Frank Herbert had Dune, while for Bob Herbert, duped seems to be more fitting. Check out Herbert’s cause du jour (guess what- the main problem is the Bush tax cut):
Felix Rohatyn, the civic-minded financier who helped guide New York City through the perilous waters of its 1970’s fiscal crisis, is going to Washington next week to talk to the nation’s mayors about possible solutions to the current fiscal crisis that is threatening to overwhelm budgets in states and cities across the country.
The crisis is enormous and growing. “I don’t think we even have a handle on how big the problem is because people have been pushing this under the rug,” said Mr. Rohatyn. “People have not been candid about how serious it is. And people aren’t being candid about how to deal with it.”
States from one coast to the other have begun the dreaded process of raising taxes, cutting services and laying off employees. Hardly any states have been spared. And when the states are in trouble, the whiplash effect on cities can be profound.
O.K. now. Who is right.? Herbert and Mr. Rohatyn? Or this story in USA Today?
State and local governments are spending more money and hiring more people than last year, even as governors and mayors warn of draconian cuts in public services because of the economic slump.
The National Governors Association says states face the “most dire fiscal situation since World War II.” But a USA TODAY analysis shows that most of the budget cuts being studied are not declines in spending from last year. Instead, they are reductions in spending increases that were approved when the U.S. economy was booming. (Related story: Costly programs stagger states)
For example, Minnesota legislators approved spending based on an expected 13.4% jump in tax revenue over the next two years. But tax collections are expected to rise 6.6%. The result: $4.6 billion must be cut. But those cuts would be from planned spending; actual spending is still expected to rise from present levels.
I am not going to bother telling you which one I am inclined to believe.