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11/26/2003 Entry: "California in trouble, #3 I think"

"California could shut down all the prisons, close every state government agency and public college -- and save about $16.5 billion in general fund money. That's the approximate 'operations' budget for the state, not including the cash payments that go to schools, to welfare recipients and to public health care, the three biggest state expenses."

Yeah, right, that's a great solution.

"Further tying the hands of the governor are spending requirements approved by voters or ordered by courts. Add in obligations to state pension plans, debt service and other mandates, and there's little in the way of discretionary spending in California's budget. Pinpointing mandatory spending is difficult, but estimates range from 64 to 89 percent."

See? It wasn't all Davis' fault.

*snip*

"'The problem I think the new governor is confronting is public services have a cost,' said Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, 'and for too long people have been told you can have a tax cut, you can have quality schools, you can have environmental protection, you can have a higher education system that was at one point the envy of the world. You just can't do that. At some point, you have to decide, are you going to take care of the frail elderly, or are you going to get a car tax cut?'"

Hey, lady! Most people would, and did, vote for the car tax cut. Jean Ross apparently has no idea how many of her fellow humans would rather step over the hungry, the homeless, the helpless, the dead and dying in the street in order not to have to pay for a decent society. Okay, [/dramatic voice over], but you get the idea. The car tax is just a symptom of how sick and greedy most Californians have become (or always were, and, apparently, I just never had my nose rubbed in it before).

*snip*

"The debate over the next few months may show that one person's waste is another person's lifeline. Ellwood said despite the demonization of government, any real budget cuts would have to come because politicians made a subjective decision about what they think the government should be providing. For example, he said, Schwarzenegger, a Republican, wants to severely cut services to the disabled and the frail elderly. That raises philosophical questions about whether families should take a greater responsibility for their family members rather than relying on the government."
Reality sets in as state ponders its finances, Rooting out waste won't cover cuts. By Robert Salladay, SF Chronicle, November 27, 2003

This presumes one has a family they can rely on. Some people don't. Not everyone needs the safety net, but it'd be nice to have one if one did need it. Like if one lost one's home for one reason or another

And California is a rich state and should be able to take care of everyone in it, legally or otherwise, who needs help. It's also a state full of greedy people, which neutralizes any compassionate impulses.

And every time reforming Prop 13 comes up, before even considering HOW it can be reformed, does someone start screaming about how many seniors it will throw out of their homes? This is why there can be no meaningful debate on Prop 13, which is killing us. Even Warren Buffett tried to clue us in on that before der Schwarzen dismissed him from his entourage.

And, frankly, homeownership is a luxury, possibly a necessity in the land of ever rising rents, but not, for heaven's sake, some kind of state subsidized entitlement. I don't when the thinking went in that direction. Property needs to be taxed more fairly and if that tosses seniors into the street, well, at least they got a break on the car tax.

Wake up, seniors, or we all through. [/rant]

 

 

 

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