Sedgwick County Commissioner Karl Peterjohn recently wrote about his first 100 days in office.
Here’s what he had to say:
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I have just completed my first 100 days as an elected official. In my first 100 days as a Sedgwick County commissioner representing almost 100,000 people I learned a number of things and I will try to mix some humorous observations with the huge and catastrophic challenges we face as a country and how this will impact our future. I will also point out how this is impacting us at our state level.
Washington is on a spending spree as we have now become “The Peoples Republic of the United States.” I never thought that I would live to see such a day. The era of big government has arrived empowered by the political steroids of Moveon, a credulous and sycophantic news media, and the powerful education/cultural establishment that excuses every teleprompter flub from Obama.
A significant chunk of this spending largess is now flowing to local units across the country. Washington is telling local units to jump on the fiscal accelerator and begin to spend, spend, spend. The return on this spending is likely to be as successful for us as it was for Japan a decade ago.
In my state of Kansas the legislature will begin meeting April 29 to find a way to fill a budget gap of approximately $328 million or about 5% of the state General Fund. State funds for local units: counties, cities, and even the usually politically sacrosanct government schools are facing reductions in state funds. State to local units: jump on the fiscal brakes.
It is not clear to this freshly minted county commissioner that the local units in Kansas as well as all of the other states where state spending is being reduced will have a political transmission, if you don’t mind this auto metaphor, will survive jumping on the fiscal brakes and accelerator simultaneously. This is budgetary schizophrenia.
We have not yet begun to see the impact of the Obamanation’s program. If you look at history, the closest example I have found is the accension of socialist Clement Atlee as Great Britain’s Prime Minister succeeding Winston Churchill in the summer of 1945. Atlee created the health rationing and socialized medical system that has proven Winston’s comment that socialism was, “…the equal sharing of misery.” This past prophesizes our future.
Atlee socialized all of the major industry sectors and made the U.K. the “sick man” of Europe for almost two generations until the arrival of Maggie Thatcher in the late 1970s. These included financial, energy, communications, transportation, and manufacturing government takeovers. Does this sound familiar to the edicts coming out of Washington as the government “czars” take over wide chunks of the nominally private sector. The president who bailouts can now give the boot to the newly renamed, “Government Motors” former CEO.
As a local official, we have been struggling with getting our flood control recertified. Formerly, this was conducted by the fed’s Corp of Engineers, but Washington has now given this to FEMA who did such a great job with Katrina a few years back. Ha ha. We now have two agencies looking at our important local flood control resource. None of the $788 billion is available for spending on our city-county floodway. Wichita and Sedgwick County will have to spending millions of our local tax funds to meet post-Katrina federal demands while areas where massive floods are occurring this year, will be re-certified after us.
Local tax revenues will not grow since Washington has clobbered anyone busing corporate jets, a major product in our community where Learjet, Cessna, and Hawker Beechcraft all produce a large chunk of these aircraft. Wichita still produces the most premier corporate jet that has not been criticized on capitol hill but is in fact envied by all the members of congress: Air Force One. Unemployment has rapidly grown as the political assault on the aircraft industry has led to massive aircraft layoffs this year. Government luxury aircraft are envied while private sector aviation is vilified.
This is only the beginning of the bad news. Obamanation’s advocates tout his $10 a week “tax cut,” that was part of his alleged “stimulus” package. However, this highly publicized “tax cut” is going to be more than offset by a number of massive tax hikes that are inevitable when you quadruple the already large federal deficit from $400 billion last year to over $1.6 trillion now. Here’s how:
The inflation tax is going to be huge. You cannot inflate the currency without degrading the purchasing value of the dollar. The fed can monetize an infinite amount of dollars without even turning on the printing presses in the age of digital cash. A $1 trillion cash creation has made the federal government the largest counterfeiter in U.S. history. Inflation will raise its ugly head and the dollar, which has lost over 95% of its value since the fed was created in W’s administration will once again shrink. This will get ugly quite quicky.
The fraud of “cap ‘n trade,” should be fully exposed as “tax ‘n raid,” on consumers wallets and purses. Utility costs will double and then double again with the carbon phobia facilitating the takeover of the economy in industrial sectors where other means, like TARP do not yet reach. The tax ‘n raiders on capitol hill have already spent this money and need a new honey pot. If congress does not pass this, the international community will be happy to impose a new charge as the price for not criticizing us continuously anymore.
Socialized medicine will require new taxes. Lots more taxes will be mandatory. The massive tax hike on cigarettes can barely start to pick up this tab. This will require more taxes: either income or payroll tax hikes or more likely both.
The damage being done domestically seems to diminish a bit when Obama goes abroad. It might cost millions to keep Air Force One flying every hour, but the fiscal damage he does in the air seems much lower than when he is at the White House. When Obama begins to bash America and suck up to Castro, Chavez, and the cream of all of the slime that rules abroad this is going to lead to problems that will plague America in ways that far exceed the most damaging flu pandemic this country has seen in the last century. I am referring to the 1918-19 flu pandemic that killed tens of millions of people. Time will tell how bad this new problem will be.
You will be poorer in the years to come if you are like most Americans. The economy is already deflating like overcooked Yorkshire pudding. The first 100 days are only the beginning of our “change we can believe in.” The recession will continue and this economist now expects our economic stagnation to become as long lived as the economy in this country suffered in the 1930s. There is a reasonable case to be made that it can and will be worse.
Oh yes, I promised some humor. I have to sign my name a large number of times as an elected official. The document I sign most often are the reductions in appraised value when property owners successfully appeal the valuations assigned by the county appraiser. As the former head of the Kansas Taxpayers Network until I took office, I now am an elected official making the property tax valuation reductions legal.
At the courthouse, my jokes are now about as funny as Jay Leno’s best.
The famous essayist, Albert Jay Nock said a long time that someone should write a good essay about what it is like to live in a Dark Age. This is my best effort.