California needs a two-thirds majority to pass the budget. The hard-line Republicans, who are already doing poorly with the public, looked bad. After long delays, six Republicans offered to support a vicious budget, with modest tax increases on matters that left business and the wealthy unaffected. Republicans required that the Legislature agreed to put a number of very restrictive budget referenda on a special election. This strategy was a brilliant success in tripping up the Democrats, who mostly supported the measure, while both anti-tax forces and most unions opposed it.
Besides, if Prop 1A had passed, the state would have to put funds into a rainy day fund, which would have provided a tempting target for future tax cutters.
All but one insignificant measure that affected legislators' salaries lost.
The media played the election is if it was a resounding victory for anti-tax forces. Even more cuts will hit education and the poor. And the Democrats will have no alternative to offer.
What do you suppose it is that causes a democratically elected legislature and executive to put the burden of budget support disproportionately on the working class? Look at the California effort to cope with theri budget crsis. The first thing done is to "furlough" the state and county employees. We all know how unnecessary teachers and sanitation workers can be, to say nothing of the disutility of doctors and nurses in public hospitals. The furoughs are not paid vacations, obviously. But what is the difference between reducing the incomes of a large group of working citizens through the furlough sysmtem and, otherwise, reducing the income of another, or larger, group of citizens by raising their taxes? So who bears the brunt of the budget crisis? Civil employees all over California are bearing the brunt of the crisis so that no one else has to pay more taxes. What is up with that??
It is very sad, but money buys elections. Unions are powerless. Megachurches are strong. The media (the owners, not the reporters) gave up on solid reporting long ago.
But then the Internet will change everything. Yeah!
The Internet will efffect change to the same extent that our newly minted President demonstrates his intention to give us "change we can believe in." Don't hold your breath waiting for that change.
I am convinced that the only cure for what ails us is a better representation of the common people in their government. We need a lot less "top down" control of our lives and of our economics. And if we think our fellows to ignorant to enlist their power in doing what is right then the need is for education as opposed to oppression. The need for education should not be translated into economic education in the universities. It seems to me that, when we speak of economics, the universities are the problem as opposed to the cure. I sound like Reagan claiming that government is the problem, but I think both positions have merit.
This attempt at a slide show is under development and is clunky and ugly (click on the picture to get the details). It will probably remain clunky and ugly, but that does not mean it is incorrect or that it is telling lies. All of what is presented is factual and a matter of historical and/or current reality. We need a new "Reapportionment Act" and we need for that Act to be created far in advance of the actual 2011 reapportionment that will define the electoral districts for the 2012 elections. With an increase in the membership of the House, all of the states will need to be redistricted and rules concerning equal population, contiguous and compact districts need to be put in place well in advance. I see no other way to recover from the current oligarchical form our society has taken.
The California Democrats have become much to dependent upon large gerrymandered legislative districts to maintain their hold on power. They have had to desert the common people in order to finance their elections. The ownership society is about to be thoroughly realized in California. There will be no middle class Californians. It will be a state occupied by property owners and illegal aliens.
I was last in L.A. in 1999. That was at the peak of the dot-com boom. An Iranian taxi driver took me from the airport and after discussing the poor he insisted on touring me (for free) around many of the shanties in the CBD. That was strange to see in such a rich state. Along with the hordes of beggars. But weirder was the sense nobody else was actually working either. I'd be walking around at 2pm on Wednesday and the street would be thronged with shoppers in casual gear like it was a Saturday. There was NO sense it was a weekday at all. I understand many have wealth in CA but Tokyo is no Hooverville either. And on a Wednesday, you see 90% is the businessman on the streets going from meeting A to meeting B and maybe a handful of shopping housewives. That's when I got an inkling that the USA was (to be impolite) fcked. You can't live off wealth like that and expect it to just rain free money forever. It wasn't any kind of stereotyped Euro-peon spiteful envy that fostered my opinion. Just a kind of Mid-West inspired disgust at the self-entitled "Big Gulp" excess that was the pride of every smirk in town. I loved SF but hated LA. Taking the coast road to San Diego from LA the road surface was very poor. Which shocked me too. The suddenly on one section it was suddenly perfectly sealed for km after km. And literally as we hit the town limit sign, the road returned to crap. "Rich neighbourhood", commented the driver. They'd just funded the roadworks within their own limits, not one inch more. This kind of public works would flabbergast any European. It would be so crassly selfish as to be illegal.
Paul Krugman's OpEd in yesterday's NYTimes warns how the situation in CA just might impact the nation politically, sort of in the sense of the tyranny of the minority.
Does anyone recall what brought Arnold to the Governorship? Wasn't there a recall of a Democrat Governor because of a financial crisis that paved the way for Arnold? And how has Arnold addressed that crisis over how many years since? Perhaps his true role is that of the Terminator - of CA!
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