Monday, March 10, 2008


CHASING OUR TAILS: Doug at Poinography! writes today on Richard Borroca’s Sunday column and mentions this week’s mid-legislative-session confab of the Council on Revenues which has to be the most ill-conceived if not practical absurdity in governance.

Not only do you usually find three opinions when you ask two economists but individually their guesses tend to be less accurate than horseshoes or hand-grenades. They give new meaning to what they say about lies, damnable lies and statistics.

That may explain why they are never right- or even close- when they predict what the eventual State income numbers are going to be. If they do come close you can chalk it up to the concept that even a broken clock is right twice a day. No one really knows what they base their numbers on- if they get caught in traffic on the way to the meeting, kids go without health care next year.

We’d probably have more confidence if we saw them bring a Ouija Board into the meeting room.

And then in implementing the originally silly concept of not spending more than you will have in the distant future- a near impossibility for a week or a month made more absurd with the two-year budgeting process of the legislature- they wait until halfway through the session to meet and change the numbers all over again. All the legislative work of putting together a budget based on the last bogus prediction is then thrown in the trash and everyone scrambles to readjust the numbers to the soothsayers latest prognostications.

Doug says it’s wonderful that the budget work-sheets are on-line these days instead of hidden from even other legislators, as was the practice years ago. But what use is today’s budget to anyone but paper-recyclers?

Beware the Ides of March indeed.


Doug said...

Mahalo for the link, but I think in the last paragraph you meant to say "Ian Lind." He wrote about the budget worksheets today, not me...

Andy Parx said...

Oops- the ghost of Evelyn Woods rides again