November 26, 2008

California moves closer to the egde of the cliff

We are looking for a California debt counter like the one currently on the upper right of our page. I dont think we really need to add much to the statement below which was made on Nov 25, 2008 during the second budget debate this year in the California state legislature. It appears to be code speak for "we have to reform government and get the unions out". State Senator Tom McClintock (R., Thousand Oaks), who is struggling for a Congressional seat in the Sacramento area, ended his state senate seat by stating the following:

"...The recession does not explain why it is that we have spent $11 billion more than we have taken in during this past twelve months...With respect to taxes...the Republican opposition to taxes is not ideological, it is not political, it is practical. As a practical matter, this course has been tried and it was proven to be a disaster. In the first quarter of 1991, the national recession officially ended. In the third quarter of 1991, the Pete Wilson administration imposed the biggest tax increase in the history of this or any state. And in the fourth quarter of 1991, we saw the biggest plunge in retail sales that we had suffered in any time in the prior 30 years. In the following two years, our revenues did not go up; in fact, they declined a billion dollars a year...

The final and most important point that I want to because I want to avail myself of this one last opportunity to try to get through to the majority on this point. I agree with you. Line item reductions, cuts alone, will not bridge this gap. They would have a couple of years ago but we have long past that fiscal tipping point. What we are talking about is redesigning these systems.

Mention was made to the Pat Brown administration. I challenge every one of you to go back and reflect upon what this state produced as services during the Pat Brown administration. We were offering a free university education to every Californian who wanted it. We had the finest highway system in the world...We were producing electricity and water so cheaply that many communities didn't bother to measure the stuff. If you look back at that administration, you will find that we were spending about half, inflation and population adjusted, what we're spending today, about 2/3 as a percentage of personal income of what we we're spending today. You have to look at the way that money was being spent...

We have grossly centralized and bureaucratized and unionized [government's] service delivery systems over the past forty years and that is why we have reached a paradox where despite record levels of spending and record levels of taxes, we can't seem to scrape together enough money to build a decent road system or educate our kids or protect our families from predators...

Please consider that it is not what we are spending but the way we are spending it that has been the problem and that's going to require not reforming these bureaucracies but redesigning and replacing them, and the sooner we get to it, the better.

Lakewood Accountability Action Group™ LAAG | | Lakewood, CA
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