NYTimes.com Article: A Prescription Plan Hailed as a Model Is a Budget Casualty

geege geege@barrera.org
Wed, 5 Mar 2003 22:56:07 -0800


> From: fork-admin@xent.com [mailto:fork-admin@xent.com] On Behalf Of
geege

> cato: offering a special brand of reason

No opinions were quoted from Cato, only publicly available data on what
was spent when.  So your opinion of Cato isn't on point.

GG: the "data" is inadequate to the task, which is the conclusion drawn from
it.

> that states should cut spending when the economy is tight (or they
should
> anticipate a tight economy and develop budgets accordingly) is not an
> insightful nor helpful observation.

Why, exactly, is it not insightful to note that vastly increasing
spending (like Oregon) is likely to get you in lots of trouble some day.
GG: because it's half-assed analysis?  the trouble starts at the federal
level?

States that didn't go as hog wild on spending as Oregon aren't in the
same fix.
GG: OH REALLY.

Things are tough in WA for the state, but no where near as tough as they
are in OR.  One of the reasons is that initiatives in WA placed the
state in a tight spending straightjacket for much of this period.

GG: specifically what initiatives?
what system is in place to evaluate success, long-term, wrt client
outcomes - you know, REAL unit costs (a la president bush: "the projected
deficit attributable to the tax cut is not accurate unless you consider the
growth the tax cuts will induce . . ."  apply his logic to real cost of
social services, where it actually makes sense.)

Don't you think the slower rate of spending growth might have something
to do with things?
GG: OF COURSE IT DOES.

> ... these are the same folks who shrug off a ballooning national
> deficit (mantra of explanation: 9/11, burst
> bubble, "slow" recovery, war imperative)

You have CATO confused with someone else.  Or perhaps you don't know
what Cato thinks on those things.
GG: The deficit isn't yet indefensible to cato.

> and who forget to factor in [the
> propensity of social problems to increase]

Why do social problems have a propensity to increase?
GG: under the referenced circumstances - read to the end of the sentence.

> creates [a growing need for
> social services],

GG: which you didn't include here.