Friday, July 24, 2009

Sicker And Dumber

Harold Meyerson had a very perceptive op-ed column in yesterday's Los Angeles Times regarding the sorry budget "deal" the State of California was delivered over the past few days. He places the blame fairly on the recalcitrant "No New Taxes" GOP, but he also points out the role a state constitutional flaw played in allowing the minority to steamroller the Democrats and California's overall health.

The provisions in California's Constitution that require a two-thirds vote to pass the state's budget and all tax increases were always something of a booby trap, and in the current crop of legislative Republicans -- a minority party with just over one-third representation in both houses -- it found its boobies. During the steep recessions of the early '70s and the early '90s, Republican Govs. Ronald Reagan and Pete Wilson worked with their legislative colleagues in both parties to make up the major budget shortfalls through a combination of higher taxes and spending cuts. This generation of Republicans, however, decided to close a $26-billion shortfall entirely through gimmicks and cutbacks, and the state's Constitution gave them the power to game the situation to their advantage. [Emphasis added]

That's a pretty accurate historical reference: even Saint Ronnie of Reagan raised taxes during times of economic recession. Although most of those taxes were temporary, the tactic worked: the state got back on its feet. During those times, however (and Mr. Meyerson points this out), there were still such critters as "moderate" Republicans, those who believed in fiscal sanity more than they believed in ideological purity. Sadly, that is not the case anymore here in California and across the nation.

The result is a gimmick laden budget, one that robs the poor, elderly, and vulnerable and that stiffs cities and counties (and their school children) so that oil companies won't have to pay an extraction fee (a fee that exists in every other oil bearing state). What, like the oil companies would flee California oil fields? The consequences of this "kick the can down the road" budget have already been acknowledged by Governor Schwarzenegger, but here's a reiteration:

...Hundreds of thousands of children will lose their healthcare and tens of thousands of aged and disabled California will lose their in-home support services. Public K-12 schools will continue to lay off teachers and cut class offerings, and both the University of California and the state university system will have their state funding cut by roughly 20%. At a time when state business leaders are crying out for a better-educated workforce, the Republicans in the Legislature have pushed through policies that will make the state both sicker and dumber.

It's clear that the state needs fixing, and Mr. Meyerson suggest more than a temporary triage is needed:

First, Democrats in the Legislature should consider calling the GOP's bluff and voting against the budget deal -- but they can't make their case absent a public spokesman. It's time for Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom to rise to the challenge that Clinton did when he stood down Gingrich. And second, Californians need to amend their state Constitution, in convention if need be, to end the practice of minority rule. Democracy -- not to mention the future of the state -- depends on it. [Emphasis added]

From your lips, Mr. Meyerson. From your lips.

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Blogger Brittanicus said...

Now that our legislators are supposedly on the same track with E-Verify, it needs to be rigorously enforced? California--a Sanctuary State--will need exclusive attention along with other border states, because they have been occupied by millions of illegal immigrants, causing major damage to their economies. Once E-Verify is fully implemented on a permanent basis for all the working population, including all persons on a payroll? My suggestion is an army of federal inspectors of perhaps retired civil servants, senior citizens in their resident community, to make unexpected inspections on large and small businesses.

The inspectors will probably have to be armed with a general search warrant, but honorable business will hardly impose this restriction if they have nothing to hide? This will be a strict deterrent to parasite businesses, who will never be aware--WHEN THAT FEDERAL OFFICER--is going to turn up, to observe their workers? They will audit their books and check for irregularities in the workplace. This is happening in Italy and other countries, because of the importation of illegal foreign labor, has caused major concerns amongst the countries bona-fide workers. If Washington is really sincere about the10.5 jobless Americans, then we need to impose heavy penalties on those business that scorn the law. Another possibility is a reward system for informants, who have positive knowledge of companies that are scoffing at E-Verify, and committing the offense of hiring illegal aliens. Business are living off taxpayers taxes, because they don't convey health care to their illegal hires.

Get on the phone and tell your Representative, you support--THE SAVE ACT-- 202-224-3121 Believe it! Your voices are having the right effect.?Support for the bi-partisan SAVE Act, which will expand E-Verify and protect American jobs! We must focus on the key to this major problem-the jobs that attract illegal aliens. It would phase in a requirement for every employer to use the electronic verification system. We must also be aware that the Democrats are ready to open the gates to our nation, once a path to citizenship is announced. Search out the facts at NUMBERSUSA, AMERICANPATROL

Copy, paste and distribute freely.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous larry, dfh said...

The whole propl 13 really sounds like an extra-legal activity. How can a 50% + 1 majority turn decision-making into a 67% majority, or nothing? As my partner said "It's tyranny of the minority". Something's very fishy with this whole thing, and my suspicions are that neither party is at all interested in serving the public.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:50 AM  

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