States and cities with budget issues

Discussion in 'Current Events & Politics' started by Uncle Siggy, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Uncle Siggy

    Uncle Siggy Member

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    State officials won’t tackle pensions even though debts push cities to the brink.
    Sacramento

    Officials for the decrepit city of San Bernardino are touting the great news that, after five long and tumultuous years, the city this week officially exited bankruptcy. Starting next month, it will begin paying its debts again. Of course, it pulled off this miracle by stiffing creditors — many of whom will receive only one cent on the dollar.

    I suppose that’s the expected risk for anyone who invests in a California municipality these days. But keep in mind the one group that didn’t take a haircut: the city’s highly paid public employees and those who already have retired from public employment.

    San Bernardino stiffed everyone it could — including taxpayers, who saw a hike in parcel taxes — but didn’t touch pensions, even though a federal bankruptcy judge (in a similar case in Stockton) gave the greenlight to do so. The real news came in a KPCC public-radio headline this week: “San Bernardino: Out of bankruptcy but not out of the woods.”

    Like other bankrupt California cities, San Bernardino’s problems don’t end with its exit plan, even though city boosters dismissed the report and prattle about the great new economic times that are sure to come. In April, Moody’s Investor Service explained that the exit plan says the city will “leave bankruptcy with increased revenues and an improved balance sheet, but the city will retain significant unfunded and rapidly rising pension obligations.”

    While the city budget is doing better and public employees can rely on their large lifetime pensions, it’s not such a rosy picture for residents. In addition to higher taxes, they face “challenges associated with deferred maintenance and potential service shortfalls.” In other words, locals will continue to put up with crumbling roads and insufficient public services. Moody’s pointed to the “probability of continued financial distress and possibly even a return to bankruptcy.”

    Rest of the article is at the link: https://spectator.org/distressed-city-exits-bankruptcy-but-more-distress-ahead/
     
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  2. jasonc

    jasonc Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    Que the la times article about : how great this is,and also some business went bankrupt and was liquidated to pay off debt.I know that the laws are different but why trust municipal bonds when they cab stiff you ?
     
  3. Uncle Siggy

    Uncle Siggy Member

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  4. Barbarian

    Barbarian Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    Who do they think they are, Donald Trump?
     
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  5. civilwarbuff

    civilwarbuff Member

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    Nope, they think they are democrats......
    With unions solidly in control in the state Capitol, there are few efforts to rein in pension costs, which increasingly are borne by residents of municipalities who pay higher taxes and endure fewer services, as CalPERS sticks cities with bigger pension bills to pay for the pensions it manages on their behalf. Pension debts are rising as CalPERS’ rate of return from last year fell below 1 percent — despite its predictions of 7.5 percent returns.
    https://spectator.org/distressed-city-exits-bankruptcy-but-more-distress-ahead/
     
  6. Potluck

    Potluck Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    Illinois and Connecticut are in big financial trouble also.
    The answer to each problem has been to raise taxes.

    A tale of a few steel towns back in '85.

    When the steel industry went under some towns in the Monongahela Valley came up with solutions to ease their financial woes due to the collapse. All but one town opted to raise taxes. Those towns either stagnated or businesses were compelled to close.
    The one town though decided to give new businesses tax breaks to set up shop in that town. Over the following years it became the one town that flourished bringing in such businesses such Walmart, Lowe's, Pizza Hut among many other well known retail outlets and services.

    Raising taxes isn't always the solution. It may get a town or state out of trouble for a while through higher revenue projections but those projections often turn out to be borne of wishful thinking.
     
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  7. jasonc

    jasonc Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    I no longer have the pension plan I came to the city with.what ever I have in it isn't lost but looking back 2 years later im.glad knowing what I know.a city can ,the president is set by several cities,reduce the payment. I can only save so much and its in God's control.
     
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  8. jasonc

    jasonc Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    My city doesnt have the tax base to simply go overboard.the beach dwellers will simply leave.
     
  9. Potluck

    Potluck Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    Santa Claus wants paid.
     
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  10. Barbarian

    Barbarian Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    Barbarian, on city attempts to salvage their finances with bankruptcy protection:
    Who do they think they are, Donald Trump?

    Hmm...
    How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Casinos, Left Contractors Unpaid, Ruined Investors & Made Millions
    https://www.democracynow.org/2016/6/16/how_donald_trump_bankrupted_his_casinos

    “A lot of people got stuck holding the bag, and he didn’t. So people resented him for that and felt serious financial pain.”


    And it wasn’t just faceless bankers who got burned in the bankruptcies.


    In the 2009 case, unsecured creditors — low-level investors, contractors, small-time vendors — got less than a penny on the dollar for their claims against Trump Entertainment Resorts (Trump resigned as chairman four days before the bankruptcy filing).

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/20...eople-got-stuck-holding-the-bag-and-he-didn-t


    You think Trump is a democrat? Seriously? These cities are trying to do, in a lesser way, exactly what Trump did to the people who trusted him.
     
  11. civilwarbuff

    civilwarbuff Member

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    That is what happens when people get greedy. Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered......
     
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  12. Potluck

    Potluck Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    It's not Trump's fault these cities and states are in trouble. Throwing mud at Trump serves only to deflect from the topic at hand, ignore the financial woes of said cities and states and side step recognizing who really is responsible for getting into the financial woes in the first place.

    Raising taxes will simply kick the can down the road until the projected increase in tax revenue proves not to be true.

    A solution for the left:
    Voters oust the party at fault, republicans are elected instead and the left blames the republicans before the name tag is even replaced on the office doors.
     
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  13. Barbarian

    Barbarian Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    Thousands of small businessmen and contractors who could ill-afford Trump's maneuvering to get out of debt. These guys were just trying to make a living, only to find that the rules are different if you're rich and connected. Trump took their money and ran.

    Minnesota and Kansas were about the same place a few years ago. Minnesota raised taxes. Kansas cut them. How is that working out?

    Minnesota budget surplus grows — now what will lawmakers do with it?
    http://www.twincities.com/2017/02/28/minnesotas-projected-budget-surplus-raised-to-1-65-billion/

    Kansas, facing a huge budget deficit, wonders what to do next. Consensus is elusive
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/natio...reme-court-school-funding-20170302-story.html


    A nicely controlled experiment, with two states taking two different paths, leading to two entirely different outcomes.
     
  14. jasonc

    jasonc Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    Ah yes mighty fine California where teachers have too two jobs and you can't survive without tanf making leads then 100000 a year. 50 grand would be sufficient in my area if you are frugal in my.state. tax away.you should run, for office,Barbarian. Run on the taxation to save pensions and basic services and see what happens.
     
  15. Uncle Siggy

    Uncle Siggy Member

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    They'll treat him the same way the Londo treated Mr Morden in the B5 episode "Into the Fire"...
     
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  16. Potluck

    Potluck Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    Barbarian
    Your "Minnesota" link is dated Feb. 28, 2017 and is nothing more than projections and wishful thinking. The word "project" is used 8 times, "estimate" 3 times and "predict" 3 times.

    Let's take a look 4 months later.

    Jul 16, 2017
    Dayton administration worries about tight budget

    ST. PAUL — Minnesota government will not have much left over when the just-started two-year budget cycle ends, Dayton administration officials say.

    A new report shows there will be $163 million left from the new $45 billion budget in two years (although money the state already has in the bank still could be there). And that is if things go well financially.
    ===============
    163 million left IF things go well. That's a far cry from the projected 1.65 billion I'd say.
    So they hype surplus with inflated projections and predictions to make things look great to get it passed and after it's passed reality and facts come into play.

    ----------------------


    And Kansas?

    06/03/17
    On the Kansas budget impasse, look beyond the media hype to the facts

    The impasse in Topeka over how to resolve the budget gap and whether to impose drastic tax hikes has captured the attention of both the state and the nation. Throughout the debate, the media and politicians alike have relied on anecdotes and hearsay, rather than statistical data. Sadly, hyperbole and hysteria have stymied reasonable dialogue between well-intentioned representatives.

    Kansas exhibits marked economic improvement from the pre-reform era, jumping from 40th in the nation for private sector jobs growth between 1998 and 2012 to 30th from 2012 to 2015, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Detractors from the 2012 tax cuts refuse to acknowledge an important piece of the jobs growth puzzle: pass through entities account for 98 percent of jobs gains since 2012 through 2015.

    Do educational needs demand a tax increase? School districts are hardly strained for cash to meet budgetary demands. 2016 data from Kansas Department of Education shows the school system still retains cash reserves of nearly $911 million, not including dollars set aside for capital outlays and debt service — $443 million more than existed a decade ago. And total state and local spending per pupil increased by 11 percent from 2011 to 2016. In fact, inflation-adjusted per pupil spending has actually increased over the past several school years.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  17. Potluck

    Potluck Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    Barbarian
    I worked in the steel mill, Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, Gibsonton Yard, located in the Monongahela Valley for 14 years. The electrician, Frank Ferreri, served six years as a councilman and 20 years as Mayor of Belle Vernon, the town that gave the tax breaks to incoming businesses. He was still mayor during the collapse of the steel industry. Yes, he worked at Gibsonton Yard also. Same shift as me. Good fellow.

    While your data-mining is done sitting behind a computer my post was through first hand experience and the banter with the mayor back then in the washroom. Face to face. I grew up in the Mon Valley, born there, educated there, dated there, worked there, married there. I know those towns first hand. And I knew Frank, not as an acquaintance but as a friend.

    Donora is but a ghost town, Charleroi stagnated, Monongahela didn't grow and Monessen did not fare so well. Belle Vernon not only survived but thrived because of Frank's foresight along with the rest of the councilmen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
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  18. jasonc

    jasonc Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    Favorite scene, with Vir waving to him.
     
  19. Uncle Siggy

    Uncle Siggy Member

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    I tried finding that image this morning but for some dumb reason the search engine couldn't find it. I used it on another thread about a year ago so I know it's out there somewhere. I found the scene in the Zogolo where Vir says that to Morden but not the one in front of the royal palace where he gets his wish...
     
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  20. jasonc

    jasonc Member

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    Christian:
    Yes
    Hard to believe a liberal like JMS wrote that and alot of other great fantasy I grew up with.
    Babylon 5,captain power and the soldiers of the future,where the B5 namesake came from. Heman the cartoon,The real ghostbusters.
     

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