Daily Archives: June 9, 2009

TARP Funds Returned, Spending Reined In

White House Blog– Today the President spoke in the East Room of the White House, bearing good news for the taxpayer. The President’s intention was to discuss all of the progress already underway on the fiscal responsibility front, from ending the kind of wasteful no-bid contracting we have all come to know, to cutting unnecessary programs, to eliminating subsidies lavished on health insurance companies through Medicare.

At the top of the list was codifying the PAYGO principle, stating that government cannot spend an additional dollar without saving it somewhere else, into law. As the President often notes — and noted again today — it is a principle that families are forced to live by and one that helped balance the government’s books for years before it was abandoned.
But as it happened, there was even more good news before he discussed those issues:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you all for joining us here in the White House. Before I begin, I want to comment briefly on the announcement by the Treasury Department with regard to the financial stability plan.

As you know, through this plan and its predecessor, taxpayer dollars were used to stabilize the financial system at a time of extraordinary stress. And these funds were also meant to be an investment — and they were meant to be temporary. And that’s why this morning’s announcement is important.

Several financial institutions are set to pay back $68 billion to taxpayers. And while we know that we will not escape the worst financial crisis in decades without some losses to taxpayers, it’s worth noting that in the first round of repayments from these companies the government has actually turned a profit.

This is not a sign that our troubles are over — far from it. The financial crisis this administration inherited is still creating painful challenges for businesses and families alike. And I think everybody sees it in their own individual districts. But it is a positive sign. We’re seeing an initial return on a few of these investments. We’re restoring funds to the Treasury where they’ll be available to safeguard against continuing risks to financial stability. And as this money is returned, we’ll see our national debt lessened by $68 billion — billions of dollars that this generation will not have to borrow and future generations will not have to repay.

I’ve said repeatedly that I have no interest in managing the banking system — or, for that matter, running auto companies or other private institutions. So today’s announcement is welcome news to me. But I also want to say the return of these funds does not provide forgiveness for past excesses or permission for future misdeeds. It’s critical that as our country emerges from this period of crisis, that we learn its lessons; that those who seek reward do not take reckless risk; that short-term gains are not pursued without regard for long-term consequences.

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Filed under Blue Dogs, PAYGO, President Obama, Rep. Herseth Sandlin, TARP

Olbermann: The Fight For Health Care Reform

Former Vermont Governor and DNC Chairman, Dr. Howard Dean discusses the need for health care reform with Keith Olbermann.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

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Filed under Countdown with Keith Olberman, GOP opposition, health care reform, Howard Dean, President Obama, Twitter, U.S. Sen. Charles Grasserly, YouTube

Gerry and His Buddies Just Don’t Get It, Once Again a Big "No" To Finance Committee

Last week at the monthly Township committee workshop meeting, Gerry Scharfenberger and the GOP majority expressed once again how the Township does not need to set up a “Finance Committee” to oversee the budget process. They went as far as having Township Attorney #2, Brian Nelson, “research” the structure of the township’s governing body in order to justify the rejection of the Finance Committee.

Nelson said that he spent some time looking through the governance by-laws of the Township and came to the conclusion that a Finance Committee would be against the Township’s charter because it would take powers away from the Administrator and Township Committee.

That is total BS if you ask me.

Gerry and his GOP buddies feel that everything is great with the way the township puts together the budget. He works very hard at it and would not want to give up any control over the process, it is very effective, He says. After all Middletown does have a Double AA bond rating and gets kudos from the League of Municipalities for how the budget is constructed, so why change? Simple, it is broken.

Finance Committee would be the watchful eye over the budget to ensure that we aren’t “blindsided” by budget shortfall as we were this year.
Here is Gerry’s definition of effective management…

A 25% increase in taxes for the last four years

A 9.2% (possibly higher) tax increase for this year’s budget

Asking permission from the State to go $2 million dollars over the $4% cap budget cap

2 Township Attorney’s salary’s

Deferring this year’s Pension payments for 15 years

Building a budget when you have “no short term and long term projections that took into account this economy.”

The way that Gerry and the boys (sorry Pam) put together a budget is not very efficient or effective and it needs to change. The proposed Finance Committee would look at the budget and give recommendations throughout the year not just during budget time. The Committee would act as an advisory board to the township and would be an effective tool to ferret out wasteful spending in order to save the tax payers money.

The audio clip below is from the June 1st workshop meeting it is Gerry Scharfenberger’s reasoning behind not supporting a Finance Committee

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Filed under Brian Nelson, Finance Committee, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown GOP