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Old 11-30-2020, 07:59 PM
 
134 posts, read 36,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
It probably doesn't make Mayor Kenney any less of an idiot, but many state and local governments now find themselves staring down fiscal holes thanks to COVID.

One of the things that has held up a second round of coronavirus relief is the Democrats' insistence that state and local governments get some relief too; somehow, the Republicans don't consider this of any great concern.
Even New York City, widely considered the richest city on earth, is instantly bankrupt when there is a hiccup in the economy. What have these politicians been doing with the tax dollars? Seems to me they have been running up a deficit over and over and over again.
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
8,247 posts, read 4,026,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovephilly79 View Post
Even New York City, widely considered the richest city on earth, is instantly bankrupt when there is a hiccup in the economy. What have these politicians been doing with the tax dollars? Seems to me they have been running up a deficit over and over and over again.
In Philadelphia's case, the city either had balanced budgets or ran modest surpluses over most of Nutter's entire eight years as mayor (Year Five coincided with the onset of the Great Recession, and he had to reverse the incremental tax cuts in order to plug the hole), but it didn't build up much of a rainy day fund.

As we should all know now, the COVID shutdowns weren't "a hiccup" in the economy. Kevin Gillen of Dresel's Lindy Center for Urban Innovation described it better when he said that the shutdown "put the economy in a coma."

Nutter himself would have been hard-pressed to make lemonade with a lemon that big.
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:28 AM
 
134 posts, read 36,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
In Philadelphia's case, the city either had balanced budgets or ran modest surpluses over most of Nutter's entire eight years as mayor (Year Five coincided with the onset of the Great Recession, and he had to reverse the incremental tax cuts in order to plug the hole), but it didn't build up much of a rainy day fund.

As we should all know now, the COVID shutdowns weren't "a hiccup" in the economy. Kevin Gillen of Dresel's Lindy Center for Urban Innovation described it better when he said that the shutdown "put the economy in a coma."

Nutter himself would have been hard-pressed to make lemonade with a lemon that big.
While no rainy day funds could have fully cushioned a municipality from this "coma", it doesn't mean that these city politicians (NYC included) haven't done a horrendous job at managing financials and ensuring that they were prepared for any number of asset bubbles (which have been looming regardless of COVID). It seems that our boom and bust cycles constantly fool people into thinking that everything will be wonderful forever, ever single time. It's a telling sign of our "culture"; living in credit and debt, at the edge and never prepared for even a short disruption of good times, which will then cause the water to pour over the walls. I wish Nutter could be our mayor again.

Aren't public pensions really the big issue in regard to city finances (all of these cities, not just Philly)?
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:36 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by ilovephilly79 View Post
I wish Nutter could be our mayor again.
Second this and with police commissioner Ramsey and a new DA.
With or without Covid, the city would be much better off with a leader that has a sense of vision and an experienced police commissioner.

Not to completely dismiss Kenney, he is an intelligent guy, but no b***s and either takes a backseat to issues or gives into city council and the ridiculous moments of "justice" on social media.

Coming out of Covid, the city needs a leader with a vision to handle the many problems (new and old) that will be front and center.
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:53 PM
 
298 posts, read 174,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovephilly79 View Post
Even New York City, widely considered the richest city on earth, is instantly bankrupt when there is a hiccup in the economy. What have these politicians been doing with the tax dollars? Seems to me they have been running up a deficit over and over and over again.
There's no doubt that Philadelphia government is often, at best, wildly corrupt and incompetent. I don't anyone would argue that.

But to your question here, this isn't a problem unique to Philadelphia. Every municipality has struggled when coming face to face with this. Because the reality is, it isn't a city or even a state issue. It's a U.S. issue. One thing the pandemic has revealed is that our economic system is rotten to the core. When you have a system that can't sustain even a short shutdown without everything collapsing, then you have a serious problem. It's a system built almost entirely on runaway consumption, and one that relies heavily on low-paid workers who have no backup when things go awry.

So yeah, I echo your sentiment. I wish Nutter was still mayor, too. But as MSE pointed out, even if he were here, COVID-19 is a situation far behind his (or any mayor's or governor's) purview.
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovephilly79 View Post

Aren't public pensions really the big issue in regard to city finances (all of these cities, not just Philly)?
Absolutely!

Just about every big-city municipal-employee pension fund in the country is seriously underfunded. The elected officials, even the good ones, get no benefit from socking away huge chunks of incoming current revenue to meet future pension obligations.
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Absolutely!

Just about every big-city municipal-employee pension fund in the country is seriously underfunded. The elected officials, even the good ones, get no benefit from socking away huge chunks of incoming current revenue to meet future pension obligations.
These need to be outlawed across the board. And there needs to be a settlement for the existing obligations. Not at the municipality or state level, but all levels of government. Taxpayers absolutely cannot be responsible for paying huge unknown sums of money to people in the public sector. The private sector does not offer these anymore for a reason. There's no way to know how long somebody's going to live and with healthcare costs being exorbitantly expensive, it is unreasonable to expect taxpayers to pay. This will be something that has to be dealt with across the board. And it will hurt people who have been promised something that should never have been promised to them in the first place. 401ks and Medicare are sufficient for those in the public sector if that is all that is available for those in the private sector.
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia Pa
921 posts, read 574,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovephilly79 View Post
These need to be outlawed across the board. And there needs to be a settlement for the existing obligations. Not at the municipality or state level, but all levels of government. Taxpayers absolutely cannot be responsible for paying huge unknown sums of money to people in the public sector. The private sector does not offer these anymore for a reason. There's no way to know how long somebody's going to live and with healthcare costs being exorbitantly expensive, it is unreasonable to expect taxpayers to pay. This will be something that has to be dealt with across the board. And it will hurt people who have been promised something that should never have been promised to them in the first place. 401ks and Medicare are sufficient for those in the public sector if that is all that is available for those in the private sector.
Right, but you're assuming elected officials are working for the good of the people, society and the country, when in fact most are working for the good of their benefactors, friends, and family, and most important, themselves and their own personal agendas and beliefs.

Campaign manger to elected official: "Look, we need to keep hiring more city maintenance workers, police and sanitation workers immediately to meet the demands of the city. As you know we can't pay them more than a fraction of what they could get in the private sector. Let's keep promising them early retirement and a sweet pension for life. It obviously isn't sustainable and will crumble to the ground at some point, but by then we'll be on a beach in Costa Rica and it will be the next guy's problem."

Sadly, many elected officials enthusiastically stamp that plan. I mean, who really wants to be the bearer of the news that taxes have to be raised substantially, that overtime for police is cut, that hard decisions must be made now for the good of the next 20 years? Whomever delivers that message will be in office exactly one term (if that) and despised for life by the very community he/she wished to help save.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:36 AM
 
134 posts, read 36,046 times
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Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
Right, but you're assuming elected officials are working for the good of the people, society and the country, when in fact most are working for the good of their benefactors, friends, and family, and most important, themselves and their own personal agendas and beliefs.

Campaign manger to elected official: "Look, we need to keep hiring more city maintenance workers, police and sanitation workers immediately to meet the demands of the city. As you know we can't pay them more than a fraction of what they could get in the private sector. Let's keep promising them early retirement and a sweet pension for life. It obviously isn't sustainable and will crumble to the ground at some point, but by then we'll be on a beach in Costa Rica and it will be the next guy's problem."

Sadly, many elected officials enthusiastically stamp that plan. I mean, who really wants to be the bearer of the news that taxes have to be raised substantially, that overtime for police is cut, that hard decisions must be made now for the good of the next 20 years? Whomever delivers that message will be in office exactly one term (if that) and despised for life by the very community he/she wished to help save.
I'm well aware. However, when bankruptcy, blame and everything else follows (eventually), something will need to be done and that is when change will be required. Believe me, I'm not assuming someone will right the ship proactively. As Fireshaker mentioned, this is a USA-wide issue and these parasites called politicians are in it for themselves.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia Pa
921 posts, read 574,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovephilly79 View Post
I'm well aware. However, when bankruptcy, blame and everything else follows (eventually), something will need to be done and that is when change will be required. Believe me, I'm not assuming someone will right the ship proactively. As Fireshaker mentioned, this is a USA-wide issue and these parasites called politicians are in it for themselves.
Well, regardless, we're both highlighting the issues. I don't think these really need pointing out to be honest. Rather, what we need are pragmatic solutions to the problems. Typical to our history, America will change course upon the eve of necessity, and most likely, not a moment before.
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