Welcome, one and all to the most intense nightly read anywhere on the sphere… The BitsBlog Nightly Ramble.
This is the “Yet Another Truck Stop” Edition
That’s two Truck Stops in as many weeks, I know. I’m not sure what it is about old truck stops I find so appealing. I certainly like to travel, so that’s certainly part of it. Just as certainly, there’s always been a part of me that loves those trucks, and the idea of 400 miles between bathrooms. I could use pics of the newer truck stop chains to take off on, I suppose. TSA, Flying J, Husky, and so on… but there’s something special about the small independent operators. A different, perhaps friendlier flavor to them. And, frankly, they’re a piece of Americana that’s slipping away from us.
- California Tumbles into the Sea: (Yes, Steely Dan) I notice Megan McCardle today: 
California is completely, totally, irreparably hosed. And not a little garden hose. More like this. Their outflow is bigger than their inflow. You can blame Republicans who won’t pass a budget, or Democrats who spend every single cent of tax money that comes in during the booms, borrow some more, and then act all surprised when revenues, in a totally unprecedented, inexplicable, and unforeseaable chain of events, fall during a recession.
You can blame the initiative process, and the uneducated voters who try to vote themselves rich by picking their own pockets. Whoever is to blame, the state was bound to go broke one day, and hey, today’s that day!There is a surprisingly sizeable blogger contingent arguing that we have to bail them out because however regrettable the events that lead here, we now have no choice. But actually, we do have a choice: we could let them go bankrupt. And we probably should.
Correct, but not far enough. The word you’re looking for Megan, isn’t “probably”, it’s “decidedly”. The very reason that they’re in the huge trouble they’re in is the bad behavior that got them where they are now, was reinforced, by way of federal bailouts, for decades. When we avoid the pain of the hard lessons, we reinforce the behavior.
Let’s consider the situation we’d have seen absent federal aid all those years. Why, California would have had to live within it’s means. meaning, that they’d either have to raise taxes at the state level, and deal with the consequences of that, or they’d have to cut spending. More likely, given the vote held yesterday, the latter . With prejudice, yet. As it is, with the federal aid, not only are the rest of us paying to bail them out, but we get to watch their government making sure everyone’s driving a Prius.
Want an example of what happens when we try to wean people off the federal government? New Orleans. You do know they’re still living in trailers down there and bitching up a blue streak about not being ‘provided for’, don’t you? If the states, the localities, or (gasp!) the individuals actually took charge of the situation, the thing would have been dealt with and would be a non issue. It’s easier, though to be dependent.
But you know what? We’re going to bail California out, thus reinforcing the dependency. Why? Well first off, you can forget getting any cuts out of the legislature, which is basically tied in a Mexican standoff, with prop 13 laws demanding a super-majority for tax increases, and yet Democrats holding just under that super majority, we’re going to see nothing until the next election cycle, when presumably, we’ll see some degree of turnover in the state. They won’t survive like this, absent some federal money. And Obama will do it. Simply put, California’s a far left state, mostly, and one the Democrats in Washington need to survive 2010 and 2012. As such, making such predictions is a no-brainier. And hang the consequences, such as other states demanding similar treatment, as Megan points out in another post , today:
I don’t see how the government can make a credible commitment not to bail out various localities who overspend, if it’s already done so. And if that’s the case, there’s no way to avoid the moral hazard, so we might as well go ahead and offer the explicit guarantee in exchange for some sort of say in how the money is procured and spent.
The result of course being that power is yet further herded under the federal government.
- Bye bye, Tom: I think you may know the name of Tom Golisano. He owns the Buffalo Sabres, for one thing, and also owns Paychex. Ran for Governor twice. Lives in Rochester. Or, did, anyway. He’s moving to Florida. Why? Taxes. 
Last week I spent 90 minutes doing a couple of simple things — registering to vote, changing my driver’s license, filling out a domicile certificate and signing a homestead certificate — in Florida. Combined with spending 184 days a year outside New York, these simple procedures will save me over $5 million in New York taxes annually.By moving to Florida, I can spend that $5 million on worthy causes, like better hospitals, improving education or the Clinton Global Initiative. Or maybe I’ll continue to invest it in fighting the status quo in Albany. One thing’s certain: That money won’t continue to fund Albany’s bloated bureaucracy, corrupt politicians and regular special-interest handouts.How did the state get to this point? By spending, spending and spending some more.
The number of people moving out of high tax states like California, and yes, New York, is nothing shy of staggering. And yet the states are not getting the message. I wonder, though; Given the speed with which everythings going over to Washington’s control, one wonders if the escape is anything more than short term.
- Consequences:  On the other hand there’s pushback. That California vote was a mild surprise. Consider it; Even a far-left-whack job place like California, and a crushing majority… with prop 1A going down 66/24… votes not only against tax increases but votes to retaliate against legislators on a legal basis, if they don’t keep their spending in line . If it plays that way in the liberal paradise of California, how’s it gonna play in Peoria, come 2010 and 2012? I wonder if the GOP is listening, here. With this vote yesterday, they’ve been shown clearly, that the Tea Party Crowd has major legs. I’m telling you now…. The GOP has been handed the most powerful tool possible. I wonder if the current GOP leadership is smart enough to pick it up, much less wield it.
- The right of property: Boortz has a letter up  I think you oughta see.
On Thursday, May 14, 2009 I was notified that my Dodge franchise, that we purchased, will be taken away from my family on June 9, 2009 without compensation and given to another dealer at no cost to them. My new vehicle inventory consists of 125 vehicles with a financed balance of 3 million dollars. This inventory becomes impossible to sell with no factory incentives beyond June 9, 2009. Without the Dodge franchise we can no longer sell a new Dodge as “new,” nor will we be able to do any warranty service work. Additionally, my Dodge parts inventory, (approximately $300,000.) is virtually worthless without the ability to perform warranty service. There is no offer from Chrysler to buy back the vehicles or parts inventory.Our facility was recently totally renovated at Chrysler’s insistence, incurring a multi-million dollar debt in the form of a mortgage at Sun Trust Bank.
HOW IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CAN THIS HAPPEN?
The answer is, it can’t. But in Obama’s America, Yes, it can.
- That’s a bad hat, Harry: It appears Harry Reid is toast at the next election . I’ll say more on this as things develop, but for now, let e just make a comment to those who figured opposing Dingy Harry wasn’t worthwhile…. PPPPFFFHHHHTTTT!!!!!! I’m telling you, people…the Democrats individually fall when challenged. Which is why I suggested at Pajamas Media we should take the gloves off. 
- Has Harry Met His Gitmo? I wonder, though, if the business with Dingy Harry coming out against funding the closing of Gitmo, and the noises he’s now making about being fiscally responsible, aren’t a reaction to the latest polling data on his re-election chances? Looks to me like Harry knows there’s not enough leftist whack-jobs in his state to send him back, and is starting to sound almost human, again. Of course the leftist press is busy now trying to tear him down. I suspect that’s part of it, but not all. I suspect the rest of it is Obama looking for cover. It’s as I suggested last January… when faced with reality, we’re going to see Obama following Bush’s lead on terrorism. And as I say in an upcoming Pajamas Media column, they’re just now starting to feel the consequences of their bleeding anti-Bush rhetoric. My advice: Keep the popcorn to hand.
- Still floating, Ted? Someone asked me the other day if Ted Kennedy was still operational. Apparently, the answer is yes . For now.