The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016


Sometimes the only thing you can do is shake your head in dismay. Supporters of the blue model—you know, the one adopted by almost all Democrats and expanded into a socialist "utopia" by Bernie Sanders and his supporters—refuse to examine the results of their governance. Luckily, someone else does it for them.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has just completed a ranking of states by fiscal condition. It should come as no surprise that "blue" states rank at the bottom of the list (i.e., their fiscal condition is poor) while Red states trend toward to top of the list.

But why? Could it be that high taxes, an overly big state government, profligate state spending, expanding entitlements at the state level, an overbearing regulatory environment, state employee pension obligations driven by politics, not fiscal reality, and incompetent executive and legislative leadership have an effect? Nah. That's not possible. After all, the blue model is the road to success and any results indicating otherwise are just part of a vast right-wing conspiracy.

In their conclusion, Mercatus writes:
Updating the fiscal condition of the states with another year of data shows that most states’ fiscal performance remains relatively constant, but the signs of fiscal stress persist. Underfunded pen­sions and healthcare benefits continue to put pressure on state finances. Even states that appear to be fis­cally robust—perhaps owing to large amounts of cash on hand or revenue streams from natu­ral resources—must take stock of their long-term fiscal health before making future public policy deci­sions. These fiscal pressures point to areas for policymakers to direct their efforts. They also highlight areas where improved financial reporting could give the public a clearer picture of states’ fiscal health.
If, in fact, leaders in blue states took the time to re-evaluate their approach to governance, these data might be useful. But instead, they follow the tried and true approach by every politician who has adopted the blue model—when the results indicate trouble, don't hit the brakes. Instead, mash the accelerator and hope that the wall looming in the distance is far enough away to avoid a collision. Wreckage follows.