Thursday, February 25, 2010

Whatever you do, don't mention the war. Greece said what?!

From the UK Telegraph:
Theodoros Pangalos, deputy prime minister, said Germany had no right to reproach Greece for anything after it devastated the country under the Nazi occupation, which left 300,000 dead. "They took away the gold that was in the Bank of Greece, and they never gave it back. They shouldn't complain so much about stealing and not being very specific about economic dealings," he told the BBC.

Friday, February 19, 2010

If the duck doesn't have money and doesn't pay its bills, it's Illinois

The Chicago Sun-Times has an article in the Friday (2/19/2010) paper detailing how the State of Illinois has failed to deliver $250 million owed to the RTA (Regional Transportation Authority).

[Executive Director] Schlickman said the state is regularly late with its payments to the RTA for state-funded programs, but now the RTA is running low on cash. The agency has just $90 million in cash on hand, which will help cover operating costs and debt payments through the end of May.

"After May, the debt trustees* will start intercepting our funds," Schlickman said. "Come this summer, we may be forced to ask the service boards to adjust their budgets accordingly."

Included in the print edition but not the online is an insert titled "Where's the money?" (page 18).
State is $735 million behind on payments to public universities ($475 million to University of Illinois alone).
Has paid one-third of $15 million due to library systems.
State owes $564 million to public schools.

It would be helpful if the press called it like it was - the state is bankrupt. Nomina Rutrum Rutrum

*I don't know what "debt trustees" are, but I find it intriguing.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Nominated for dumbest state: Arizona

Mesa AZ, anxious to keep the Chicago Cubs from fleeing to the Grapefruit League in Florida, promised them a new park.

A small hurdle: Arizona, and every municipality in it, is the fiscal equivalent of a SuperFund site.

So how to pay for this $83 million baseball park?

A surtax on Cactus League tickets, of course.

Wholly unexpected in Phoenix was the reaction of the other teams in the Cactus League - such as the Chicago White Sox. Their position, to borrow from Professor Quincy Wagstaff: whatever it is, I'm against it.