In a move that hastens a larger showdown, a Dane County judge has struck down Gov. Scott Walker's legislation repealing most collective bargaining for public employees.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:1993:]]By Daniel Amerman
On the surface, the recent and well-publicized protests in the state of Wisconsin have been a no-holds barred struggle between public worker unions and a conservative governor, in a battle that has galvanized both the left and the right across the nation. There is truth to that viewpoint, but as is often the case, the much hyped political struggle between partisans of both sides is also a distraction that serves to mask a much more powerful and even more significant threat to the entire population, both left and right.
What we are seeing in Wisconsin and in other state budgets across the nation is not really about the states so much as it is a federal unraveling, as the government toys with allowing artificial employment levels to decline. As described in detail in previous articles, the US economy is in far worse shape then presented by the government and mainstream media. The private US economy has been in depression since late 2008, and as discussed herein, this is made indisputable by the "truth test" of actual state tax revenues that are not easily subject to federal statistical manipulation.
By Fred Sheehan
Meredith Whitney has kicked up a storm with her 600-page, municipal-bond report. She was one of the first analysts on Wall Street who warned the banks were going to topple well before they toppled. (Standard & Poor's downgraded Bear Stearns three notches - to BBB - on March 14, 2008, two days before J.P. Morgan acquired Bear's carcass.) Whitney told 60 Minutes on December 19, 2010: "You could see...50 to 100 sizable [municipal] defaults.... This will amount to hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of defaults." The municipal bond CABAL (issuers, fund managers, analysts, the municipalities) denounced Whitney and her predictions.
The daunting tower of national, state and local debt in the United States will reach a level this year unmatched just after World War II and already exceeds the size of the entire economy, according to government estimates.
If you have every used a public restroom, you notice that the government (no matter if it is local or federal) does a lousy job maintaining businesses and property. Despite what we reported earlier about city waste, it looks like cities are finally being forced to sell good producing assets and getting out of business all together.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that faced with enourmous gaps in municipal budgets, cities are selling airports, parks, zoos and more.