California Keeps Crashing Down The Cliff
It’s very difficult to be joyously diffused with the turn of the new decade when California--my home state and formerly one of the greatest republics the world has ever seen--is a total fiscal and political wreck, reeling from one disastrous special session to the next in desperate standoffs that never raise revenue, but always lay off government workers. Along with stiffing millions of little people who seriously depend on the services those workers used to provide. To say nothing of writing off our future by abusing our children with education neglect.1
I’d be vastly more impressed with Rahm, Axelrod and Obama if they hadn’t so blithely traded away aid to the states in the first stimulus to some total Senatorial political chumps, proclaiming how many jobs they saved while California laid off librarians and government workers everywhere always got on my nerves. Saving that money would have meant a fight and hurt feelings, oh the horror of it all.
Still, even though California is the 8th largest economy in the world where economic and political failure could mean disaster to federal and Obama political goals, we did bring this on ourselves, yes. Our kids need food, clothes and schoolbooks but we get it, yeah, there’s wars to win, we’re on our own.
California can be a strange place, not for its offbeat folks but in the simple denial the place doesn’t function anymore. Gavin Newsome was awesome on Twitter and Facebook but, as far as I could tell, could never simply spell out what was wrong with our revenue streams and how he would fix it. I thought it was strange Newsome would quit so early on such shaky polling data, no one is really seriously paying attention to the candidates yet, but whatever, dude. No one thinks Jerry Brown can really get California out of its troubles, but that looks like our likely scenario. Oh joy.
Meantime Governor Bicep is yet again calling a special session to somehow cut $18 billion from the budget, then will give his last State of the State address, and after a God-awful long 12 more months of abuse California never has to be inflicted with this idiot of a Governor again. It’s surreal as hell to see the chump circle the globe on a noble crusade for California energy efficiency, yet he can’t even get the DMV to run.
The Republicans don’t care, of course not, if they can’t get their way they’ll shut California down, even without majority rule in a ridiculous bicameral legislature. It should be screamingly familiar to critical Executive branch folks in DC but we still hear this shit about “partisan squabbles” and “old battles of the past.” It does get very wearying so very quickly, this clucking of total unreality that produces nothing but failure.
Anyway, that’s basically it, nothing has been solved in California in all of 2009, there are no solutions in sight to solve any element of our revenue problems, and we will continue to abuse our little people in a stupid, cruel twist of human life that was never, ever necessary. As always, it was so easy to be so much better than this, the problems we face aren’t difficult to solve, but the Republicans have abandoned public service altogether, they’ll bring all of us down if they can’t get their way.
I’m fairly sure that paradigm exists at the federal level now too. Until that reality is slammed home by the Democratic leadership expect a lot more surly essays starkly outlining yet more pathetic political failure like failing to deliver aid to the States, because until it is failure is all the American people are going to get.
 The stupid Republican political mantra is that taxes can never, ever be raised. But what about inflation? After 20 years, wouldn’t inflation make a tax increase absolutely necessary to keep water clean, trash collected and felons locked up?
The Republicans have no answer. None. They’ll just sit there and deny taxes must be raised to provide services, even if it means shutting it all down.
In fact, the Republicans have so lost it they believe cutting taxes raises revenue, so on a federal level the only political option they have to reduce to the deficit is to cut taxes. Seriously, since they’re defenders of Medicare now (!), this is all they can offer, solve the deficit problem by cutting taxes.
These are the political operatives we’re supposed to get along with, whom we get lectured at for having “squabbles.” It does so much for keeping me politically cheerful and on board that Obama bus, oh yes.