what (from a governor's office press release):
Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that 20 local governments, nonprofits and other organizations have received grant awards totaling $48.85 million under the new federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program developed late last year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program’s purpose is to assist those areas hit hardest by the housing crisis.
“Foreclosures, subprime mortgages and mortgage defaults are hurting homeowners, families and our communities,” Perdue said. “These new federal funds will go to communities most severely affected by the housing crisis and will be used effectively. I’m encouraging all participating organizations to collaborate in order to leverage these grant funds and make them go even further.”
Forty-six NSP grant applications were submitted by Feb. 3. Of those, 11 local governments and six non-profits were funded for specific areas; the three statewide organizations selected will ensure the areas of greatest need in the 23 counties receive assistance. Brief program descriptions follow this release. Grant recipients:
Local Government Recipients: City of Raleigh, $2.5 million; Wake County, $2.5 million; City of Charlotte, $2.5 million; City of Greensboro, $2.5 million; City of Winston-Salem, $2.5 million; City of High Point, $2.5 million; City of Gastonia, $2 million; Henderson/Vance County, $2 million; City of Durham, $2 million; City of Rocky Mount, $2 million; City of Lexington, $2 million.
Non-profit Agency Recipients: St. Augustine, in Raleigh, $2 million; Charlotte Housing Authority, $2 million; Guilford Habitat for Humanity, $2 million; Forsyth Habitat for Humanity, $2 million; Passage Home (in Wake County), $2 million; Greensboro Housing Authority, $2 million.
Statewide Agency/intermediary Recipients: Self-Help Credit Union, $2.5 million; N.C. Community Development Initiative, $3.5 million; and N.C. Housing Finance Agency, $4 million.
Of note, no left-wing advocacy group was picked for the grants. At least one of the groups that applied for the money -- the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina -- pushes a liberal legislative agenda.
Spinning Inflation News
Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 2:20 PM
This AP story is interesting because of how it spins the latest news on inflation. The headline reads, "US Consumer prices rise 0.4 percent in February." The sub headline points out that this is the highest since last July. Yet, most of the story talks about the dangers of deflation--i.e. falling prices. This is in spite of the fact that we have yet to see any recent month or time period with a negative inflation rate. I think my favorite line in the article is this one: "Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.2 percent in February, also slightly higher than the 0.1 percent rise economists expected." By my calculation .2 percent is double what the article claims was the predicted rate. Now I wonder how many times greater than the predicted rate would it have to be before it is no longer "slightly" higher. I wonder if this were the Bush administration how this difference would have been described.
The horror! Americans are becoming more distrustful of government
Posted by George Leef at 12:18 AM
Writing in the DC Examiner Gene Healy of Cato gives us a scrap of good news: polling shows declining trust in government. That's very bad news for Obama and his gang, who want a populace that's trusting and gullible.
The big government bunch labels distrust "cynicism" apparently thinking that if they slap on a pejorative, some people will stick with the herd a while longer.
Pro-choice, but not for health care workers
Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 11:35 AM
The first strong evidence that President Obama is not really pro-choice, a position that usually invokes the idea that people should be able to act according to their own consciences when it comes to abortion, but pro-abortion, comes in a recent proposal to have the Department of Health and Human Services remove the ability of health care workers to refuse to perform such life ending procedures. This YouTube statement by Francis Cardinal George, President of the US Conference of Catholic bishops, is an impassioned plea relating the right of conscientious objection to the basic principles that this country was built on. He calls the President's decision on this issue the "first step toward despotism." It is notable that Cardinal George is Bishop of the Diocese of Chicago--Obama territory.
Cato Kelo video
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 11:31 AM
The touchstone for eminent domain reform. Watch here
Obama against economic recovery
Posted by George Leef at 07:55 AM
In his column today, Lew Rockwell shows the historical parallels between Obama's anti-market policies and those of FDR, who succeeded in turning a serious recession into the Great Depression.
Rockwell dares to use the f-word: fascist. It's perfectly accurate. Fascism means government domination of economic life through rules and regulations while nominally preserving private ownership. FDR's "Brain Trust" -- a group of intellectuals who were all starry-eyed over the prospect of transforming the U.S. to suit their grand visions -- consisted mainly of admirers of Mussolini.
The economic trouble with fascism is that is supplants decision-making by people who stand to benefit if they're right and to lose if they're wrong, with decision-making by politicians and bureaucrats, who don't. That's a recipe for foolish, short-sighted policies that undermine incentives and squander resources.
Don't blame the dog — he's just practicing Keynesian stimulus
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:17 AM
Since the venerated economist John Maynard Keynes once suggested (I'm paraphrasing) that government could stimulate the economy by burying bottles of money in old mineshafts and hiring people to find the bottles, here's a great new idea: feed money to dogs, then hire people to walk the dogs and "recover" the money.
If this sounds like a great idea, you can thank the Davis family of Apex, whose dog Augie originated the concept.
If this sounds like an idiotic idea, then you have a correct assessment of Keynesian economics.
Missing the obvious corollary
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:05 AMSharon Begley’s latest Newsweek column continues the media drumbeat for global warming alarmism (if “the world gets closer to a consensus that we need to slash CO2 emissions,” why are many scientists — more than 600 in North Carolina alone — rejecting the idea?), but Begley makes an astute observation: using compact fluorescent light bulbs, taking the bus, and installing solar panels aren’t going to make any substantial impact in addressing the global temperature.
If global warming is going to cause problems, then, we’ll need some major technological breakthroughs, Begley tells us. So how do we get there?
Not by ruining the economy through a cap-and-trade scheme, as experts such as Roy Spencer have explained:
Kokai: If we take the steps that you mention, the ones that could be incredibly damaging to the poor and to the economy as a whole, will that hurt us in the future if we do need to take some steps to deal with global warming?
Spencer: Excellent question. I’ve made this point in the book. If you really are serious about solving this problem, that is, you really want to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions by, say, at least 50 percent to 75 percent, the only way to do it is through new technologies. Well, which countries in the world are going to come up with these new technologies? It’s the countries that have built the wealth where they can invest in the R&D to generate those new technologies. So in the process of passing these laws that are probably going to get passed next year or the year after, we are going to hurt the economy in such a way that it might actually delay finding those new technologies. We’re hurting the economy, and what’s being planned is going to have no measurable effect on future temperatures.
Don’t write unconstitutional laws, and you won’t have a problem
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:04 AMThe head of the NYU law school’s Brennan Center for Justice (named for the famous Warren Court liberal Supreme Court fixture) laments in the latest Newsweek:
Here's the core constitutional fact: a progressive president and Congress now face a conservative judiciary, for the first time since 1937. Obama's ambitious agenda, if enacted, must go before federal courts — where judges can rewrite or strike down key provisions.
To the extent that the judiciary can be described accurately as conservative — and the continued role of Justice Anthony Kennedy as a “swing vote” on the nation’s highest court seems to discredit that description — the new administration can take one simple step to avoid judicial losses: follow the Constitution. Originalists like Justice Antonin Scalia won’t object.
My buying a new plasma TV will help save America?
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:03 AMThat’s certainly the impression one gets from Newsweek’s latest cover, which features the iconic finger-pointing Uncle Sam and the headline “I Want You to Start Spending! Invest in America — Before It’s Too late.”
Never mind the fact that consumer spending and capital investment aren’t the same animal. The magazine’s editors and writers don’t seem to understand where the problems really lie.
In case you missed him …
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:01 AMJoe Coletti helped Kim Genardo of NBC 17 make sense of the governor’s new budget plan during last night’s 7 p.m. news.
Click play below to hear Joe’s comment about the next step in the budget process.
For more of Joe’s ideas, see his “Back to Basics” alternative budget plan.
Today's Carolina Journal Online features
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:57 AM
Today's Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Karen McMahan's report on growing government interest in mileage taxes and other ways to target the taxpayer for transportation funding.
John Hood's Daily Journal analyzes Gov. Beverly Perdue's budget proposal.
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