Free Markets, Free People

Meanwhile In California …

The expected happened:

California voters soundly rejected a package of ballot measures Tuesday that would have reduced the state’s projected budget deficit of $21.3 billion to something slightly less overwhelming: $15.4 billion.

The defeat of the measures means that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state Legislature will have to consider deeper cuts to education, public safety, and health and human services, officials have said.

Propositions 1A through 1E – which would have changed the state’s budgeting system, ensured money to schools in future years and generated billions of dollars of revenue for the state’s general fund – fell well behind in early returns and never recovered.

The only measure that voters approved was Proposition 1F, which will freeze salaries of top state officials, including lawmakers and the governor, during tough budget years.

Schwarzenegger, however, still doesn’t get it:

In a written statement Tuesday night, Schwarzenegger said that he believes Californians are simply frustrated with the state’s dysfunctional budget system.

“Now we must move forward from this point to begin to address our fiscal crisis with constructive solutions,” the governor said.

In reality it has nothing especially to do with the state’s “dysfunctional budget system”, but instead with the state’s profligate spending which has landed it in overwhelming debt. And the most “constructive solutions” would be to – wait for it – cut spending.

Why is it I have a feeling that such a solution will be mostly absent from whatever CA legislators come up with?


19 Responses to Meanwhile In California …

  • I’d say that Ahhnold isn’t the only one who doesn’t get it.  Look at the article cited:

    Propositions 1A through 1E – which would have changed the state’s budgeting system, ensured money to schools in future years and generated billions of dollars of revenue for the state’s general fund…

    One can almost hear the bewildered outrage from the author’s pen (er, keyboard): “The idiots in our state REFUSED to vote for things that are GOOD for The Government, which is, of course, good for them.  What the hell is wrong with them, anyway???”

    The LAT, when it can be bothered to stop worshipping The Annointed One for a moment, hectors the citizens of all stripes, trying to claim that Californians are just mad about the budget and didn’t really know why or what to do other than say “no”. 

    Perhaps now Sacramento has gotten the message. Unfortunately, the voters who sent it can’t agree what it was…

    From the right, small-government zealots lecture smugly that California has gotten its comeuppance for years of prodigal spending and unrighteous living. Liberals, they exult, have taxed and spent the state into fiscal collapse, and the only route now toward solvency is to eliminate cushy services and freebies that sap the entrepreneurial energy of the populace…

    From the left, activists insist that Tuesday’s balloting reveals public willingness to eliminate the two-thirds threshold for legislative budget and tax votes, and then to roll back 30 years’ worth of citizen initiatives, from Proposition 13 to Proposition 8, while raising taxes on the wealthy…

    The editors then finish up with the usual liberal pap about “compromise”:

    As liberals and conservatives each try to claim credit for the election results, they go back to their respective rhetorical corners. Now, though, those corners are at the bottom of a $21-billion hole. Climbing out of it will require painful and costly — but temporary — program cuts. Staying out of it will require restructuring of government and the budget process. And it will demand yet another attempt by the warring factions at compromise.

    I must say that I’m not sure how or why a lib would try to claim credit for votes that say “no!” to more spending and more taxes, but, then again, I’m not from California (what IS it with those people???).

    What the political class from the county courthouse to the White House just don’t get it that the economy is in a major recession and the MONEY JUST AIN’T THERE.  They can’t keep spending like it’s 2004; they’ve got to cut back somewhere.  The problem is – and we conservatives have warned about this for years  – that liberal spending policies have gotten so many people addicted to the government teat that there’s no way to take it away from them without a backlash.  And, as we all know, politicians fear a backlash that could cost them their phony-baloney jobs, and will do ANYTHING to avoid it.  So, they keep on spending, slipping in tax increases or fees or playing shellgames with the budget to try to stave off bankruptcy until they’re either out of office or else there’s some patsy around to take the blame when it all comes tumbling down.

    Sadly, we’re on this same course here in No. Carolina, and it MAY be that our governor and state assembly are even more stupid than Ahhnold and those morons in Sacramento.

    God help us.

    • What are you so worried about? There’s plenty of money: the federal government can bail out California, and the Federal Reserve can always print more money as needed.
      You see, like with all failed Keynesian endeavors, the problem isn’t with what was done, but that it wasn’t enough. Instead of a $7 billion loan, the feds should just give California $70 billion, no repayment, no strings attached. Never mind the inflation that Austrian economists always warn about, just think of all the good government-created jobs that will result immediately! And it’ll eventually spread throughout other states, and the world, as Californians buy goods and services from out of state.

      So don’t let your heart be troubled. Yea, hath not Barack said? If your state is in trouble, just have your governor take an eco-friendly train up to D.C., and Saint Obamus can ladle out more money. In his White House are many bailouts. If there were not, he would have told us.
      (Whoo-wee, I’d better stop writing like this. I might snap one day and start believing it!)

      • The funny thing is that lefties whined and groaned and complained over the past several years that the blue states were subsidizing the red states.  Even Ahhnold complained that the people of California were paying more in federal taxes than they were getting back in federal spending.

        Somehow, I think the b*tching is about to stop.

    • From the left, activists insist that Tuesday’s balloting reveals public willingness to eliminate the two-thirds threshold for legislative budget and tax votes,…

      Those “activists” are full of crap.

  • Here is a way to cut costs.

    Stop giving health care/ tuition assistance/ welfare/ food stamps to illegal aliens.

    *GASP* what an idea.  Spend money on your legal citizens.

    I also saw that illegal aliens in jail were facing deportation.
    Let other countries take care of their criminals instead of us.
    Maybe the citizens will get so upset they will vote out the dems that have run their state for years and ran it into the ground.    Nah now I am just dreaming.

    • “Here is a way to cut costs.

      Stop giving health care/ tuition assistance/ welfare/ food stamps to illegal aliens.”

      How about stopping the kowtowing to the radical environmentalists and mining for oil offshore? There are billions of dollars to be made from the sale of the leases, money which helps the state and the country with very little environmental damage (what company wants to be tagged as a polluter, anyway?).

      Of course, Dems and stupid Republicans in California are too busy thinking of which people to fire (or whom to pay more benefits to) than this short-sighted miss. Just think if that state were run by smart people, instead of doofi like Schwarzenegger and Newsome and the rest of those boneheads in between.

  • Sorry to post this off-topic, but a friend called me this morning. He works with someone who is close to a US Senator whom I will not name. This Senator told the friend that Obama has settled on Judge Diane Wood for the US Supreme Court vacancy, and is just waiting to make sure that her record is perfect before naming her. (In other words, what taxes has she not paid, or which laws has she dodged?)

    So, Diane Wood looks to be the pick, unless something comes up. Interested in this woman? Check out the recent expose of her horrific record in The National Review, which shows just how bad of a judge this woman is:

    I will look for other links to inform you folks on this woman. If anyone is interested (or not), please let me know.

    • Because affirming your own political views in court is EMPATHY!  The human side of things, right Erb??

  • Here’s a possible solution for California straight from a Nigerian e-mailers convention

    Dear Friend ,

    I am Mrs.Ruth Madoff, wife of bernard madoff.

    I am actually going through some kind of difficult time with my family
    right now, as my husband is at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, New
    York City.My husband Sentencing is scheduled for June 16, 2009 and he is
    likely to face a maximum sentence of 150 years in prison and $170 billion
    in restitution, so there is need for me to move out alot of my personal
    funds and personal belongings around the world , particularly  from
    outside america, but i need somebody to trust now, because i cannot
    receive funds here in america right now.I would need your help in
    acquiring some properties and keeping some large cash amount for me. but
    first i would  prefer to chat with you either on yahoo chat or windows
    live. if you are not comfortable with yahoo then write me ,so we can
    communicate via email.
    This is very urgent, i would have to entrust a large amount of money into
    your hands  and some personal valueables. But this would have to be very
    confidential, just between me and you, because the press are after me  and
    my husband name all over the headlines, because of his Wall street

    Anyway ,don’t be scared about the risk, it is a very safe deal.Yours
    Mrs. Ruth Alpern Madoff

  • Why don’t we hear anyone saying “We will have to cut all funding for the NEA and other non-essential spending. After we have done that, we will see where we are at and do an across-the board cut to all the essential services to make up the difference.” ?  They all start out by saying we will cut teachers,police and firemen. Cut the other crap first.

    • When Prop 13 passed, they started cutting all the services that were the most visible, so as to piss off persuade the citizens into reversing course.

  • The undying optimist in me (I keep him chained up in the back of my mind) is hopeful that The Gov was trying to generate a mandate for spending cuts.  I opine that he is perhaps “Stupid … like a fox,” over on my blog.

    Heh.  Calling him “Stupid like a fox” is probably giving him too much credit.

  • A huge number of people work or did work for the government and have enormous pensions, the money was just all lost gambling on crap in the stock market.

    Things need to be cut, and the Dems know if they do they may lose their power. I’m amazed the people of CA voted the way they did, but I’m happy. (Go us!). It’s way more sane than last fall when they voted for that insane bullet train between SJ and LA.

  • What recourse, if any, can CA make (with or alternatively without an amendment to it’s constitution or bankruptcy) to reduce it’s per person obligations to it’s public employee’s pensions.  Can it cut it’s promised payments by say 20% arbitrarily?

    It seems to me the pain of CA’s stupidity needs to be shared with those stupid enough to expect that their political extortion would always be acceptable to the public.

    Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp

    • Tom I think that the way the laws are they will just have to cut and cut and cut programs and employees until they have enough money to pay the retirees.  The current workers can be laid off, but the retirees have to get their money.

  • Here is a thought on how to save a few hundred grand a year:

    If each of us CA taxpayers can come up with just one of these, the problem is solved.

  • If the people of CA are really serious about taxes and budgets and such, they should pass a referedum that that requires all state wages and salaries to be set by open negotiations between actual recipients of state pay and a “Board of Dunces” — say 100 randomly selected citizens who pay taxes and don’t get a government paycheck or welfare.  Until an agreement is reached pay is frozen, and if no agreement is reached by the next budget year the positions in question are eliminated.  I’ll bet that would bring some sanity to the process.  (Or at least make it more fun to watch.  I saw teachers unions negotiations blow up in a wealthy suburban Chicago suburb a few years ago when someone published a list of the *total* payments each teacher in the system had received the year before *plus* the cost of any benefits.)

  • >>I’m amazed the people of CA voted the way they did, but I’m happy.>>

    That would be 10% of the registered voters.  As pitiful as that number is, apparently that’s how many voters are actually paying attention and actually care enough to vote. 

    Personally, I’d be just as happy if they were the only ones allowed to vote from here on out…!

    (And yes…I’m one of them!)