The Corner

New Stossel Special on Sunday Night

On Sunday, June 12, at 8 p.m., Fox News Channel will air “The Money Hole,” a special hosted by John Stossel. It will be an old-style interview piece, quite different from his regular gig:

What should government do? What’s its role? What have other countries done? The Money Hole tackles that.

In 2003, an auditor cautioned Prichard, Alabama that the town would run out of money by 2009. Did politicians sell city assets and cut corners? Nope. Six years later, exactly as predicted, Prichard ran out of money and stopped sending checks to retired city workers-many of whom had contributed to their pensions for decades. I’ll confront that city’s lawyer.

And what does government spend our money on? Defense and entitltments. Medicare mostly. That’s what will bankrupt us. But we also spend on laundry folding robots, blowing up Mississippi beaver dams, cowboy poetry festivals, and blackberries for smokers. In my ritzy New York City neighborhood people, politicians give out free bike helmets. It’s as if the politicians get drunk on your money.

Is there another way? I talk to a governor who slashed government… Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico. Two years ago, Puerto Rico’s budget woes were worse than any US state and Puerto Rico almost filed for bankruptcy. But then Fortuño fired 17,000 government employees, cut the others’ pay, cut taxes, and privatized agencies. The result? Businesses are moving to Puerto Rico.

Even Canada – the country of government-run health care – has fixed its debt crisis. In 1995, Moody’s put the Canadian federal debt on a credit watch. And the Canadian dollar was called the “peso of the North” because it was worth 72 cents to the American dollar… but today their dollar is worth MORE than the American dollar, and their unemployment rate is lower than America’s. How did they keep their country from going off the cliff? Their liberal government slashed spending.

I will have a few soundbites talking about budget issues. More details here.

Here is the Onion video that inspired the title. I found it extremely funny.

 

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