Who did this?

Who did this?

What would one-party rule look like? If a single political party could run things for at least a generation, could we then look at the results after that time and determine how good or bad those policies were?

With respect to the Presidency of the United States, it’s hard to do that. The party in power changes so often. However, for many large cities, the party in power has been there for 50 years or more (with the occasional 1-term opposition party exception). It’s much easier to make a determination in these cases. And even with a state governor of the opposite party, mayors do have enough power to minimize the governor’s influence.

So who’s been in charge, and how has it worked out? Listen in, and leave your own feedback!

Mentioned links:

Moody’s downgrades Chicago debt to ‘junk’ with negative outlook

Following City, Chicago Public Schools Credit Rating Junked

Mayor of Chicago [Wikipedia]

List of mayors of Detroit [Wikipedia]

List of mayors of Baltimore [Wikipedia]

Los Angeles homelessness rises 12 percent amid slow economic recovery

Mayor of Los Angeles [Wikipedia]

Hogan funds pensions, but nothing more for schools

Baltimore Received $1.8 Billion from Obama’s Stimulus Law

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Show transcript

Chicago, Illinois; the safest city in the US because of its strict gun control laws. Heh, no, not really. It’s got some of the highest gun crime in the country in spite of, or perhaps because of, it’s strict gun control laws. Gun control is one of those things that liberals insist works in spite of the reality to the contrary.

Here’s another: in spite of Chicago being a liberal paradise – not having a single Republican governor for over 80 years since 1931 – somehow the city’s economy is crumbling. It’s Democrats who keep insisting that they, and not Republicans, know how to bring the poor out of their situation, and believe that if we only spend enough money on a problem, it’ll get solved by government. And yet Moody’s Investor Service, which rates, among other things, the municipal bonds of cities, has downgraded Chicago’s credit rating to junk level. It also said that the city’s future outlook is negative, which I guess means that someday the credit rating could drop to “extra junk”, “junkier”, or maybe “double secret junk”.

I’ve mentioned Detroit, Michigan in the past. They’ve had Democratic mayors since 1962; about 30 years less than Chicago, but still over half a century. And yet the economy and infrastructure have seen better days. The city of Baltimore, Maryland was in the headlines for riots over the death of a black youth in police custody, and the state of its economy came to the fore during that; an economy where poverty was still rampant. And its mayors? Only 1 Republican since 1947.

In all these cases, and many others, the promise of liberal policies has not lived anywhere close to expectations. It has been said (a lot) that one definition of ‘insanity’ is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Now, this might be a crazy idea, but what if cities like these started voting in Republicans for a change? If half a century of single (or nearly-single) party rule hasn’t helped, how about giving some new ideas a chance? This would mean giving them a shot for more than 1 or two terms, of course. Decades of mismanagement won’t be overturned overnight.

Will Republicans screw it up? Could be. Maybe. But how will you know until you give it a try? They might just start to turn things around. Or you could just keep doing the same thing you’ve done for two generations, and hope against hope for a different result.

President Obama recently announced that his Presidential Library will be built on the south side of the bankrupt city of Chicago. I can’t help but think that’s fitting.

The Obama administration has been touting any good news they can find about the economy, but in Los Angeles, California, things aren’t going well for the city’s poor.

Los Angeles County’s homeless population has grown by 12 percent during the past two years amid a sluggish economic recovery that has left the poorest residents of the second-largest U.S. metropolitan area falling farther behind, a study released on Monday found.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s report cited stagnant or falling wages among the lowest-income earners, a local jobless rate that remains above state and national averages, and a worsening lack of affordable housing.

I note this for two reasons. Number one, if the President of the United States was a Republican, this would be national news. It’s always amazing how homelessness supposedly rears its ugly head during those administrations, but wire reports like this Reuters one get ignored during Democratic administrations.

And number two, Los Angeles has had only1 Republican mayor since 1961. Just sayin’.

Are we spending enough on education? The money going toward it keeps getting higher and higher, but the test scores don’t get any better. The governor of Maryland recently decided not to take $67 million that state lawmakers set aside as an increase to education spending, and instead use it to shore up the state’s pension system. Public employee pensions – those hard-bargained union benefits – have been literally bankrupting cities across the country, and the governor is trying to keep the promise the state government made to state workers. But at the price of children’s education?

Well, consider this. Other state agencies are getting their budgets cut at a time when Maryland’s education spending, now at $7.5 billion, is a record amount for them. And here are some details from the governor:

Hogan suggested Baltimore mismanaged the resources it already had. He accused officials of “losing” $70 million over the course of a year and cited a Baltimore Sun investigation that showed schools paid out $42 million in generous leave policies. He also pointed out that many local governments spend roughly half their budgets on education, but the city spends less than 15 percent of its budget on schools.

“Baltimore City, unlike the rest of the state, is underfunding education,” Hogan said.

A governor calling for fiscal responsibility before throwing more money at a problem. Could it be that he’s…why yes, he’s a Republican.

But Democrats run the city, and in spite of getting $467 million from Obama’s stimulus package earmarked specifically for education, they’re still trying to convince you that Republicans hate children and don’t care about education because they won’t let the city just keep wasting what they have and getting more. Just a reminder; only 1 Republican mayor since 1947.

So am I just trying to point a finger of blame? Well, the problems are quite evident, and there’s been 1-party rule in these cities for at least a generation, so the way I see it, the finger points itself. All I’m saying is that if the same remedies are tried that have failed for so long, how can anyone with a new idea be considered “hateful”, especially if it hasn’t been tried?

Filed under: Economics & TaxesEducationPartisanship