Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Governator Declares "Fiscal Emergency"

The Sacramento Bee tells us that Arnold Schwarzenegger has used a newly found power from Proposition 58 to declare a fiscal emergency.

Although this new procedure seems to have more PR value than teeth, it might get the State Legislature moving on a budget problem they would have to work on anyway in first months of the coming year.

What are the programs first on the chopping block? The article points to some who say Proposition 98, which provides funds for schools, could be cut back within the way the law was written or even suspended. It's too bad funding for schools may come first.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

First thing on the chopping block will be aid to the disabled, SSI cost of living increases, medical supplies and equipment. "Can't walk, get in line for a wheelchair."

12/15/2007 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

The question that is even more important Sara, is how big the deficit is becoming and it seems that the size of the deficit may be a function of the housing bust.

Community budgets are also threatened--big time.

How will we plug the enormous hole?
Property taxes?

Somebody's OX is going to get gored. Santa Barbara has been down this road before.

Do our blogabarbara real estate and investment tycoons have any cheerful thoughts?

12/15/2007 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

We were supposed to finish the year with about a four billion surplus.

Here's what I read:

"Schwarzenegger made the announcement Friday after meeting with lawmakers and interest groups this week to tell them California's budget deficit is worse -- far worse -- than economists predicted just a few weeks ago.

The shortfall is not $10 billion, but more than $14 billion -- a 40 percent jump that would put it in orbit with some of the state's worst fiscal crisis, those who have met with him said."

A 40% jump in a few weeks is a very big warning sign.

Look for lots of "Notmyfaultism"

12/15/2007 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Public employee unions
2. Public employee unions
3. Public employee unions

There you have it. Can't break their back any more. They use tax dollars to support their union dues and their union dues from our very own tax dollars buy legislators and bargaining agendas that keep increasing the amount of public tax dollars they get.

And they can't be fired and they can never been held accountable.

The deal is cooked and now there is no going back. They get "morale" problems if you don't keep giving them more and more tax dollars for salaries and benefits that are gold-plated, well beyond anything any other person ever dreams about getting for their cushy, dead-end jobs.

We created a monster and now it is insatiable and will not stop until there is a state wide referendum that kills this beast before it is too late.

Schwarzenegger saw this right away when he first took office and those early initiatives that did not pass were the answer. Can he get them passed again if he tries again. Sure hope so.

Take away tenure and job security first and foremost. This public employee beast has to be killed before it devours ever single ta dollar the legislature it bought continues to feed it ....with our tax dollars.

12/15/2007 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Builder Complex said...

Sounds like it's time to grow, grow grow!

12/16/2007 7:52 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Go ahead and give it to me
Honey take me through the niiight
Go ahead and give it to me
Breakdown's all riiight

Took me 1.5 sec. to download all 796 pages of the states budget.
Fascinating reading if you're a mental masochist.

It's actually pretty readible and detailed. They explain what the line items are but not the justification.

150 Billion budget and actually 17B in overuns.

There are huge chunks for retirement and the UC system sure looks like they get their cuts despite what someone says about them being rev neutral.

Lots of money for DOT.

35B for healthcare of which 20B is Fed funds. Makes those hundreds of 9 figure line items look small.

Like any good UC student, I skimmed it and plan on BSing my way through the test.

I swear I'll find 17B to cut in less than 45 days.

Better plan on cancelling all those holiday parties Pedro, you have work to do. If you're not FIRED with enthusiasm for this task, soon will be.

12/16/2007 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

Hey SA1:

Instead of giving you the line-item veto, maybe we could just tax oil companies, gasoline, and rich hedge fund managers--and to keep things on a more even keel, how about a big new property tax on this insufferable bunch of homeowners who've made so much money in Santa Barbara? Tax the rich. Where have I heard this before?

And don't forget, the church is asking for 10%. And I propose a tax on dogs and cats.

12/16/2007 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get rid of Prop 13 and double the property tax!

12/16/2007 2:29 PM  
Blogger johnsanroque said...

The answer to the budget deficit is not to find scapegoats like public employees, the Department of Transportation, or health care. It's all of the above, and many other expenditures that people believe they are entitled to. Politics outweighs even the most basic common sense when it comes to budgets. Citizens and politicians, especially Republicans, keep droning the mantra that taxes must not be increased--that there's enough money in the budget if their political opponents would just stop wasting it.

This idiotic approach is believed, evidently, by enough voters to elect people like George Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger who say that cutting taxes actually creates more government revenue. Common sense and fiscal reality have disproven that, and that's why there are incredible annual federal and state deficits. Remember when Schwarzenegger campaigned on the promise not to restore vehicle license fees to their previously-approved level? That one act has cost the State almost five billion dollars since he was elected. The governor said he could fix the State's budget by eliminating waste and fraud--complete political b.s., but some people actually believed it.

Did you vote for Schwarzenegger? You're more at fault for the deficit than the public employees.

12/16/2007 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's blame the illegal aliens!

12/16/2007 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its just a thought but after reading JSR and the double the property tax comments has anyone thought that maybe we should have reined in spending? Does that also mean since we have a Democratic State Legislature that they are to blame also, I guess not following JSR's thoughts but no one wants to admit they are both at fault and public employee unions as well.

As for repealing prop 13 which seems to please the renters and those who dont own, or who bought late in the market cycle it will have the effect of slightly downturning home values, force many older people put of town, and increase rent rates. If you thought you couldnt afford to buy how are you going to pay the rent increase that will be passed along. I guess no one thought of that but if you think your landlord isnt just going to pass that along sweet dreams.

I am interested to see what the city council will do though do they have the political will to make cuts? What do we spend less on....

12/16/2007 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They only people with a sense of entitlement are the public employees and the public employee unions feeding off our tax dollars make sure they continue to feel that sense of entitlement or else they will pout.

Let them all go on strike and let's find out how much useless work they do in the first place. We won't even notice they all called in sick with their tender little morale problems.

12/16/2007 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

"Notmyfaultism"is starting as I predicted. "Yourfaultisme" is next.

If Bush and the Governator did it, and the Democrats want to solve the problem by taking more of your money to keep a little and give away the rest, how about giving Ron Paul a thought?

12/16/2007 9:37 PM  
Blogger johnsanroque said...

To anon 8:09:

My point is that there are many reasons why the State and Federal gov't are in debt. I was not blaming Republicans exclusively, but that party has pushed the idea of lowering taxes to a ridiculous level. There's no free lunch.

Gray Davis gave away too many long-term fiscal commitments when the revenues were fat. Schwarzenegger campaigned directly that he could reduce waste and fraud to balance the budget. He even brought in someone (a woman from out of state--Donna Arduin?) to attack fiscal waste. That did absolutely nothing because citizens would roll over and die before giving up services they expect or paying more taxes. i.e. restoring the car license fee to its original level.

Politicians of both parties say what's needed to get elected and then do what's needed to stay in office. None of that will make the budget problems go away because there is a structural imbalance in both the federal and state budgets. More money is being spent than taken in. And the difference is far too great to be eliminated by the waste and fraud believers or people who scapegoat the unions or health care. Some of the people who rant about public employees pay next to nothing in Prop 13 taxes.

My belief is that people expect a level of services and benefits that is impossible to maintian at current tax levels. I don't believe there is the political or popular will to give up those services and benefits, so raising taxes is the other option. Actually, there is a third option, That's the one being pursued now of going in debt and screwing the taxpayers who will follow us.

12/17/2007 5:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Governator is smart, and I do believe he is, as his parting shot he will run those governance propositions past the voters again before he leaves office because he drew an accurate bead on what makes state government dysfunction. He euphonistically called it "special interests" but he knows it is the public employee unions who abuse the system most of all .

All those 4 propositions that failed under the withering public employee union attack are exactly what needs to win next time if this state budget is going to be saved.

1. Public employee unions have to stop getting automatic union dues from all state employees.

2. Tenure and job security has to be eliminated for all state paid jobs.


Yup, all of this needs to be passed this next go around. If Schwarzenegger lives up to his original promise to this state, he cannnot leave without taking one more shot at this. And saving our state using his now formidible power to get all of these passed this next time.

12/17/2007 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only people expecting a certain level of "benefits and services" are the public employees who have well-paid job security and gold-plated benefits for life, with no accountability for job productivity or function.

12/17/2007 6:05 PM  

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