Laurel Ruma, Gov 2.0 evangelist for O’Reilly Media and co-chair of Gov 2.0 Expo, gives a sneak preview of sessions coming up at Gov 2.0 Expo, including City of Los Angeles, the first cloud computing deployment in the local government level. For more information about Gov 2.0 Expo, visit http://www.gov2expo.com. […]
Supporting President Obama’s initiatives promoting transparency, participation and collaboration, Gov 2.0 Expo’s co-chair and Microsoft’s Mark Drapeau talks with Focus Washington TechView shares with us a sneak preview of the key angles of the Gov 2.0 Expo event. To learn more about what the event has planned around cloud computing, collaboration and social media in government, visit http://www.gov2expo.com/gov2expo2010. […]
The New York State Senate chief information officer Andrew Hoppin talks with Focus Washington TechView on what Gov 2.0 means to him. Hoppin walks us through the re-launch of his organization’s website using an open source software platform so citizens can participate in the policy making process without the need to travel to their offices. Hoppin will be speaking at the Gov 2.0 Expo, and you can learn more about this event at http://www.gov2expo.com/gov2expo2010. […]
Opening access to information could bring significant benefits to citizens services. Focus Washington TechView spoke with the city of San Francisco chief information officer Chris Vein who explains us how his city is developing innovations solutions to achieve open government-related applications, such as crime mapping. As an example, Vein walks us through the concept of how two developer mothers created a listing of services for activities with their children, such as best parks to go with their kids, best schools, best services for their kids, etc. It is a mommy application that shows that the opened information can make real changes in the lives of its citizens. And the city is now working with other cities to further this vision. For more information about the Gov 2.0 Expo, visit http://www.gov2expo.com/gov2expo2010. […]
The Sun Gazette (no, I won’t link to it) is a local “newspaper” delivered free of charge to where I live in the Washington, D.C. area. I put quotes around the word “newspaper” because it’s really a brochure for the local real estate industry that masquerades as a news source. Not only are most of its ads from real estate agents, it even has ads for homes for sale that are written by the paper’s staff and are published so that they look look like news stories.
Most important, the front-page lead stories are almost always cheerleading for local home sales, with headlines that, no matter what the statistics cited in the story say, somehow always give the impression that things are getting better and that this is a good time to buy buy buy.
The Sun Gazette usually just goes directly in the trash with all of the other garbage, but this week’s edition deserves to be mentioned…or, actually, ridiculed. Yes, it had the usual cheerleading front-page story about home sales being up, but the headline mentioned the federal home-buyer tax credit as the reason for the jump in sales. The fifth graph in the story (Note to the Gazette’s editor: If it’s in the headline it should also be in the lead) began by saying “Sales likely were strengthened…” by the tax credit. A follow-up story on page 5 had a headline that said home sales had been “buoyed” by the federal tax credit.
I mention all of this because in addition to being a cheerleader for the local housing industry, the Sun Gazette routinely rails against government involvement of any kind in anything, but especially in economic matters. It always finds a reason to complain about government deficits and debt and challenges local federal office holders who support policies that increase them. In this same edition, for example, the Sun Gazette includes an editorial that celebrates the election of what it calls a fiscally conservative local city council.
There’s no indication whatsoever that the newspaper even realizes how inconsistent it’s being. On the one hand its very close ties to the local real estate industry require that it celebrate a federal policy that increases the budget deficit. On the other hand, its standard editorial position is that the government should stay away and allow the economy to operate on its own. In this case it can’t do both but, in this case, when it was in the Sun Gazette’s direct personal interest, increasing the deficit was okay.
Excuse me while I head to the trash.
So says the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Here’s the whole story from yesterday’s USA Today (Hat Tip: Taegan Goddard at Political Wire). Putting aside the snarky, politically motivated quotes from people with an agenda in the story, here’s the data-driven money quote:
Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.