tyro - (noun) 1. One lacking professional skill and ease in a particular pursuit. 2. One who is just starting to learn to do something.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
As a result of the multiple snow storms over the past month in the Colorado Front Range region, we have had to endure multiple stories about snow removal - lack of readiness for our cities and towns, lack of responsiveness which required residents to, *GASP*, dig themselves out, and lack of budget for anymore snow removal this winter.
Here's what the local story will be for the next few months: Potholes.
I hate potholes. They do a number on my Toyota Corolla. But you won't find me blaming anyone in the local government for the huge number of potholes on the road this spring.
If you have ever lived in Chicago or Minneapolis, you know there are 2 seasons in the year: Winter and Road Construction. It is cold and snowy all winter and the road crews spend the spring and the summer fixing the roads that the plows destroyed removing snow and ice. It can't be helped. It just is.
It's not the mayor's fault, although I'm sure that in a bid to boost his popularity, Hickenlooper will offer to pay for flattened tires as a result of the potholes. It's not the state or federal government's fault - although I am sure some Bush-haters will find a way to link it back to the President, probably through global warming.
It just is.
So this is a preemptive shush or zip it to all of those in our region with nothing better to do than write to the newspapers, or go on the news, or just generally complain about potholes.
Just be thankful that you are dodging potholes and not IEDs.
Perspective, people. Get some.
The CBO has it's latest budget projections available here. If you look Page 8, table 1-3, you see how the budget deficit/surplus might look in the coming years:
2006 = Deficit of $248 Billion
2007 = Deficit of $172 Billion
2008 = Deficit of $98 Billion
2009 = Deficit of $116 Billion
2010 = Deficit of $137 Billion
2011 = Deficit of $12 Billion
2012 = Surplus of $170 Billion
2013 = Surplus of $159 Billion
2014 = Surplus of $185 Billion
2015 = Surplus of $208 Billion
2016 = Surplus of $192 Billion
A couple of thoughts on this:
1. Since the Deficit in 2004 was $413 Billion and it is projected to be $172 Billion this year, it looks like President Bush will more than meet his goal of cutting the deficit in half. If you don't hear anything about this story, you will know he met his goal. Some more good news: the deficit is under 2% of the GDP. Keep that in mind when you hear stories of historically high deficits.
2. In 2008, there will still be a deficit, which will most likely become a theme in the Presidential elections. Assuming these projections stay close, there will be projected increases in the deficit in 2009 and 2010 which can work for or against the Republicans, depending on where the blame can go - the Democrat Congress or the President.
3. If a Democrat wins the White House in 2008 and these projections stay the same, going into the 2012 campaign, the incumbent can point to a projected surplus in coming years and say, "See what I did."
Of course, a Republican President can say the same thing, which is why it is so important to have the Presidency in 2008.