Monday, October 18, 2010

California Is On Crack

It's official. California is definitely some sort of crack addict who is selling anything and everything that it has so that it can get its next fix. Oh, sure, it will give the state immediate access to some cash that it needs, but that's just the instant gratification part of the deal. In the long run, it will end up costing the state more and probably making things worse for a state that is already teetering on the edge of bankruptcy due to its unwillingness to cut anything at all out of the budget.

Here's the story as reported by the lovely folks over at ABC News and by the ever so diligent reporters over at the LA Times. See, California needs cash because it spends way more than it takes in. I won't even begin to delve into how the extremely large population of folks who are in this country illegally plays into this dilemma, but I will say that there are many areas in which California could trim its budget, yet it chooses not to. Just like a crack addict, California wants what it wants when it wants it.

So, California came up with a way to make a couple of billion dollars. And some of that could even be applied to its debt! California decided to sell 24 of however many buildings that it owns for the whopping total of $2.23 billion. While that sounds like a lot, just keep your pants on (because if California catches you without your pants on, you're going to be in for quite the surprise). Of the $2.23 billion, only $1.2 billion will go into the state general fund. That's because $1.09 billion goes to pay off bonds on the buildings. (I'm not sure what happened to the other .04 billion. Those are the figures that the LA Times gives me.) OK, so problem solved, right? Not so fast.

See, California is still using those buildings. It's not like they were abandoned or anything like that. No, they're fully in use every single day. They sold buildings like the Attorney General Building and the Franchise Tax Board Complex up in Sacramento. Yeah, California still needs those. But that's OK. Now California is just going to pay rent to the people that own them. Wait. What now?

Correct. Whereas before California owned the buildings, now it does not and it must rent them from the new owners. It would be like if you had a car that you owned and, because you needed some crack right that very moment, you sold it to the neighbor. Now you have money, but you have no car. Now you have to take that money that you got and you turn around and lease the car that you just sold your neighbor. How smart does that sound? Not very? Welcome to California.

According to the estimates from the California Legislative Analyst's Office "...It will cost the state $30 million more in the first year to remain in those buildings and that differential will increase to almost $200 million over the course of the 20 year leases." But do it now because you need crack now! What a bunch of morons.


Tell me something. What good is the Legislative Analyst's Office if no one listens to them? This state is already in a financial freefall into the abyss of bankruptcy, what say they trim a little bit off of the budget by eliminating the Legislative Analyst's Office. No one listens to them anyway. They just do what they want because why? They're addicted to crack, that is correct.

We're so doomed. And now we're screwed. We're totally scroomed.

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1 comment:

Scott Jacobs said...

That .04 billion is likely some flavor of sales commission.

And 4% commission is LOW. Though taken on the whole, in like of the amount of the sales, it's a pretty big pay-day...