George Will sees more futility in Springfield than at Wrigley Field.  (Historical reference: the media's senior Tory admitted developing his contrarian streak by way of liking American Flyer trains and the Chicago Cubs as we've generally known them.)
At last count, $7.6 billion was owed to many of the state’s vendors. But the law in its majesty requires that the state’s legislators — those who write the laws — get paid under any circumstances. This removes perhaps the most important potential pressure for compromise. If schools were unable to open this month, parents with pitchforks would march on Springfield, so a quasi-budget was cobbled together to keep government semi-funded for six months.
The state's budget is currently about $6bn in deficit; that's about the magnitude of the float the vendors are carrying.  (And the palace-guard media trashes Donald J. Trump for stiffing creditors.)

That's another reason for state and national governments to modify their income accounts to include both annual statements of receipts and expenses, and a balance sheet.  Perhaps, then somebody would be willing to finance an equipment trust for new coaching stock for Metra.  That, however, requires the legislature and the governor to agree on a capital budget.
Nationally, neither party is eager to talk about the rickety structure of the entitlement state, although the Democratic platform promises to make matters worse. Although scheduled Social Security benefits vastly exceed the value of worker and employer contributions plus interest, the platform, a case study in reactionary liberalism, opposes even raising the retirement age.
Among other things. Makes one wonder what the term "conservative" even means.


Dave Tufte said...

When I was younger, I was much more prejudiced against accounting.

A benefit of teaching macro for 30 years is that I've come to understand that the absence of balance sheets in public finance is the source of many problems.

Stephen Karlson said...

Double-entry bookkeeping is one of those seemingly small institutional tweaks that made possible institutions for dividing risk, pricing risk, and otherwise engaging in commerce. And thus Rosenberg and Birdzell's How the West Grew Rich. Without those risk-dividing and sharing and transferring institutions, technology is just a rich man's toy.

As far as accounting, I always had trouble getting my brain around "goodwill."