Tuesday, July 21, 2009

California State Budget Concessions You Didn't Hear About


(Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/AP)
"Ha ha ha! WE JUST DESTROYED YOUR STATE."

The California budget stalemate is finally over -- and now the real pain begins. As state programs are cut to the bone and assistance plans reduced to nothing, it's probably time to remind you that the state partly has itself to blame for electing Schwarzenegger in the first place.

Too bad no one warned you at the time about what a mess the Governator would be. Oh wait. THEY DID.

But whatever. So Schwarzenegger didn't succeed in reforming Sacramento, only presiding over the further collapse of the state. Kids and poor people don't elect lawmakers, so why not hit them the hardest. Am I right, folks?

Term limits. A proposition system run amok. Impossible-to-achieve voting thresholds to approve a budget. Wrong-headed tax cuts.

And then... a circus of a recall election in 2003 -- which was brought on by, well, what? The fact that Gray Davis was a dullard? The fact that a movie star wanted to be governor? The fact that so many people could easily be swayed by bombastic talk radio hosts? If it's true that you get the government that you deserve, then someone must have really wanted to punish California.

Most of all, our indifference as citizens in how California is run has finally bit us in the ass. We wanted it all: No taxes, yet great schools and plenty of social services for all. We wanted government to run smoothly, yet we wanted to shuffle in new politicians every few years. We wanted to protect the environment, yet we're pissed at how expensive our gas is.

LA Biz Observed has a smart roundup on why this new budget really won't solve anything.

But here are a few more California budget concessions you might not have read elsewhere:

:: "8th Grade" replaced by "Year-long Caltrans apprenticeship."

:: California State Lottery restructured into one great big Ponzi scheme.

:: Cal State Northridge to be replaced by "Cal State Wikipedia."

:: State lifeguards replaced by DVD copies of "Baywatch," season two.

:: Naming rights to the California State Song put up to auction; winner Diddy chooses "Swagga Like Puff."

:: "Cop-Free Fridays." Seriously, you're on your own every Friday. Stay out of trouble.

:: San Diego has been sold to the Tijuana Cartel for an undisclosed sum.

:: Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers announce a budget deal. Social services, assistance cut. State also plans to close down Fresno. Sorry, Fresno.

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