Fiscal Games on California Budget

Well, it sure didn’t take long for Republicrat governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to pull out the long knives on the California state budget.


No, not to cut the budget. That would be too easy. Quite the opposite. After the huge defeat of five recent revenue-enhancement ballot proposals (also known as tax increases) to fix the state’s whopping 2-year, $43 billion deficit, Schwarzy got desperate and decided to go for the jugular. So he has proposed to cut state-worker pay; terminate cops, firefighter and teachers; close 220 state parks; and throw people off of welfare.


So what’s wrong with that? you may wonder. Sounds like a good idea.


Which it is. Except that it is just a ruse. It is the Washington Monument Ploy that is always used by Democrats in times of budget crisis. Because Arnold is just a Hollywood liberal masquerading as a Republican.


What is the Ploy? It works like this: Imagine that the city of Washington, DC has a budget crisis. So instead of cutting the massive waste, fraud, abuse, no-show jobs and overpaid bureaucrats, it closes the Washington Monument as its first act to address the budget problem.


Seeing this horrible travesty of our national pride, residents panic and agree to pay more taxes to keep the Washington Monument open. Taxes are increased and the problem is solved. Waste, fraud and abuse continue unabated.


Today, after decades of generous handouts to ‘the poor’; after welcoming illegal aliens by the millions and financing their every need with state money; after years of massive pay, benefit and pension increases for Democrat-controlled public employee unions; and much, much more in wasteful spending – all of which rational conservatives warned would lead to crisis – celebrity governor Schwarzy now finds the state with a big shortfall.


Gee, wonder why?


If you’ve ever known someone with an addiction like alcohol, drugs, food or financial gluttony, you know that you cannot talk to them. And then when they (Democrats) get us all into trouble, responsible people end up footing the bill. And now American taxpayers are probably going to be asked to guarantee California’s debt bonds through the federal government.


In other words, you hard-working conservatives in Minnesota and Ohio and Tennessee may end up paying for California’s liberal profligacy.


The Democrat party has controlled California for decades now. The last time the state even voted for a Republican in a presidential election was 1992. Every single statewide office today, except Schwarzenegger, is Democrat. And those liberals have been spending, spending, spending like there is no tomorrow.


So as Schwarzenegger proposes all sorts of cuts, the Washington Monument Ploy kicks in. He knows well that the citizens are going to protest the loss of visible and crucial services like cops and firefighters; that the far-left public employee unions are going to scream that their overstuffed salaries might get reduced after years of relentless increases; that ‘the poor’ and all their activist friends will riot in the streets over reductions in welfare; and that the tree-huggers will demonstrate over the closing of their treasured public parks.


And that is exactly the point. Schwarzenegger will foment so much opposition that taxpayers will back down and vote to pay more in taxes as in the Washington Monument Ploy.


Or at least that is how it traditionally has worked.


But those days may well be over. Americans are fed up with wasteful spending, and California‘s recent tax protest vote is a shot over the bow of the SS Obama.


The libs love to say that California‘s budget problems are a result of skinflint conservative tax caps as in Proposition 13 of 1978. Yet if there has been such a limit on taxes, how has the state managed to give away so much money? Here is a list of just a few 2008 salaries for California state employees. The list of departments and agencies and schools is very, very long and the salaries are unbelievably generous. You can access the whole thing through the Sacramento Bee newspaper website.


California Earthquake Authority, $160,572, $120,918, $103,392, $94,164. California Horse Racing Board, $108,744, $99,996, $92,720, $89,202. Boating and Waterways, $135,446, $118,536, $114,072, $112,117. Toxic Substances Control, $159,301, $149,267, $145,146, $142,547.


Those $150,000 salaries look pretty good don’t they, particularly for government workers whose jobs are largely bureaucratic, and who get huge benefit and pension plans as well. Their salary is just the start! And remember that 50% to 75% of all government workers are unnecessary, and that most of these jobs can easily be privatized and done at one-half to one-third the cost.


But if you were getting that kind of munificent salary, you would want it to continue. And this is how California got into this mess. For decades the money has been there and it has been spent increasingly by the Democrats funding their friends in government. According to Steve Malanga of the Manhattan Institute, the average government employee in America today makes 46% more in salary than the average private-sector worker. In the Wall Street Journal, Malanga recently wrote:


But then there is the U.S. public sector, where the mood seems very European these days. In New Jersey, which faces a $3.3 billion budget deficit, angry state workers have demonstrated in Trenton and taken Gov. Jon Corzine to court over his plan to require unpaid furloughs for public employees. In New York, public-sector unions have hit the airwaves with caustic ads denouncing Gov. David Paterson’s promise to lay off state workers if they continue refusing to forgo wage hikes as part of an effort to close a $17.7 billion deficit. In Los Angeles County, where the schools face a budget deficit of nearly $600 million, school employees have balked at a salary freeze and vowed to oppose any layoffs that the board of education says it will have to pursue if workers don’t agree to concessions.


So as government workers put the pressure on to save their high salaries, have you seen your taxes go down recently?


No. Hardly ever. As workers in the private sector are taxed more and more, that money has been going to increase the salaries of bureaucrats.


Now obviously there are good people who work in government, and who make more modest salaries. But this list and the economic crisis in Democrat-controlled states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, New York and Illinois is an indication of where socialism is taking us.


What else?


Here is a sob-story excerpt about the California crisis from Fox News:


That’s hard for Michelle — a San Jose mother of a 2-month-old — to believe. The loss of CalWORKs would mean no diaper money, no rent payments and no independence from her baby’s father, who she said abused her and kept drugs in the house. Her $584 monthly grant has allowed her to receive child care, attend DeAnza College and buy groceries while she works her way to self-sufficiency.


Notice that this is another mother-with-no-husband story. Why? Because for decades the Democrat party, starting with the ‘free-love hippies’, has been marginalizing families and marriage, belittling responsible men, smearing men in general, egging on single-mothers with bottomless subsidies, and generally encouraging the breakdown of the traditional family with the biggest lure around – money. Now that money is finally running out.


Notice the phrase ‘no diaper money’. So-called ‘poor’ people now use expensive disposable diapers instead of cheaper cloth diapers because with cloth they might have to do all that hard work washing them! Oh, woe is me!! Those poor people!


Yet this is precisely how the Democrats have been cultivating dependency and then ratcheting up that dependency dollar by dollar. The Democrat party has been carefully nurturing two things over the last 60 years – bureaucracy and poverty. They subsidize poverty endlessly which simply produces more poverty and puts more pressure on productive taxpayers. And then they hire more and more bureaucrats to service more and more poor people along with everything else. Government programs for ‘the poor’ allow only about 25 cents of each dollar funded to ‘trickle down’ to the poor, while 75 cents goes to government administrators. In private and religious charities 90 cents or more of each dollar gets to ‘the poor’, sometimes as much as 99 cents.


But in places like California, the power of the bureaucracy has grown and grown and eventually has become unsustainable, just as taxpayers are fed up nationally. The Tea Parties of April 15 are just the start. And when the Second American Revolution sweeps bloodlessly into power, we can each go and visit the Washington Monument to pay homage to the man who gave us our freedom and our prosperity. Until the Democrat party sought to expropriate our liberty and our wealth, and tried to use the Washington Monument as a foil for their policies.


And failed.


Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.