Monday, April 23, 2012

Odds and Ends

I started following Chris Reed on Twitter and where ever he publishes articles, especially on his website. He has written a great piece for the always provocative
City Journal on the issues facing San Diego and California in the next election cycle. A few nuggets.

It [Prop B] would end defined-benefit pensions for all new city hires except for police officers, instead providing pensions similar to 401(k)s. It would prevent pay sweeteners from being added to base salary when calculating pensions, and it would require city workers to pay a bigger share of their pension costs.
. . .
He’s [DeMaio is] also a vigorous advocate of “managed competition,” in which public-employee groups bid against private providers on the provision of government services. San Diego’s version of managed competition—which DeMaio would like to expand upon—so far has driven down the cost of municipal fleet maintenance, street sweeping, and printing. “Managed comp” carries the promise of extending to government—at last—the productivity revolution that has transformed the private sector over the past 30 years.
He also points out how Democrats deal with the unions has led them down a path of corruption and cronyism. One more nugget.
DeMaio’s effort faces ferocious resistance. California is so beholden to union power that the head of the state Democratic Party actually endorsed a policy under which students suffering epileptic seizures couldn’t receive life-saving medicine unless union nurses dispensed it. From the unions’ perspective, DeMaio must be stopped. DeMaio and supporters gathered the signatures to place Prop. B on the June city ballot only after overcoming opposition efforts to intimidate signature-gatherers, including radio commercials warning that signing petitions would lead to identity theft. DeMaio, who is gay, also has faced baiting over his sexual orientation (a rich irony in gay-friendly California).
Mitch Daniels was my 2011 choice to run for President. He had social conservative chops but had said it was more important to concentrate on the budget and reforming entitlement. But he has disappointed me with his support for Dick Lugar. I understand that Lugar helped Daniels get his start in politics, but we need to think about moving the Republican party in a new direction. Here is Daniels' endorsement, notice how he is short on specifics.

Put not your trust in politicians, I guess.

I saw Marco Rubio on the Hannity show today, defending Paul Ryan's Medicare plan in very sensible language. He clearly made the valid point that without reform for tomorrow's retirees, the program will go broke. It's the adult thing to do, reforming medicare, which is why the President isn't participating in the discussion. Rather he sends Geithner to the Hill with this message for Ryan. “We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is we don’t like yours (Ryan's budget proposal.)” Thanks. Sometimes I wonder if anyone is paying attention to shenanigans like this. Why would seniors think that Obama is going to do anything but raid medicare for Obamacare and let the whole program go hang in the long run?

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