The Wasatch Behind: California dreamin'
As California goes, so goes the nation. We've heard it said many times, but I'm sure hoping it isn't true. California is sliding into the ocean, and it's an ocean of debt. The state is bankrupt.
Californians already pay some of the highest taxes in the world and they refuse to pay more. So Governor Terminator (Schwarzenegger) wants you and me to bail them out. It will cost as much as $38 billion to fix things temporarily, and without federal help the governator says he'll have to cut hundreds of police, fire, and teaching jobs around the state and release thousands of dangerous criminals from jail. Heaven knows he can't cut welfare programs or entitlements. That's where the votes are.
I asked Uncle Spud what he thought about this.
"I think we should help California," the Spudster proclaimed.
"Really?" I said. "I thought a rough and radical old redneck like you would want to see them simmer in that stew of their own making."
"Oh no," he said. "I'm a very compassionate, tolerant, and non-judgmental sort of fellow. I think we should help them get out of debt."
"So you want to give California billions of federal tax dollars?"
"No," he said. "I want to help them solve their debt problem."
"How do we do that without giving them money?"
"Give a man a fish and you give him dinner," Spud smiled. "Teach a man to fish and you can sell him a fishing license every year."
"We've got to get at the root of the problem," Spud said. "If California is hopelessly in debt, we've got to make them fish or cut bait. Giving them federal money won't fix the problem."
"What do you suggest?"
"Common sense should do the trick," he said. "First, California is killing its own tax base. Thousands of businesses and well-to-do citizens are fleeing the state to avoid oppressive taxes. You can't kill the golden goose and still gather the golden eggs. California must lower taxes."
"Wouldn't that lower tax revenues?" I asked.
"Not in the long run," Spud assured me. "Let people keep more of their money and they'll invest in things that create jobs, goods, and new tax revenues. Tax cuts prime the pump of commerce and industry."
"Second," he continued. "California has been welcoming illegal aliens for years, even setting up 'sanctuary cities' like San Francisco where illegals arguably have more rights and privileges than American citizens. Illegals are a multi-billion dollar drain on state tax coffers every year. They get free health care, welfare, schooling, and a plethora of social service programs paid for by tax paying citizens. And about 20-percent of the felons in the overcrowded and expensive California prisons are illegals. That problem can be fixed by closing the border."
"Third. Pensions for state employees is bringing down the roof. State employees can retire at age 55, after 30 years of service, with 60-percent of their highest salary. Public safety employees like cops, EMTs, and firefighters can retire at age 50 with 90-percent of their salary. And after 30 years, most of those people are making well over 100 thousand dollars when they retire. Get real. That's like winning the lottery."
"Fourth. California is saving the planet by sacrificing industry to the gods of global warming. And losing the industrial base eliminates jobs, income, tax revenues, goods and services, and electrical power. Give it up. Carbon dioxide is plant food, not pollution. Even Al Gore is speaking of 'climate change' now because the argument for global warming doesn't hold water. The climate is always changing: season-to-season, year-to-year, century-to-century, ice age-to-ice age. Get a clue. Climate change was happening millions of years before cars and industrial smokestacks."
"Fifth. California is a paradise for welfare worms. They bore deep into the system and suck it dry. The state has a welfare program to cover every conceivable need, problem, or addiction. And the cost is beyond control. Is it any wonder so many people refuse to work, go to school, or support their families? Everything is provided, compliments of the government, just keep voting for the right people."
"And now California is broke and it's time to pay the fiddler. If we give them a hundred gazillion dollars they'll simply use it to keep the madness going. Like GM and Chrysler, we've got to let California fail. It's the only way things will ever get fixed."