Thursday, November 13, 2008

California's Budget Problem Solved!

Well, hey, in case you haven't heard, California...yeah, it doesn't have any more money. And just in case you haven't heard this, it's going to pose somewhat of a problem. Soon. Shocking, eh? Not really. Oh, I'm sure it's extremely surprising, but only if you're one of the state legislators. If you're just a regular person who pays attention on occasion, it's pretty much what you'd expected.

See, here's the thing: California relies heavily on taxes to fund its massive, massive trough of money which it seems to dole out left and right with not a whole lot of discretion. (Translation: The state spends money like drunken sailors on leave.) But when there are not enough taxes, do they curtail their spending? Oh, no, of course not! That would be fiscally responsible and this is California! Let the spending continue!

But I digress. Where was I? Oh, the budget. Yeah, California is screwed. A drunken sailor is rarely an economics whiz. From what I can tell, the only legislator without their head shoved mercilessly up their own arse is Tom McClintock. He told The Free Republic back in 2007 that the 2008 financial situation was going to be craptastic. BUT, not only did he predict this disaster, he also came up with ways to solve this disaster. And that's the main component that is sorely lacking in the California legislature today; the part about the feasible solutions (not to mention the ability to be able to identify a problem in the first place). There were forty, four zero, forty areas he found where cuts could be made with minimal negative impact upon the program which was being trimmed.

It's not like his suggestions weren't reasonable. They were perfectly reasonable. WHY none have been adopted, implemented, DONE is beyond me. The man makes sense. Come on, does California really need to fork over $5.22 million a year to veterans that have moved from California back to the Philippines? Is it reasonable to spend $10 million dollars a year for an anti-methamphetamine campaign? ($10 mil? A year? Are the people who are running this campaign doing meth themselves? Why so much? What's wrong with some poster board with "Just Say No" scribbled on it in Magic Marker?) There is a $40 million a year Physical Education Teacher Incentive Program to attract gym teachers? Wow, how's that goin'? Yeah, that's what I thought.

So you get what I'm saying, right? California is being run by a bunch of lawmakers who are fiscally acting like, not only drunken sailors on leave, but drunken sailors on leave who are borderline retarded at best! California is going to be about $10 billion in the hole in a few months. Arnold is calling a special session and ideas like raising the state sales tax by 1.25% are being thrown about. (I guess ideas like Tom McClintock's are just being thrown out.) Lawmakers aren't thrilled about returning for a special session. (I can't imagine why not. It's not like they have to pay for their own gas to get there or anything.) It's pandemonium. Cats and dogs, living together, mass hysteria.

But I've solved the problem! It didn't take me long, maybe about 10 minutes. But once the ol' common sense kicked in, it was smooth sailing. Do you know what California spends each year on illegal immigrants? Neither did I! But I found out! And lo and behold (brother and sister of Flora and Fauna) it was $10.4 billion dollars annually four years ago! There are, by all estimates, approximately 3.5 million illegal immigrants in California. I'll do the math and I'll come to the conclusion that it equates to about $2971.42 per illegal per year. Problem solved!

Now, if the state is so concerned with meth which is illegal, you'd think that they'd be at least a little concerned with people who are illegal and who are contributing to sucking the state dry. Look, it's one thing (and a ridiculous one at that) to let people who aren't even supposed to be here, stay here. But it's another thing to let the people who aren't even supposed to be here, stay here AND give them money as well! (I'm allowed to be here and no one is handing me three grand a year!)That's the silliest thing I've ever heard of! If I walked uninvited into a stranger's home, I'm pretty sure he'd ask me to leave AND expect me to! And if I refused, I highly doubt that the homeowner would just turn around and walk back into the kitchen and let me stay! AND give me money before he left the room! That's not going to happen! Unless you're the state of California.

Look, I know it's a harsh, general, blanket statement (though I do like blankets!) to say just cut off any services that feed money into programs for those who have no legal grounds to be in this country. But I have yet to hear a convincing (let alone valid) argument for why we should continue to run ourselves into the ground because we have overextended our means for those who shouldn't even be here. And the reality is that some things just suck. Decisions like this suck. They do. Suck, suck, suck. (Suck cubed, if you will.) But what's the worst that could happen? The population of illegal individuals dwindles closer to nothing than to not nothing? We'll learn that it turns out that Americans will do those jobs that they're not supposed to want to do? The state won't be in financial turmoil? That programs for people who are supposed to be here don't get cut? Yeah, those all sound horrible. Or they don't. That's right, they don't.

Not once this year have I heard anyone suggest that cutting services to illegal immigrants is a good way to help get the budget deficit down. (In 2007, Tom McClintock did address California's willingness to fund the in-state tuition of illegal immigrants at the cost of $75 million per year as one of his forty areas where cuts could be made. But everyone ignored him then and they're ignoring him now.) All I keep hearing about is how to raise taxes to take care of this. On top of more taxes, Arnold has also suggested cuts to schools (because whenever there's a financial crisis, it's best to just punish the teachers and take money from that which they already don't have) and to Medicaid.

Are you telling me that you'd rather pay 8.50% in sales tax than cut off financial support to people who shouldn't even be here? You'd rather have your child attend an understaffed school taught by overworked and underpaid teachers without enough money for an adequate amount of supplies and books than continue supporting illegals? You'd rather have seniors (who are a large chunk of Medicaid recipients) see their medical and prescription benefits decrease in order to keep doling out cash to illegals? You have to be kidding if you answered 'yes' to any of those. Even if you can't cut off everything, there is NO way that the California lawmakers can't consider cutting services to those who are illegally in this country. Cut the funds of those who are allowed to be here and continue to fund those who are not allowed to be here, does that make sense? Of course not. (Thus, it will most likely continue to happen.)

I'm all for the way that we elect our lawmakers. It's a fine system. But as the population of the state grows, the economics become more complicated. The people need to become concerned about electing officials with a solid grasp on the economic situation (and not just that they know they get free gasoline for their state issued vehicles!). The people also need to become concerned about electing officials who can demonstrate that they are fiscally responsible so that this disaster doesn't just continue until the end of time (and, if I have to keep hearing about it, but then have nothing get accomplished, that could not come too soon for me). The whole situation is a joke and the only ones laughing are the ones in the Legislature. What say we just call one big 'do over' and kick them out along with the illegals and see how we do on our own? It couldn't be worse than it is now. Unless you think that the amigo below is really giving you something to think about, that is.

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Anonymous said...

I fear H.L. Mencken accurately described the American public today when he said, “…it is in the nature of the human species to reject what is true but unpleasant and to embrace what is obviously false but comforting.” If politicians and the public of both political parties choose to accept the comfortable lie, the whole country will also reap the difficult and unpleasant consequences.

Mare said...

Oh, sweet Mother of God, someone who is familiar with H.L. Mencken and who can see how his observations of the human species can be applied to life as we know it today!

I had heard there were other people like that out there, but I had no proof; until now. I thought this day might never come.

Thanks for giving me a small shred of hope that we're all not imminently doomed.

Alice Amplified said...


They've gotta stay.

Mare said...

Yesssss.....burritos. I do like me a nice burrito now and again. Good point!

I'm convinced! The burritos can stay! (See? I knew we all weren't imminently doomed!)

But Paco? He still needs to go. He can leave the burritos with the border patrol.