Money and Power

Every so often, a theme emerges in an issue, and that's exactly what has happened this week.

All of this week's Currents stories, along with the cover story, have to do with money. A sub-theme is how utterly dreadful our governments are at dealing with money.

We start with the most tangentially related piece: Tim Vanderpool's coverage of the arrests of two No More Deaths volunteers for smuggling illegal immigrants. But make no doubt that the themes are in play: What is our government doing spending money to arrest, detain and prosecute these two kids? Is this the best way for the Border Patrol to be spending its time and resources?

Then we have a couple of stories about the government spending money, some would say, recklessly. Jim Nintzel gets into the Regional Transportation Authority's draft plan, on how the authority intends to spend a half-cent sales-tax increase. I think much of this plan is good, but some parts--primarily, a proposed extension of the Barraza-Aviation Parkway on both ends--seems odd. Then, look at how the city is rolling over for big business Novartis to get the company to come to town.

The last two stories are arguably the most disturbing. Dave Devine looks at how many bankruptcies are largely as a result of unpaid medical bills. And finally, Renée Downing shows how predatory lenders are--with full legal backing--taking advantage of skyrocketing home prices to go after homeowners' equity.

How sad. Our lawmakers can give tax breaks to enormous businesses, but we can't make sure our own citizens are medically insured, and we turn a blind eye as businesses prey on our citizenry. Check these stories out, and as always, feel free to drop us a line.