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How states with pro-public employee union policies suffer

In contrasting Texas’s explosive population increase in Texas with the lackluster growth in California, Michael Barone offers some statistics on how how each states’ public policy impact their economic growth:

Public policy plays an important role here — one that’s especially relevant as state governments seek to cut spending and reduce the power of the public employee unions that seek to raise spending and prevent accountability.

The lesson is that high taxes and strong public employee unions tend to stifle growth and produce a two-tier society like coastal California’s.

The eight states with no state income tax grew 18 percent in the last decade. The other states (including the District of Columbia) grew just 8 percent.

The 22 states with right-to-work laws grew 15 percent in the last decade. The other states grew just 6 percent.

The 16 states where collective bargaining with public employees is not required grew 15 percent in the last decade. The other states grew 7 percent.

Sometimes, I think that Democratic politicians and their allies don’t see the link between the policies they advocate and the deficits their states are experiencing, not to mention between said big-government policies and the economic health of their various jurisdictions.

Libya operation could use George W. Bush’s coalition-building skills

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:01 pm - March 27, 2011.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,Leadership,War On Terror

Isn’t this,” Jennifer Rubin asks, “proof that George W. Bush’s rap as a ‘unilateralist’ is bunk?

President Barack Obama has touted his emphasis on multilateralism in the U.S. military intervention in Libya, but, for political, operational, and legal reasons, Obama’s “coalition of the willing” is smaller than any major multilateral operation since the end of the Cold War. The Cable compiled a chart listing all the countries that contributed at least some military assets to the five major military operations in which the United States participated in a coalition during the last 20 years: the 1991 Gulf War (32 countries participating), the 1995 Bosnia mission (24 countries), the 1999 Kosovo mission (19 countries), the 2002 invasion of Afghanistan (48 countries), and the 2003 invasion of Iraq (40 countries), at the height of the size of each coalition. As of today, only 15 countries, including the United States, have committed to providing a military contribution to the Libya war.

. . . .

Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that the administration’s effort to build the coalition was hampered by its stated desire to hand off the leadership of the Libya intervention to NATO.  

“[I]f you [focus on the handoff], you don’t deserve a lot of credit for leadership,” he said. “Obama in his deference to [getting out of the lead] has not only wanted other countries to do as much as they could, he has essentially forgone his responsibility to build the coalition.”

Is that scholar from a left-of-center think tank thus saying that we’d be better off with the type of leadership George W. Bush provided?

So much for transparency

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:42 pm - March 27, 2011.
Filed under: Biden Watch,Democrats & Double Standards

Can you imagine how much media this would have gotten had the most pro-gay Vice President in U.S. history done this: Vice President’s staff lock journalist in a closet for hours during a fundraiser to stop him talking to guests:

The White House website proudly says ‘President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history.’

But try telling Vice President Joe Biden’s staff that, after they held a local reporter in a closet for hours after he was invited to cover a Florida political fundraiser because they did not want him talking with the guests.

As the unaware $500-a-head invitees dined on caprese crostini with oven-dried mozzarella and basil, rosemary flatbread with grapes honey and gorgonzola cheese, grilled chicken Caesar and garden vegetable wraps, veteran reporter Scott Powers was locked away.

Doug Powers reminds us that it “wasn’t even two weeks ago that White House spokesman Jay Carney said journalists should be protected and allowed to do their work.”