California Misses the Point Again!
California clamors to fix their broken budget by, still holding to the same old 'nanny state' and anti-development ideas that put them in a perpetual state of catch-up.
In a state that won't tap it own resources, then overspends, borrows to make up for overspending, when California misses the point on so many levels we all pay for it.
San Fransisco Chronicle reported that after days of wrangling California's legislature, a budget was passed that would avoid what Barbara Boxer referred to as a"crisis of a lifetime." California faced a projected $41 billion budget shortfall. What's on tap for this new budget? $11.4 billion in borrowing, $12.8 billion in increased taxes and the obligatory 2 billion in federal stimulus. Spending makes things harder on businesses in the state and eventually every body suffers.
So what's the problem? We've been here before. After the recall we were supposed to see new and responsible leadership, but with a budget shortfall almost $3 billion larger than the one that led to the recall, observers are left searching for the point of the recall. Let's go back to October 2003. Newly re-elected Gov. Gray Davis had been recalled. The new popular Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger assumed the office vowing to fix the broken budget. California was said at the time to have a deficit larger than every other state in the union put together $38.2 billion. He went on national television pushing a bill that would 'temporarily' borrow to help on the path to fiscal responsibility. Since then Schwarzenegger has occasionally cut taxes, but for the greater part of time in power he has done nothing to really build California's resource base, or truly reform the out of control entitlement programs that plague the states budget. His time as executive is hardly distinguishable from the previous Davis administration. Oh, and the legislative branch helped both administrations put holes in the boat.
With the help of the left-wing legislature, the pre-recall spending continued after the recall. The last six years under Arnold, and his cohorts, has brought much discussion about alternate energy sources. Wind Farms and Solar Panels are neat ideas but their implementation, while popular amongst the environmental crowd, come at a massive cost. These forms of energy only address part of part of the energy 'point.' They don't really produce enough energy for the 36 million inhabitants. The great western coast-line of California has vast deposits of Natural Gas and (I know that this is a bad word) Oil. The revenues from utilizing these resources could help the state budget and create vast amounts of jobs (imagine if nuclear energy were on the table) this discussion would be closer to 'the point.' Most of these vast resources will however remain untapped and the high populous state will continue importing much of it's energy and eventually the utility purchasers of P.G.&E will get stung.
The inhabitants of California get an added bonus. There is discussion of decriminalizing of marijuana for the purpose of taxation. Another plan would release one third of the sizable California prison population. These Ideas are an example of how The Golden State perhaps thinks that it is the only state in the union. Both of these plans help the budget, in theory, to the detriment the citizens of California, as well as those of the states around them. Can you say 'miss the point?' Imagine thousands of newly released criminals within a short drive of Las Vegas or Reno after they have made their own state unlivable. I wager the thank you letter from the Nevada Commission on Tourism is in the mail.
As in the case of Nevada these decision don't just stay in the Coastal Paradise. California is really a microcosm of U.S. in many ways. The farming areas are more conservative. The large coastal cities have more people and much more liberal perspectives on the role that government should take. The more agricultural areas produce goods that help all of us, but they are under-represented, due to their lower populations. The capitals are closer vicinity to elitist metro areas. In the capitals they attempt to solve blatant miss-management by passing bills that raise taxes and don't starve the spending 'beast.' Legislatures also claim to 'fix' budget problems by borrowing money to keep 'the beast' fed. Out of the capital Sacramento come Nanny State ideas like Sensitivity Training, Clean Air Acts, and Helmet Laws that infest the surrounding western states like an Influenza Virus. The Golden State misses 'the point again and again.
Why does it matter if they miss the point so often? California composes more than 10% of the U.S. population, and the worlds 8th largest economy. The nations Food, Shipping, Banking, Construction and Tourism Industries, with countless others, are all disproportionately represented in this one state. When California misses 'the point.' The nation, as a whole, feels it.
Posted by Rhant at www.realityslate.com