Monday, January 25, 2010

Arnold Plays Barber

This falls into the category of Totally Unsurprising News: Arnold Schwarzenegger targets the unions in his latest cost-cutting moves. From the Los Angeles Times:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has put organized labor squarely in his cross-hairs in 2010, opening a fight that will largely determine the shape of his final year in office.

Schwarzenegger's proposals would cut the size of the union workforce, reduce pay, shrink future pensions and roll back job protections won through collective bargaining.

Among the plans in the governor's budget: privatize prisons, which would strip members from the influential guards union; curtail seniority protections for teachers, a key union-won protection; and reduce the number of sick, disabled and elderly Californians cared for through the state's In-Home Supportive Services program -- almost all union jobs -- while cutting what their caregivers are paid.

Schwarzenegger also wants to permanently lower state workforce salaries by 5% without returning to the bargaining table with public-sector unions. And he would require state workers to chip 5% more into their retirement plans.

"The public sector also has to take a haircut," Schwarzenegger said, arguing his policies would save California billions of dollars, now and in the future.
[Emphasis added]

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Sweeney Todd: now there's a role for the brawny Austrian-born actor.

When he ran during the recall election, he made it quite clear that he intended to roll back the influence of "special interests," by which he meant unions. He's dispensed with the euphemisms his last year in office because his legacy isn't looking too pleasant. He's going to need some help getting back into the GOP tent, and taking aim at the unions looks to be the ticket. Unfortunately, that ticket is going to be financed by us for years to come.

His assertion that this move would save the state billions, "now and in the future," is bogus. By slashing In Home Support Services, the elderly and frail on MediCal (the state's name for Medicaid) will have to move from their own homes directly into nursing homes, a far more expensive proposition for the state. By privatizing prisons, he gets to repay his buddies in the private prison industry all the money they've poured into his campaigns and into the campaigns of ballot measures he favored.

If he really wanted to save the state some money, he would direct the legislature to close some of the tax loopholes his wealthy friends have been enjoying for years. He would shut down some of the well-paying commissions which send California businessmen to exotic locales to "sell California products." But that's not the way Arnold and his friends operate. It's much more pleasant to target the middle and lower classes, people who (when there are jobs) actually work for a living.

I guess we should be used to this, both on the state and federal level, but I think we just might be reaching the tipping point. Good God, I hope so!

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Blogger Ahma Daeus said...

Even if one does not ask or pretends not to see the rope and the flashing red flag draped around the philosophical question standing solemnly at attention in the middle of the room, it remains apparent that the mere presence of a private “for profit” driven prison business in our country undermines the U.S Constitution and subsequently the credibility of the American criminal justice system. In fact, until all private prisons in America have been abolished and outlawed, “the promise” of fairness and justice at every level of this country’s judicial system will remain unattainable. We must restore the principles and the vacant promise of our judicial system. Our government cannot continue to "job-out" its obligation and neglect its duty to the individuals confined in the correctional and rehabilitation facilities throughout this nation, nor can it ignore the will of the people that it was designed to serve and protect. There is urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of indifference, apathy, cynicism, fear, and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope. My hope is that you will support the National Public Service Council to Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) with a show of solidarity by signing "The Single Voice Petition"

Please visit our website for further information:

–Ahma Daeus
"Practicing Humanity Without A License"…

6:44 PM  

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