Diary

An Addiction So Severe Even Obama’s Unicorns Can’t Heal It

What do you do with a friend who’s self-destructive? Someone who maybe overindulged for whatever reason, and is now addicted to their drug of choice? Do you ignore the problem, hoping it’ll go away on its own? Maybe confront the person, and risk losing a friend, hoping to save a life, but in the end losing the friend and the life because they refused to even admit they had a problem to begin with?

And if the person is someone you depend on, or they have a family depending on them? Doesn’t have to be drugs or alcohol, it could be gambling, sex, or overspending.

If for example the person has a spending problem, now they find themselves out of money and unable to pay their bills. The answer they seek is just one more loan, just another advance. Next week, next month, next year they’ll make it up. They might know, in the pit of their stomach that they have a problem, but what if they don’t come face to face with it? Help them out with a loan? Give them a credit card? Trust them?

If the person doesn’t eventually face the fact they have a problem to begin with, there’s no reasoning with them. No facts you can present, truth you can tell, to get them to see the light. In fact, they’ll often turn things around saying the ones trying to get them to face their demons are the bad guys. They’ll resent, demonize, and even hate the ones trying to get them back on a less destructive path.

If the person with the problem befriends others with the same problem, they begin to prop each other up in their addiction. They rationalize and support one another in their false assumptions that they have things under control, all the way to the very bitter end.

And when the bottom is hit, homes are lost, families broken, lives destroyed? It’s someone else’s fault it happened it couldn’t be them. They had the best of intentions, in the fog of their addiction they just needed a little more money to get by, a “bridge” loan to clear the next hurdle. Can you even begin to imagine a state government full of people like this? Run by them, controlled by them, led by them?

Welcome to California! In the fog of their addiction, the State of California now thinks it just needs a “little” more money from the Feds, a “little” more tax money from us. Never stopping to think that the reason they’re finally crashing is because We the People are crashing from our own overspending problems. But yet they want more from the very people who are very nearly with their own backs to the wall. February 1 is almost here folks;

The state will suspend tax refunds, welfare checks, student grants and other payments owed to Californians starting Feb. 1, Controller John Chiang announced Friday.

Chiang said he had no choice but to stop making some $3.7 billion in payments in the absence of action by the governor and lawmakers to close the state’s nearly $42-billion budget deficit. More than half of those payments are tax refunds.

….But California is projected to be $346 million short of the funds it needs to pay all its bills in February. By March, the state would be so far in the red that even continuing to suspend payments would not cover the shortfall. California would be insolvent, making the issuance of IOUs likely.

Will California fall off the cliff?

The economic stimulus plan being written by President Barack Obama and Congress could cover a third of California’s projected budget deficit and give Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state legislators a way out of their political dilemma — but the governor says it would be foolish to count on it.

California’s share of direct spending in the package has been calculated at $21 billion-plus, and Jed Kolko, an economist for the Public Policy Institute of California, told an economic seminar in Sacramento Monday that about $14 billion of that could underwrite state education, medical care and other spending programs over the next two years.

However, Kolko noted that California’s share of the package is no larger than its share of the nation’s population and warned that because of its short-range nature, it would not resolve the state’s enormous structural budget problem.

Billions won’t fix it

Minutes later, Schwarzenegger echoed that caveat. It would have, he said, “no effect on the structural deficit,” adding, “We don’t want the federal government to fix our problem. We have to fix our problem.”

It is still possible that enough Republicans ignoring their own “No Tax Pledge” would supply enough votes for new taxes if Democrats gave in to GOP demands for changes in environmental and labor laws and a constitutional cap on spending growth, but Democrats, under pressure from environmental and labor groups, have so far refused to consider such an option. Clearly the State of California is still living in the made up world of dependency. The old computer field phrase of “Garbage In, Garbage Out” applies when voters return the same tax and spend legislators every two years. So now what? People are going to be hurt by the Great California Fiscal Implosion; the only question remaining to be answered is when? Do we string it out; delay it by months, or years? Or try for yet another “Essential Bailout” from the Feds, hastening their demise as well? Some 12 step groups believe when a person is so deluded by their addictions that no help or reason will prevail, they have to hit bottom first in order to face the fact they have a problem to begin with, and thus be willing to take a different direction in their lives. Even though I won’t be immune from injury caused by its collapse, I say let it hit bottom.