Monday’s Moments

Because of the big Blogger hiccup last week, I’ve a bit of a backlog of items I’d saved for posts. Today, I’ll cover a few of them while they’re still fresh.

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Budgets. It’s that time of year again. The Feddies just skipped the whole thing. The dems spoke meanly to Boehner and he rolled over and got the House to pass a Continuing Resolution until next Fall. In return he got a measly $352Million in cuts. Cuts? No, not really. It turned out to be a reduction in the amount of increase.

Missouri, fortunately, has a Constitutional requirement for a balanced budget. One line item cut was to MODOT, slashing their budget by half. That’s OK. MODOT has been spending like a, well, like a democrat for years. In addition to cutting the budget, the MODOT hierarchy needs to go as well.

Kansas passed one too. It wasn’t as good as Missouri’s. In fact, it had more spending and some of the freshman ‘Pub legislators voted against it because of the few, if any, cuts in the budget.

Rep. John Rubin, a Republican from Shawnee said he promised constituents to cut state spending last fall.

“I’m a fiscal conservative. I campaigned very hard to get Topeka to control the growth of state government and rein in irresponsible state spending we’ve been engaged in particularly over the last 8 years,” Rubin said. “I encourage the governor to liberally use his line item vetoes on many of the items in this budget.” — Kansas Watchdog.Org

It’s strange how governments, from the local level up to the Feds, are unable to curtail spending. Large businesses don’t have this problem. Business must control costs and revenue in order to stay in existence. How? They use a zero-based budget.
Noun

  1. (management) A budget developed disregarding the expenses or costs of the prior year, requiring explicit justification for all expenditures. — Wiki

What this means is that each budget item—including salaries and benefits, must be justified each year. The entire cost must be justified, not just the amount of increase. Costs must be balanced against income. Business can’t arbitrarily increase their income by fiat, i.e., taxes. Business must provide goods or services that people want and unlike government, business can’t force people to buy your product—except for Obamacare.

When I was employed by Sprint, my department went through a budget exercise every year. We proposed projects, detailed costs (and we were later held to that cost limit), and we had to include the amount of project revenue the project would bring to the company or how much revenue would be retained by the project or how much revenue would be lost if we didn’t do the project. Even infrastructure improvements had to be justified.

That is not how government is run. Justification, for the most part isn’t considered and when it is, much of the supporting data is subjective rather than objective.

I’ve had people tell me it was impossible for government to be held to a zero-based budget because “government projects run longer than a year.” Well, so do business projects.

Business, constantly monitors costs. When I was managing a project, I had a cost/expense review with higher management every week. Not only did I have to account for every penny that was spent, I had to project future costs on a monthly (and sometimes weekly) basis through the end of the project. Heaven help me if an expense was booked in the wrong month.

There is absolutely no reason why government cannot be held to the same standard. There are a number of reasons why government would fight such a move. Primarily, it would expose the internal activities of the bureaucracy and entrenched managers. They would lose their autonomy and suddenly be directly answerable to our elected officials and to voters.

It’s time for a change. It’s time for an accounting and methodology change in government. It’s workable and it will control costs and streamline government.

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Something wonderful happened last week. I doubt if you heard about from the MSM, FOX excepted. Some college students at LSU prevented a flag burning by some liberal radicals.

LSU protesters stop planned flag burning

Published: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 12:04 PM Updated: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 12:12 PM
A planned American flag burning at LSU ended before it started when about 1,000 LSU students and other protesters forced police to intervene.

LSU graduate student Benjamin Haas had originally planned to burn an American flag Wednesday to promote his First Amendment rights and to support an LSU student arrested last week for stealing and burning a flag.
When Haas finally arrived to a chaotic scene, he was surrounded by a large crowd yelling obscenities and chanting, “U-S-A” and “Go to hell hippie, go to hell.”
Water balloons and bottles were thrown at him and, before Haas could speak, horse-mounted police escorted him out for his own safety to a police car on Highland Road as the crowd followed and he was driven off.

Good on ya, LSU! There more at the website.

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Some of us remember the Sixties when war protesters chanted “What if the military had to rely on bake sales for money?” Well, it seems the UK just found out what happens and you need a vital military asset—you borrow from the US.

Buddy, can you spare a spy plane?

We’re forced to BORROW one from U.S.

COST-CUTTING Britain has been forced to go cap in hand to borrow a US spy plane to protect our ships in Libya.

Top Brass had to ask for help after last year’s controversial decision to axe Nimrods left the UK with NO airborne maritime surveillance capability.
A US Navy P-3 Orion is now keeping watch over HMS Liverpool, mine hunter HMS Brocklesby and nuclear sub HMS Triumph. It has a US crew and is making regular sweeps off Mad Dog Gaddafi’s coast. It will provide information on potential threats to the three vessels.
A source said: “It’s all deeply embarrassing, but we can’t have our guys with no protection so we have to rely on others.”
The new Nimrods were scrapped in the Strategic Defence and Security Review. Ministers claimed the decision would save roughly £2billion but military figures blasted the move.
Nimrod…scrapped.

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/3581998/UK-forced-to-borrow-spy-plane-from-US.html#ixzz1MWrmCr7B

The Brits had to barrow some P-3 Orions from the US Navy to watch over their ships.