Like the proverbial "emperor with no clothes," California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is naked... totally without a clue to solving the State's $17-20 BILLION budgetary deficit.
Paper it over: the old Schwarzenegger prescription ...
In previous years, Schwarzenegger used borrowing from Wall Street and accounting legerdemain to "paper over" budget deficits. And, as a consequence, sorely needed money is being used for "debt service" on a variety of bonds and rapidly aging critical water and highway infrastructure is NOT being repaired, replaced or enhanced.
The Schwarzenweasel's new plan...
Start with the platitudes ...
"Schwarzenegger likened the effects of California’s spending habits to 'sugar highs.' 'Then the sugar is gone, and we come down off our high,' he said. 'We spend it all one year and can’t sustain it the next. We need to budget more evenly.'”
"'As the deficit grew these past few months, I knew that we could not solve this crisis by cuts alone,' the governor said in presenting his proposals. 'We had to get creative.'"
" . . . We are trying to be in the middle with this budget," he said, acknowledging the risk of displeasing both sides of the aisle, but "I always find there's a middle way."
“We now have no way out,” the governor said, “except to face our budget demons.”
and then propose ...
Diversion of "windfall" gas taxes from its intended purpose of repairing the highways
"It would steer an $828-million windfall of gas tax revenue -- the result of soaring prices at the pump -- away from public transportation programs and into patching California's $15.2-billion budget gap.
"The centerpiece of Schwarzenegger's budget is a novel plan to ask voters for permission to borrow $15 billion from Wall Street against future earnings of the state lottery, and to temporarily raise the state portion of sales taxes -- now 6.25% -- by 1 percentage point if voters reject the proposal in November."
All of which ratifies the past outrageous legislative spending levels for the next budgetary cycle. Remember THIS IS OUR NEXT BUDGET that is being considered.
Channeling the late Johnny Carson's Carnac the Magnificent -- The answer is: road kill...
What do you call the thing that is straddling the yellow line of a a busy highway?
"That middle has long eluded California's self-described "post-partisan" governor on budget issues. The state's finances are in no better shape now than they were when Schwarzenegger came to office in 2003, promising to clean house. And there is little hope in Sacramento that much will happen this year to bring long-term balance to the state's books."
For those who do not understand the meaning of "post-partisan" ...
It means being a RINO (Republican In Name Only) and abandoning the fiscally conservative principles you originally ran on. It means nominating liberal democrats to positions of great authority while qualified Republicans are ignored. It means bowing and scraping to the democrats in power in order to fulfill your desire to be a "man of the people."
Same old, same old...
Los Angeles Business Journal (August 9, 2004 -- Howard Fine)...
"Schwarzenegger's budget: déjà vu: solutions to spending problems recall days before the recall"
"It may not be what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger promised when he campaigned last year, but the $105 billion state budget signed into law has been described as much like the ones of his predecessor, Gray Davis."
"The budget borrows billions of dollars through a web of bonds, fund transfers and loans. It also has its share of risky assumptions, including revenue streams or savings that either might not materialize or could be challenged in court."
"Above all, the budget puts off making the tough decisions needed to bring state spending into line with revenue.
"Here are some answers to key questions: "How much borrowing is in the budget?"
"Lots. First, there's $11.3 billion from the $15 billion of deficit financing bonds that voters approved in March, which must be paid back from sales tax revenues taken from local governments.
"It also uses $1.2 billion in bond proceeds from recently approved compacts with five Indian tribes for gaming revenues that would repay transportation loans ahead of schedule."
"There's also a $925 million pension obligation bond that diverts money from current pension payouts and postpones those payouts into the future."
"Besides these direct borrowings, the budget relies on implicit borrowing: billions of dollars in "give-backs" from various interest groups that Schwarzenegger negotiated in return for guarantees against future takeaways. For example, cities and counties agreed to yield $2.6 billion over two years in property tax revenues, while the California Teachers Association agreed to give up $2 billion in funding mandated by Proposition 98."
"All told, the state Legislative Analyst's Office estimates there is roughly $17 billion in borrowing in the budget."
Five years and nothing has changed on Schwarzenegger's watch except more spending...
Five years and nothing has changed on Schwarzenegger's watch except more spending...
Schwarzenegger: A feel-good narcissistic movie star flying around the world, living the good life -- apparently funded by "special" foundations which refuse to identify their donors...
I like Arnold the movie star, I hate Schwarzenegger the politician. He is every bit as liberal as Teddy Kennedy; except without any of the political savvy or party loyalty.
Return to Reagan conservatism. Consider Mike Villines, Republican leader of the State Assembly, who correctly observed that “We have a spending problem in this state, not a revenue problem.”
Eliminate the waste, fraud and corruption. De-fund special interest projects which do nothing but win votes. (Sound walls on the freeway over earthquake retrofitting or road resurfacing comes to mind). Bring the unions under control and enforce common-sense work rules. Re-tool the state pension programs. Execute the list of budgetary reforms proposed by Tom McClintock. Deny funding to school systems that build BILLION dollar high schools or choose to not built 7+ high schools in favor of one $230 million high school pushed by a billionaire developer.
For those with short memories... Schwarzenegger threw the state's most educated budget expert, Tom McClintock under the bus by denying him last minute campaign support -- although they were running on a joint ticket. I guess Schwarzenegger did not want a "picky conservative" looking over his shoulder when he made all of those special interest deals or became a bigger campaign fundraiser than Gray Davis.
What can YOU do?
End Schwarzenegger's political career. Do not let him get away with papering over this budget. Demand tough leadership that cuts spending to match revenues. Remember, we are speaking of money that is "budgeted" and has not been spent.
Tell your elected officials that you want a solution without raising taxes or cutting vital services. We do not need arts commissions. We do not need to pander to the unions. We can reduce the size of the government. We can stop the waste, fraud and corruption.
Tell you elected officials that we need to fix today's economic problems before decimating our economy to solve a "global warming" problem that may not be real or make take a 10+ lifetimes to manifest.
Remember: when Schwarzenegger speaks of securitization of lottery revenues, he is describing "derivatives." You know, those things created on Wall Street which have gotten us into this terrible fiscal crisis as they were "tweaked" for maximum profits. And now the Governator wants to repeat the process with lottery bonds. "Through securitization, we would sell the rights to a portion of the future revenue stream from the Lottery for cash upfront. This would be a very attractive deal for investors even if we did not modernize our Lottery."
Tell your elected officials that we must take care of California's legal citizens before we provide open-ended charity to the hordes of poor and illiterate people crossing our borders.
Make them do their jobs or turn them out of office in favor of honest people who are willing to serve without plundering the citizen's pockets.
Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security, sovereignty and economic strength of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for their personal philosophy, power, prestige or profits.
Quote of the day: "
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“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS