Friday, June 10, 2011

Quotes of the day

I assumed Bruins fans and Canucks fans would be bonded by their histories of heartbreak (a little like the Cardinals and Red Sox in 2004, actually). That hasn't happened. And it hasn't happened because the Canucks revealed themselves to be flopping wusses who (a) bite the fingers of opposing players, (b) use a 15th-string defenseman to knock the other team's best forward unconscious when he's not looking, then dedicate the next game to that defenseman as if nothing ever happened, and (c) don't back any of this crap up. If this were a movie, the Bruins would be Will Hunting and the Canucks would be the condescending ponytailed guy from Harvard who won't go outside.  For a city weaned on the Big Bad Bruins of the 1970s, Vancouver's flopping/biting routine went over about as well as a Roger Clemens statue.--Bill Simmons

You mean they were Russians? We thought they were Americans. Of course you can have them.--The Taliban

If election were held today, I think Obama would win the WH, we'd lose the Senate, and win back the House.--Howard Dean

I'd bet a lot of dough that Dean will be correct on at least one of those 3 predictions.--Cav

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.--Mark Twain

Illinois gained nationwide notoriety in January when Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a 67% hike in the personal income tax rate while lifting the corporate tax rate to 9.5%, the fourth highest in the nation. How is that working out? The good news is that corporate tax receipts in Springfield are up by about $300 million amid the economic recovery—though the state comptroller's office announced in April that the state still faces $8 billion in unpaid bills. The bad news is that, according to the state's Department of Commerce, Illinois has already shelled out some $230 million in corporate subsidies to keep more than two dozen companies from fleeing the state. And more are on the way.--WSJ Editorial Board

In our view, markets will find a way to load risk on to any government guarantor. Eventually, regulatory controls get gamed. The regulatory mechanism steers financial firms toward a common risk factor. When failure comes, it is catastrophic. ... I have been saying for quite some time that the goal of government should be to aim for a financial system that is easier to fix rather than one that is harder to break. I also believe that a large financial sector that provides a lot of "safe" assets (safe only because of a government guarantee) is not obviously better than a financial sector that is only as large as it can be using the tools of diversification and skill at managing risk.--Arnold Kling

The Liberal government under former prime minister Jean Chr├ętien and finance minister Paul Martin began a concerted effort to balance the budget in 1995. Between 1995 and 1998, the government cut spending by a whopping 14%. As the report’s authors note, “if the U.S. government were to cut real spending by 14% over the next three years, the budget in FY [fiscal year] 2013 would be US$473-billion (in 2010 dollars) less than the FY 2010 budget.” Most importantly, the Chr├ętien-era Liberals were able to balance the budget, “not with large tax increases, but with substantial cuts in government spending.” Federal spending as a percentage of GDP went from 18% in 1993 to 13% in 2009. And the Canadian economy prospered because of it. During this period, the unemployment rate fell from a high of 11.4% in 1993 to 6% in 2007, according to Statistics Canada. Moreover, as the government cut spending, more resources were freed up for the private sector. As a result, Canada experienced high growth rates of 4-5% between 1997 and 2000.--Jesse Kline
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