Thursday, July 17, 2008

That's why they call it the "Hub"

HUB = Heavy, Uncontrolled Borrowing.

Tekmage has a great post on the financial crisis. Seems they didn't exactly estimate what the Big Dig was going to cost. Oops.
The Big Dig latest score –
Original Quote - $3 Billion
Today’s Quote – $22 Billion

And we will be paying this off until 2038. . . .
The money's spent, on graft and corruption and sweetheart deals:
Massachusetts political hacks and their union stooges saw a chance to dive into a bucket full of money. They knew the numbers were lies. They knew the contract was a taxpayer ripoff. But because some cousin got a job leaning on a shovel, many Bostonians laughed up their sleeves and let it go. As long as we were shaking down Uncle Sugar for the money, who cares?

Oooops. Turns out we're paying 78% of the tab out of our own Bay State pockets. The state is so broke, we're borrowing money to cover paychecks for current workers. When you have to put payroll on the Visa card, you know you're in trouble.

Who will pay the price? Will anyone even be punished? Nobody but us taxpayers.
Bruce piles on, with a "ya think this is done?" moment:
Of course, what they forgot to mention is that this $22 billion figure is only valid until the next catastrophic failure.
As bad as this is - an uncontrollable political class drunk on money and power, and with as much self restraint and concern for the future as an 18 year old with a fake ID - just wait until the state and local public pensions come due:
Too, these articles rarely see fit to mention the other ways in which these wounds have been self-inflicted--the habit of making ever more lavish pension promises to the public sector unions, for example. Public pension funds are now officially a disaster. Politicians promised benefits without funding them. The befuddled fund managers seem to have mistaken beta for alpha, pouring their assets into riskier asset classes because they couldn't make up the deficit on a safe, modest appreciation every year. If these were private companies, most of those managers and their bosses would be under indictment. The problem is about to get worse, of course, because when do pension funds need the most topping up? During downturns, when asset values decline.
So let's run down the Massachusetts political checklist, shall we?
Project billions over budget again? Check.

State budget underestimated by hundreds of millions of dollars? Check.

Police and Attorney General abusing the citizenry? Check.

Y'all going to vote for us again? Check.
Any you guys think you're smarter than folks down south? Boy, howdy.

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