Monday, May 18, 2009

California Going Bankrupt

Update: Six Meat Buffet weighs in -- see below.

I say California is going bankrupt because it may just be true. The current constitution is so riddled with special interest handcuffs that it may be impossible for a politician to do much beyond pad his expense account. They are paying attention to this in EuroSocialistZone, according to The Economist, California is Ungovernable:

ON MAY 19th Californians will go to the polls to vote on six ballot measures that are as important as they are confusing. If these measures fail, America’s biggest state will enter a full-blown financial crisis that will require excruciating cuts in public services. If the measures succeed, the crisis will be only a little less acute. Recent polls suggest that voters are planning to vote most of them down.
Here is the prediction for all six of the ballot measures:

Looks like California is only getting an 'F'. The Economist continues:

A good outcome is no longer possible. California now has the worst bond rating among the 50 states. Income-tax receipts are coming in far below expectations. On May 11th Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor, sent a letter to the legislature warning it that, by his latest estimates, the state will face a budget gap of $15.4 billion if the ballot measures pass, $21.3 billion if they fail. Prisoners will have to be released, firefighters fired, and other services cut or eliminated.
Let me stop and observe that politicians always threaten to take away firefighters and let loose wacko murderers. It is never the worthless bureaucrat that loses his job. Did you ever hear a politician 'threaten to tighten up on fraud, waste an abuse' in a budget crisis? Here's an idea: how about cutting fraud, waste and abuse in this Billion Dollar program?

About convicted felons -- here is a suggestion: How about doing away with PaedophiliaLand? Not Kidding -- at a cost to the state of $198,000 per convicted felon per year, these fellas are sure living it up. Why not bring back the chain gang? Instead of ping-pong and sensitivity training or whatever psychobabble crap they throw at them, let 'em pick up trash or pull weeds fifty hours a week.

Let's get back to The Economist. On the six incomprehensible ballot initiatives:
Propositions tend to be badly worded, with double negatives that leave some voters thinking they voted for something when they really voted against. One eloquent English teacher in Los Angeles recently called a radio show complaining that, after extensive study, she could not understand the ballot measures on grounds of syntax.

As a result, there is now a consensus among the political elite that California’s governance is “fundamentally broken” and that the state is “ungovernable, unless we make tough choices”, as Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles and a likely candidate for governor next year, puts it.
The call is now for a constitutional convention:

[The] Bay Area Council, which has become the driving force behind the scheme, has put forth two ideas. First, delegates to the convention should be chosen through the general jury pool to ensure that the whole population, as opposed to partisans or voters, is represented. Second, the scope of the constitutional convention would be explicitly limited to governance issues and the budget mechanism and would exclude all others.

Arnold and the DemoCraps ballooned the California budget from $100B to $145B in five years. Is there any wonder why there is a crisis?

I hope the constitutional convention does something about making politicians accountable in some way.

Update: Six Meat Buffet weighs in with But Teachers and Firemen are Always First on the Chopping Block

Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau $1,041,000 (appx. 12 firemen)

Bureau of Barbering and Cosmetology Estimated 2009 budget $9,297,000 (45 elementary school teachers)

Next up, one for you kids in Marin County! Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine A bargain at $133,000!

Head on over and read the whole thing.

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