This week closes with two important power-moves revolving around the cold hard cash. California, who doesn’t have any, finally agrees with itself on how to spend it and the U.S., who doesn’t really have any either, decides to give $200 million to the Palestinian Authority.
Let’s start there.
Apparently the Palestinian Authority has a budget crisis so the U.S. is planning to transfer $200 million there. A formal announcement from Hillary Clinton is expected before the end of the day. The administration is framing this as part of a peace-talk preparation, that they are trying to smooth the groundwork so that Israeli-Palestinian peace-talks can resume.
Sounds more like the U.S. trying to get Palestinian Authority confidence and dependence. It’s a lot harder to say no to someone about something when you owe them money, right? This past March Clinton pledged $900 million during a conference in Egypt, so we may just see plenty more before too long.
It’s interesting politics- if we can get the Palestinian Authority to owe us money, then Israel needs us for guns and the P.A. for cash- now that’s control. Whether we have that much control, well, of course I don’t know, but the machinations of power are strong in this one, young Jedi.
And then there is California. I see this headline screaming at me everyday from the bus stops: Budget Deficit Grows, Talks Stalled or something like that. A few weeks ago the state started paying people with I.O.U.’s and their (our) credit rating got switched to a few notches above junk status- so we’ve got that going for us.
Well, this morning the state senate approved a set of bills that will balance the state budget, closing the imposing $26.3 Billion deficit. The state Assembly still needs to sign off, as does Arnold, but for something that has been stalled in a virtual staring and pissing match for weeks, this is progress worth celebrating. And it gives some perspective on the money issues- The Palestinian Authority is getting a $200 million loan, which I assume is at least a meaningful sum. ONE STATE in the U.S. is down over $25 BILLION for ONE YEAR.
California is not in good shape- 11% unemployment, up 4% from last year at this time. This new budget balancing set of bills cuts funding to programs in education and public programs, big cuts, probably when those services are about to be needed the most.
Maybe the Palestinian Authority should consider lending half of that money to California at interest. You loan it to create it- maybe California should do the same- loan money to the folks they aren’t paying and ask for it back at interest. Time to call Silicon Valley- there’s a business plan in there somewhere.
The week ends off with politics in its truest, boldest and most base form: Cash.