California failing

21 July 2009 |permalink | email article

The once Golden State has reached an apparent budget accord which could go to the Legislature in days. Whether it will be approved is far from certain.

But a smiling Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who gives new meaning to ineptitude, and a weak Democratic-controlled leadership, have sold out the public and made insolvency and unpaid “furlough’ days – read pay cuts – operative for hundreds of thousands of workers for a long time.

It’s not surprising that the budget plan has yet to be released by lawmakers and their staffs. I mean, how do you explain significant cutbacks in services for the poor and elderly, or that tens of thousands of seniors and children would lose access to health care?

Local governments would be hit badly to the tune of almost $2 billion, mostly county money, and cities and counties would lose another billion in transportation money.

Nobody wants to explain how $1.8 billion would be cut from the state prison system, or why as many as 20,000 convicted prisoners will be freed.

Education would immediately lose billions, class sizes would increase and the number of students admitted to state universities would fall dramatically.

Read ‘em and weep

“It was like a suspense movie, but…we have accomplished a lot. This is a budget that will have no tax increases, a budget that is cutting spending…We’re also very happy that in this budget we will make government more efficient.” Schwarzenegger, ready again for his close up and an action hero in his own mind.

“He is as guilty as anyone – at a minimum as a co-conspirator. In fact, he’s directly responsible for a significant portion of the current $26-billion budget gap.” L.A. Times columnist George Skelton lambasting Schwarzenegger’s failed leadership.



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