Road trip last weekend, Mrs. Hoarse and I drove to San Antonio where we saw Jokahontas win the steeplechase at the Tiger Relays. Saturday I dropped the Missus off in Brenham to do a funrun with her friends the library ladies, and I drove back to The Bakery to join the collective, conspiring to commit music in the ArtCar Parade next month. It was nice trip, much of it on two-lane blacktop through the hills of central Texas. Sunday I got home to read The Chronicle and of course, saw some news that got my goat..
-A story by the Bloomberg News’ David Lynch reports that “The jobs and housing boom promised by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan relies upon an economic theory that has been rejected by both the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and the International Monetary Fund.” Their new dogma is called the “theory of expansional fiscal contraction;” not everybody is buying it. “The idea that cutting government spending will so improve business and consumer confidence as to cause an immediate upswing in growth finds little support on Wall Street. Realistically, most of the evidence leans toward an adverse impact on growth in the near term, said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at J.P. Morgan Securities in New York” How convenient, this is just the latest version of ‘trickle-down economics’ with the added benefit of an immediate economic downturn that could hurt Obama’s re-election prospects. Country be damned; party first, is it?
-Carl Hulse of the New York Times reports that “the budget compromise late Friday that narrowly averted a government shutdown calls for increasing Pentagon spending while imposing significant cuts on a wide range of domestic federal programs.” Figures; for all the cries of “we’re broke! we’re broke!,” the gravy caissons are still the most sacred of cows.
-Shay Totten at The New England Center for Investigative Reporting writes that “Internal government watchdogs and outside experts alike say the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is too lenient on the industry it is charged with regulating, often making decisions based on the industry's profit margins rather than public safety. “The charges are similar to complaints leveled against the Mine Health Safety Administration and the Minerals Management Service over the past year, after high-profile tragedies -- the Upper Big Branch Mine collapse and the Deepwater Horizon spill -- in the industries they are responsible for regulating.”
This isn’t really news either, as demonstrated by drilling contractor Transocean recently trying to award bonuses to top executives for their “exemplary statistical safety record.” Transocean, of course was the company operating the Deepwater Horizon rig when it exploded, killing eleven people.