Sacramento is California’s budget problem

13 Jul

Last May, California voters turned down every tax-hike that Sacramento threw their way by overwhelming margins in its attempt to fix the state’s $26 billion-dollar deficit. The Governor, Democratic legislatures, the California Teachers Association, and nearly all of the state newspapers labeled the May 19 propositions as the only way to solve the Golden State’s budget woes. Using the trusty weapon of fear, panic, and threats of “devastating cutbacks,” California’s political establishment tried to scare its subjects into submission, and when they refused, lashed out. The Los Angeles Times and The Sacramento Beeboth pointed their pens at the supposed culprits behind the budget mess: California voters.

The arrogance and incompetence of California’s political elite is never surprising, and the fact they targeted voters for this state’s budget binging (and continue to do so) reveals that Sacramento is not only fiscally bankrupt, but is also bankrupt of ideas. After their tax-and-waste scam failed, Sacramento’s best and brightest started issuing worthless IOUs, refuse to make any serious cuts, and plan to beef up the state’s tax collecting power. Every new proposal or bill that crawls its way across the floors of the State Legislature aims to cripple private enterprise, tax our “bad habits,” and fails to place the blame where it belongs: on our legislatures and the union gangs.

Two decades ago, California was a business-friendly state that maintained a balanced budget. It has now turned into a state virtually run by public-sector parasites, and three in five of those public sector workers belong to unions, compared to the two in five average of other states.

The Democratic Party, which years ago sold its soul to the unions, has controlled the legislature and most statewide positions, translating into more government workers, higher salaries, and increased pension costs.  Last year, California spent almost $7.3 billion dollars paying its pension fund, and more than 5,000 former public employees are taking $100,000 a year from taxpayers.

For the last two decades, Sacramento’s policy has been to loot and pillage the free and productive private sector in order to fund an increasingly wasteful and bloated public sector. As businesses raise prices, cut costs, close up shop, or leave the state altogether, it’s easy to see why the trough of entitlements is losing funding.

The stranglehold that the Democrats have had on Californians has created a top-heavy, bureaucratic monster in Sacramento that can only be tamed with more and more taxpayer money. Government has the unfortunate trait of never being able to go out of business, and when it fails, as it tends to do, it simply asks for more funding. Governments have no incentive to please their customers, manage costs, to be efficient, or to adapt to ever changing demands. The market, on the other hand, is government’s polar opposite, and it continues to be squeezed by Sacramento.

While the legislatures pick apart businesses to the bone, they throw us the scraps, and ordinary citizens are forced to save, tighten our belts, and are expected to bear even more of a tax burden. Fortunately, Californians are starting to see through the Sacramento statists’ bluff, and as an election leers just around the corner, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

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