Monday, June 30, 2003

Fiscal responsibility, Republican style, as applied to California:

First, let politically connected firms like Enron seize control of the local energy markets; deny federal regulatory relief until the state government winds up signing $43 billion dollars' worth of inflated contracts, pretty much wiping out the state budget surplus. The most recent news here, as I noted last week: their regulators have finally given Enron, which was already bankrupt, the "death penalty", barring it from the markets -- but they are refusing to void the contracts, continuing a completely unjustified transfer of wealth from California taxpayers to the Texas oil patch.

Then, when the effects of the contracts combine with the economic woes plaguing all state governments to produce a massive deficit, refuse to consider raising taxes to pay for it, even when the ensuing turmoil threatens to sink the state's bond rating, costing even more in interest. And justify your conduct by putting up screeds on state government web sites comparing the Democrats to Enron management.

Thus enact the kind of fiscal policy candidly described by one soi-disant conservative here:

Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, a conservative group, said Mr. Bush had been "one of the biggest-spending presidents we've had in 20 years." But, he added, "he has cut taxes, so politically that has protected him."

"A month ago, he passed this huge tax cut that I think is terrific — I mean, I'm thrilled by that — and now this month he's passing this preposterous prescription drug benefit, and I'm furious at him," Mr. Moore said. "But I can't get too angry with him because he passed this tax cut. That's the way this administration works."

He's spending, sure, but there won't be tax money to pay for it, so hey, it's all good!

Besides, who would know better than Republicans about Enron management?


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