Stupidity isn’t a crime. But neither is it a particularly endearing trait.
Just look at recent voter moves.
In Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was re-elected. Despite being the nation’s second most powerful politician, with sizable Democratic majorities in Congress, Reid has presided over the worst recession in 80 years. They should expect their high unemployment rate to stay high.
California is a on a direct collision with an iceberg over a one-half TRILLION dollars thick. The Golden State’s state pension obligations are $535 billion, a huge factor contributing to the state’s bankruptcy.
Yet the people chose Jerry Brown, who was governor in 1974, to lead them to safer waters! Californians decided that the answer was a blast from the past . . . 40 years past, a career pol who has run for senator, president, mayor and state attorney general. How’s that for an innovative leader?
No Hollywood director could’ve scripted a better horror movie.
Common sense dictates that others would learn from such mistakes. Don’t count on it. Just look at Philadelphia.
Will its citizens heed the message that sending old guard politicians to clean up the very mess that THEY created won’t work?
Will they get hoodwinked by Mayor Michael Nutter, again, as he pontificates about his “legacy” during his upcoming re-election?
No to the first, yes to the second.
Just this week, Nutter articulated his vision — that handouts from the state, courtesy of his political pals, are the cornerstone of his administration, and the lifeblood for Philadelphia’s future.
That will be enough to get him re-elected, most likely with no opponent, despite it being a policy of failure.
Nutter’s push this week was for the re-election of Philadelphia state Rep. Dwight Evans as Appropriations chairman in the Democratic caucus.
Simple: “Any bill that has anything to do with money has to come through the appropriations committee, and that is where Evans . . . has made sure Philadelphia’s voice and concerns are being addressed,” he said.
Translation: Oh my God! The spigot is about to be turned off by the Republicans, and I might actually have to (gulp) govern!
What will I do without my bailouts and pet projects from Dwight, courtesy of the 11 million other Pennsylvanians who don’t live in Philadelphia?
Does this mean I will have to do what I promised? Trim the massive fat from city government, fund the pensions (even just a little), make the streets safer and not turn away from our deathtrap public schools?
The mayor should be concerned, because even if Evans wins, he will be only be minority chairman, since the GOP thundered its way to an astounding 10-seat majority in the statehouse — a 13-seat swing.
Nutter is at a loss as to “continue the growth and opportunity in Philadelphia” should Evans lose. What he doesn't understand, and never will, is that the fight is already over, the arena is clearing out, and the lights are flickering.
Growth? Opportunity? Granted, we’re heading into an election year, but isn’t that just a bit over the top?
There is ZERO opportunity to prosper because of the hostile environment that Nutter helped create as mayor.
As for growth, admittedly, Nutter has a point. Taxes have grown at an extraordinary rate, as the mayor has demanded and/or signed into law the following taxes: property (a 10 percent hike); city portion of state sales (100 percent increase); soda; trash; cigar, pipe, and chewing tobacco; and a levy on bloggers.
Why impose these in what is already the highest-taxed city in the country, especially if the mayor had been improving education, attracting businesses, and “maintaining city finances, getting people jobs and making Philadelphia safer”?
Answer: because he hasn’t accomplished any of those.
The city is insolvent. State and federal bailouts are over, the pension will be bankrupt shortly, the wage tax remains the nation’s second-highest, educational attainment is Third World, and Philadelphia has some of the highest murder, violence and poverty rates.
The mayor’s solution: the (possible) minority appropriations chairman will save the day. And if you believe that, you’re still waiting for "Titanic: The Sequel."
Nutter, begging for handouts, explained: “If you’re not on the table, you’re on the menu.”
For decades, Philadelphia’s mayors, including Nutter, have shown terrible table manners by pigging out at the public trough.
Finally, that slovenly feast is coming to an end. But if Philadelphia is to ever regain its glory, its citizens must first shed their defeatist attitude that an ingrained business as usual mayor can lead them there.
Anything less is just . . . stupidity.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com
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