September 6, 2009

Budget Cuts

I'm really not fond of the Connecticut Post. Now, I will admit that I haven't read a particularly large amount of it. However, I know that the Republican grandfather I don't like swears by it, and he and my grandmother keep dropping by and 'accidentally' leaving a copy on our kitchen counter. I think they're hoping that I'll read it and become hopelessly brainwashed. Up until now, I'd mostly managed to avoid reading said newspaper. However, my American Government teacher, Mrs. Hirten, who talks a lot like Sarah Palin but with more 'likes' and a greater knowledge of U.S. policies and laws, assigned that we read this article and write a page-long, four paragraph summary of it for class on Tuesday.

I did not like this article. I did not like this article for multiple reasons, but mostly because I think it's very impartial journalism. It includes bushels of quotes by republicans insulting the dems, accusing them of being unwilling to accept reality and of being "unable to resist the temptation of pork-barrel spending." They are even "insult[ing]" the economic crisis and grasping the state legislature in "a stranglehold." They then make a brief mention that the democrats are trying to save non-profit funding and health and humans services programs and other lovely things. That doesn't sound like strangling to me- it sounds more like trying to help our state do something for its residents. After all, like we learned in gov last week, Americans are unique in that we want to know what our government can do for us, rather than just letting it do whatever. I am going to restrain myself from ranting about how untrue this is.

This article is also prone to statistical warping and scare tactics. Apparently, there is "a new tax rate for the state's wealthiest that's 33 percent higher than the current 5 percent." Oh my gawsh, 33 percent! That's a third! That's a lot! I just can't afford that, wealthy as I am! Well, if you actually look at those numbers, the rate is going from 5% to 6.6%, which is hardly a huge leap. Aside from that, they don't mention what this is 5% of- income? property taxes? It's very unclear. Also, everyone keeps going on about how we're raising the budget by $900 million. Well, according to Wikipedia, the U.S. has a 4.20 annual inflation rate. The total budget, minus that 900 million, is 36.7 billion. That's 36700000000. Now, lets multiply that by .042, giving us about 1.5 billion. 900 million is less that 1.5 billion. Therefor, our budget is increasing by less than the inflation rate, and is therefore in effect decreasing! So why can't everyone be happy that we're cutting anything and stop yelling at each other about it!

Also, why on earth would the state senate start a 2.5 hour meeting at midnight? I mean, seriously, a lot of those state senators are old. It would be stressful to their delicate sensibilities to pull all-nighters.

Well, I feel a bit better after that rant. Maybe I'll actually be able to write an impartial summary. If the article in question has a conservative bias, is my summary impartial if it is conservative? or is it impartial if it is moderate? What a fascinating consideration.

Today, the New York Times had this little snippet in the back of it's Week in Review. I think I'm quite capable of forming an opinion. I may have become a socialist for U.S. honors, but there is no way in hell I'll become a Republican for American Government. It just ain't happenin.


Tea said...

interestingly, the following quote was removed from the photocopy made by said teacher (it occurs at the end of the article)

Stamford Mayor Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat who is exploring a possible run for governor next year, issued a statement blasting Rell.
"I am stunned," he said. "By allowing this budget to become law without her signature, the governor is essentially saying she cannot make a decision on how this state should be run for the next two years. We need new leadership in this state, and we need it yesterday."