Dog Days I: If Greece can, Illinois can; Taxpayer pension debt; NEA Drag Queens

A few news items of interest during these dog days of summer.

News from the other side of the pond is that the country of Greece is going to follow Ireland’s lead in attempting to right its economic course. One expert is quoted here as saying that “Ireland’s wage cuts are a blueprint for Greece and other European countries that lost competitiveness.”

A friend sent me a note in response to that article:

Even the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) are cutting government wages and benefits to balance the budget, but not Illinois. Instead we default on Medicaid and Nursing Home payments.

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If you think your local, state, and federal governments haven’t put you in debt enough through the sale of bonds and other borrowing to cover operating expenses, you’ll enjoy this from the National Center for Policy Analysis:

Each private sector worker in America owes state and local government pension funds at least $12,000 right now just to get them even.  That’s on top of all current taxes, debt, deficits and other obligations. And it doesn’t even include promised health care for retirees, which could easily more than double the cost, says the Franklin Center for Government and Public integrity.

So roads, school buildings, transfer payments and regular deficit spending isn’t everything. You owe other people’s pensions too. Click here to read the entire post. Read it and weep.

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A note from another friend:

I wonder what the NEA Drag Queen Caucus does.

Very good question. He’s referring to this:

Recognized NEA Caucuses

The following list is published as a service to NEA members. The information was obtained from caucus chairpersons. Publication of this information does not connote official recognition of caucuses by the NEA governing bodies.

It was on page 3 of this publication, but as you can see, there’s now a blank space. It evidently got a lot of attention and the contact person was getting tired of the emails.

Fear not, however, this Caucus is still listed for those suffering from gender identity issues: Gay & Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus.

Lest you think I’m kidding, Google it and you’ll discover I’m not. In fact, this page was easy to find:

NEA Drag Queen Caucus

Stephen Henry (TN)

The NEA-Drag Queen Caucus (NEA-DQ) is a national LGBT scholarship caucus fundraiser that will be in New Orleans this summer for the NEA-RA.

It’s for the kids.