If there’s anything worse than running a state into the ground, it’s turning that state around.
Such seems to be the attitude behind yet another “bailout” program being mulled over by our congressional overlords in Washington, DC.
Over at National Review Online, Daniel Foster calls the Democrats’ proposed $23 billion fund for preventing teacher layoffs a “putting off hard decisions” fund. Pitched in the direction of Foster’s own state, New Jersey, the giveaways would sabotage efforts by the new governor, Chris Christie, to close a looming budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 of more than $10 billion.
The Garden State’s budget for fiscal year 2010 was about $30 billion. Christie is trying to cut funding to school districts. He has pledged to restore the funds in districts where teachers agree to a one-year pay freeze and to contribute a small bit of their salary (1.5 percent) to help pay for their own health insurance. Currently, most pay nothing.
But if the federal government flings borrowed largesse that makes the state’s budget cuts irrelevant, teachers will have much less incentive to cooperate with even marginally more responsible policies.
Perhaps that’s the goal for Washington’s big spenders. After all, if folks could get their fiscal houses in order without handouts from the spendaholics in DC, there’d be no need for such handouts.
And then just how “important” would those politicians be?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.