Rush's Morning Update: Downsizing
October 7, 2010
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A new survey by the Pew Center on the States and the Public Policy Institute of California oughtto scare liberals. Residents of the five most financially distressed states-- including California, New York, and Illinois-- "harbor a deep distrust of state government." They believe state governments are too big, waste too much money,and are too quick to pile up debt on future generations.
Most residents think states could save up to 20 percent of their costs by, first, cutting out wasteful spending, andsecond, by eliminating programs. More troublingfor liberalsis that new taxes are not seen as the solution, even though residents of these states worry about vital services being cut.
The Washington Post,which ran a long article about the survey,also published a companion piece about the cost of pensions for state workers, which this year is getting a lot of attention from voters. In California (where government pensions are $1 trillion in the hole),80 cents of every dollar collected by the state goes to pay state workers or provide them with benefits,and-- just like federal workers -- state and local workers are paid a bundle. They earn almost $40 an hour in wages and benefits about 45 percent more than private-sector workers. Voters want it to stop.
While liberals oughtto be scared,for conservatives, this is a reason for immense optimism. Smaller government isn't an abstract talking point anymore-- it is rapidly becoming a gateway to limited-government victory.