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Saturday, November 28, 2009

We're in some real pretty (excrement) here, man!!!

It’s been a while since I bothered writing anything. It hasn’t been a case of writer’s block as much as it has been a matter of pure disgust.

I really didn’t see the need for me to weigh in on the daily Courthouse Blotters, the latest plea agreements, the latest rumors…the latest politicos to go down in flames before the investigating Feds.

At this point, it’s obvious that nobody ‘serves’ in this county. Damn near no one feels a calling to ‘serve’ the good people (dolts) of Luzerne County. None of the entitled upper class types are ‘fighting’ for us. Rather, they are lining their pockets in the most serendipitous of ways and laughing at us all the way to the nearest money launderer.

Meanwhile, the county is still deficit-spending. And we’ve got another near record budgetary shortfall that needs to be, ahem, half-heartedly addressed. Again.

And with that said, I was maddened and then some to read that one of our majority commissioners told an eager press that he trusted his hand-picked friends that have been dropping like DEET-encrusted flies in the face of the ever-widening corruption probe.

We entrusted him to manage this county. That is, to adeptly manage it. We trusted him to manage our money, to ensure a modicum of accountability and to stop the hemorrhaging of red ink. And now that it’s apparent that all of that was well beyond his limited management capabilities, he shrugs his massive shoulders and tells us he trusted his friends?

To quote a former president, “Trust, but verify.“ I say a high-profile resignation is long overdue.
If that’s not alarming enough, we’ve got a Fedrule Govmint that still refuses to recognize the fact that it’s broke and financially overextended. On the state level, fast-declining revenues have resulted in funding cuts across the board, funding cuts that will impact small municipalities far and wide. To quote a local official who spoke to me off the record, “It’s going to get worse. Much worse.”

And while our local budgets will likely face declining state and federal funding for the foreseeable future, while our county government flirts with financial insolvency, our county commissioners feign ignorance to the rampant corruption that festered on their watch.

Why haven’t I been writing?

Oh, I don’t know. The federal government is broke. The state government is broke. The county government is awash in tidal waves of red ink. You know, broke. Meanwhile, the fools in Washington D.C., putter along creating new entitlements that will result in further, still to be determined billions, perhaps trillions in deficit-spending. The solution in the state seems to be to throw a gambling table at every problem. And locally, our elected leaders are making with the ‘see no evil’ bit.

What’s not to like?

Everyone at every level is seemingly incompetent, and at each level of government, financial insolvency has basically been arrived at. What’s the difference between financial paralysis and financial insolvency? If there is a subtle difference, I fail to see it.

The prevailing attitude seems to be…we’re America, the economy is cyclical and we always bounce back. It’ll bounce back. It always bounces back.


Historical speaking, that mindset has always been proven correct. But when your solution to an economic depression is to print billions you don’t have and hand it all out to supporters of the party, and to create new entitlements the likes of which we‘ve never seen, I’m thinking the folks in Washington are to management what our suddenly befuddled county commissioner is.

And, for me, this is not a partisan thing, an ideological thing, if you will. It doesn’t matter which well-worn political stripes these people are wearing, Republican, Democrat, Independent or what have you. The fact is, I don’t believe that very many of them actually know what they’re going on and on about. And if you’re even close to sharing that opinion with me, you surely have reason for pause. You really should be concerned right now. Perhaps even frightened for our future.

And while I sit here and wonder where the unpaved financial trails will take us, all I keep reading is more and more partisan bluster. If we’d just put this party in charge, we’d all reach nirvana by tonight. If we’d just put that party in charge, life would be a continual orgy and the skies would rain beer. It’s all more of the same misguided swill: Party first, country second. Disingenuous, self-centered, self-important claptrap all.

To pull a quote from one of my favorite movies, Aliens, “We’re in some real pretty (excrement) here, man!!!” A quote that capably describes our current situation.

So, why haven’t I been writing much of late? Well, I find it difficult to do so when I have this annoyingly persistent feeling that all that needs to be said is that the end may finally be near.
But worry not. We’re America, the economy is cyclical and we always bounce back. It’ll bounce back. It always bounces back.


Depressed? Me? No, not at all.

A realist? Ding! We have a winner!

We’re in some real pretty (excrement) here, man!!!


P.S.--While our entire financial house of cards teeters on collapse, the City of Wilkes-Barre just finalized a budget that included no tax increases and no increases in fees, and with no cuts in services. Although, I’m told that parking permit fees may have to be increased a tad, in the grand scheme of things, that’s barely noteworthy.

So, while all of the supposed leaders at every level of government seem powerless to correctly manage our fast-disappearing money, we need look no further than City Hall for lessons in financial responsibility.

Who knew?

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