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April 06, 2011

DOOM!...shaken, not stirred

The big news yesterday was the release of GOP Congressman Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" budget proposal. Ace Of Spades' very own Geoff posted his thoughts here; mine are pretty much the same. It's the best plan we are likely to see out of any politician, so I support it wholeheartedly. It's also been received favorably in most conservative quarters. I don't think it comes anywhere near to solving our basic fiscal and economic problems, but as Geoff said, it's a necessary but not sufficient step in that direction. (A link to Ryan's presser can be found here, and the PDF of the report itself can be found here.)

The United States Postal Service has been on life-support for as long as I can remember. If it were truly a for-profit business (as they like to pretend), they'd have gone out of business long since. However, since they are not really a for-profit business but a government-supported tax-dollar sink-hole (just like Fannie and Freddie), Uncle Sam will probably end up spending billions of dollars keeping them from collapsing.

Annals of the boned: Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension reforms amount to a mousefart in a hurricane. Which was inevitable, really -- Brown gave birth to the public-sector unions in California, and they look out for each other.

Speaking of ranking members of the Loyal Order of the Terminally Boned (LOTB) -- Illinois is working hard to beat Calli across the FAIL finish line.

CalPERS adopts the “George Costanza apology” to apologize for embezzlement and fraud: “Was that wrong? Were we not supposed to do that?”

Dingy Harry keeps getting poked in the eye by John Boehner. Perhaps he will write some federally-subsidized cowboy poetry about it.

This story conforms to my anecdotal experience as well: Indian and Chinese technical-college degrees are often not worth the paper they’re laser-printed on. (But to be fair, the same can be said of many American colleges.)

And finally, here's why austerity measures in the Emerald Isle may not work without getting rid of the Euro and going back to a sovereign currency: Ireland's economy has shurnk for the third straight year. The normal path here for most countries in this bind is to devalue the currency and/or default on the bond debt, but Ireland can't do either right now. I fully expect a default at some point, but I'm not sure how much good that will do unless they also cast off the Euro.

[UPDATE]: (Via Insty) A tale of two Americas: Public vs Private Employees.

[UPDATE 2]: On the Ryan plan, Mish Shedlock says, "No sir, I don't like it."


[UPDATE 4]: It's like getting punched in the face and kicked in the nuts.

"I was not born of an earthly feline, puny human. I was excreted from the depths of Hell itself! Now fetch me some Friskies and be quick about it." (h/t to maddogg for the picture)

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posted by Monty at 09:06 AM

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