Dec 12, 2007

Top Five (Hidden Agendas)

Philip latest article is an ad hominem attack on five elected officials in Jefferson County:
It is year end and as we approach this year end and our annual lists of everything from the media to the Gadfly Award that we give, we are adding on a new one this year - the Liberal award.
This is a recurring theme - he labels anyone who disagrees with his ill-formed opinions as "Liberal." As I've pointed out before, everyone in the entire U.S. is a liberal from Philip's political perspective.

From my moderate viewpoint, neither conservatives nor liberals have a lock on the truth. While Philip labels Bill Clinton as a liberal, his administration actually reduced the size of the federal government, while building a budget surplus which he used to pay down the national debt. Klein labels George Bush as a true conservative, yet his administration has run the biggest deficit ever, a primary cause of the dollar's current weak position in the world. The U.S. economy, arguably the most important part of our infrastructure, is in such a predicament that the fed has again begun reducing the interest rate almost monthly.

Philip has no idea what a true fiscal conservative is. Consider what Klein wrote about County Auditor Patrick Swain:

Call him Judge Walkers pet, call him the money man, call him the manipulator, call him whatever you want, Patrick Swain has proven he can stand the test of Time. Now, a CPA is usually conservative, however, Patrick has swung all the way to the left. If they want it - he makes it happen and have given great advice on how to hide the money! And give a reason to have a $20 million dollar (yes it is $20 mill story next week the media missed it) fund balance. Get this....$20 million of your tax dollars waiting to be spent? Do you think Swain would suggest that you get your money back? Ha!
Let's first examine Philip's statements concerning the fund balance, or more properly, the unreserved fund balance. As I've pointed out repeatedly, Philip has no grasp of fundamental economics, so he's unable to comprehend basic fiscal management. Hence, Philip's confusion between a fund balance and an unreserved fund balance.

Unreserved fund balances are important in mitigating current and future risks, and to ensure stable tax rates. Fund balances are also critical in long-term financial planning. Furthermore, credit rating agencies carefully monitor levels of fund balances and unreserved fund balances in a government's general fund to evaluate that government's creditworthiness.

For local governments, the accepted figure for an unreserved fund balance is from five to 15 percent of regular general fund operating revenues, or no less than one to two months of regular general fund operating expenditures. Jefferson County's unreserved fund balance is certainly within this parameter, so Philip is arguing from a position of ignorance.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the Government Finance Officers Association website on recommended practices. In particular, read the documents concerning Budgeting and Fiscal Policy. Really, Philip, you need to "talk educated."

Specific to Patrick Swain, I know where he is every Sunday morning, but I wonder when Philip last attended a church for the purpose of worship? In reality, Swain is indeed a fiscal conservative, who consistently pointed out that the financial figures of former County Judge Carl Griffith's grandiose legacy, Ford Park, did not add up. For this, he's now vilified by Philip Klein.

On the other hand, Pimp PK wrote this about Judge Griffith:

Carl R. Griffith Jr. - Oh boy. Here is our man...The leader of all leaders (and we are serious about that). The guy has his ticket written and the media loves him.
Perhaps this is why Judge Griffith was the only elected official to appear on Philip Klein's short-lived radio show; but only after Judge Griffith became a lame duck. Philip steadfastly defends the man who conceived and executed the biggest boondoggle in the history of Jefferson County - isn't that typical of Philip?

Likewise, Philip's hidden agenda is readily apparent in this article. For instance, he writes of Judge Larry Thorne:

...but there is a silent movement afoot within the daddy community that Judge Thorne sides with the mommies way too much. And some of the programs that have gone his way that have been funded by foundations have failed with turnover in the staff.
Looking past Philip's obvious falsehoods and in the interest of full and impartial disclosure, has Philip ever had a personal or professional interest in a case heard by Judge Thorne? Many of us know the whole story, so perhaps Philip will enlighten his uninformed readers.

Considering Philip's bizarre logic, readers will find Philip's juvenile references to "mommies" and "daddies" quite revealing of his ability to maturely and rationally discuss the merits of an issue accurately.

On an unrelated note, I hope Judge Thorne is recuperating from his stomach bug - get well, soon! We'll revisit Philip's other comments at a later date.

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