Legislative Game of Chicken Imperils Local Governance

Friday the Vanguard primarily looked at the fiscal crisis the school district now faces which is due entirely to the state budget situation at this point. The school district is not alone in receiving bad news this week, the county faces an $18 million deficit next year which is something on order of one-third of their general fund budget. The city is actually off relatively light facing only a $1.2 million deficit this year, $3 million next year, and $5 million down the line. Did I say light? Well, at least I qualified it with relatively.

Time to be brutally honest here. The state is facing a problem of such severity that I do not believe most people grasp the magnitude of it. First it was $10 billion (that’s with a “b”), then $28 billion, now the latest is perhaps $40 billion.

Speaker Karen Bass deserves credit because she seems to recognize the magnitude of the problem. She is afraid her colleagues do not.

She said on Monday:

“I think that some of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle are in denial, frankly. And feel that this problem is not as big as $11 billion right now or $28 billion over the next few months, or feel that we can solve this through cuts alone or that we can solve this through revenue alone.”

She continued:

“I’m saying that on both sides of the aisle, in both houses, and I’m also saying that for the new members especially who come here with wonderful ideals that they need to hear the reality.”

Since that point we have seen the GOP legislative leaders have it out with the Governor. The Governor clearly has no clout with his own party. He is a man without a base. Some people will hear that and say good for him. The fact of the matter is it is good for nobody. I prefer a moderate governor to a conservative governor on an ideological basis, but we need someone here who can be a deal broker, who can get the votes. The Governor has no ability to do that. At this point he might as well not exist.

Let me lay out the implications of what the Speaker is saying because from my perspective she is the only one making sense.

On Thursday she acknowledged that in order to stave off something far worse than we are already facing, that Democrats have to be prepared to cut programs that they do not want to cut.

“They said that they came up here because of what they believed in and they believed that there should never be a tax increase. All of us came up here for what we believed in. I came up here to make sure that I would protect programs that now I have to recognize have to be cut. We all have to do things that we never thought we would do because California is in a catastrophic situation.”

The Speaker may see the reality here, it is questionable as to whether her colleagues recognize the truth with which she speaks. It is doubtful that the Republicans understand that they are going to have to do likewise.

The Sacramento Bee this morning has an article called “GOP hangs tight on taxes as red ink rises.”

The Bee writes:

“California is hurtling toward a financial abyss, projecting a $40 billion shortfall by July 2010, and no deal can be struck without at least three Republican votes in both the Assembly and Senate.

GOP officials clutch that trump card with relish as the state braces to pull the plug on $5 billion in public works projects and warns it won’t be able to pay all its bills by February or March.

Democrats and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger want to shrink the gap through a combination of program cuts and tax increases – but Republican lawmakers adamantly oppose raising taxes and nearly all have signed national pledges to hold firm.

Democrats say the GOP is holding California coffers hostage.”

Republicans want to see structural changes as the Assembly Leader Mike Villines said:

“The point is, if you don’t make structural reforms now, I don’t know when we can ever do it in this state.”

The Republicans are right in a sense, we do need to make structural reforms now. But what needs to happen and quickly is that both sides drop the posturing and put their cards on the table. Republicans are going to have to accept tax increases, there is no way to make this work without increasing revenue. Democrats are going to have to accept program cuts–figure out which programs can be cut (which is a problem onto itself) and then how much money can be saved from them.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer is exactly right:

“State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a Democrat, characterized the high-stakes showdown between legislative Democrats and Republicans as political “chicken,” with each party expecting the other to blink.

“I think they’re going to run off a cliff,” Lockyer said.”

The problem is that at this point both sides are pointing the finger at each other. Republicans see Democrats as the roadblock and Democrats believe that three Republicans are holding up what the majority of the legislature wants.

The Bee writes:

“”What we see is a gun being put at the head of the California taxpayer, they’re being told, ‘All right, look, it’s time for you to dig deeper, pony up more or you’re going to suffer even more pain,’ ” said Senate Republican leader Dave Cogdill.

Villines said the GOP is willing to discuss revenue increases – not specifically tax hikes – after a deal is struck on a state spending cap, permanent budget cuts, trimming waste, and amending some environmental regulations and labor laws to bolster business.”

The problem here is that the Republicans are in fact making a demand–spending cuts be placed on the table first, they need to be willing to discuss both simultaneously. Until both sides recognize they have to work together, this stalemate is going to continue.

Ordinarily, I would say so be it, but these are not ordinary times, each day that there is a deal that is not struck to actually fix rather than bandage the problem, the problem will get worse.

This is not the time to play politics. They have two years until an election and the actual problem outweighs any political benefit that one side would receive by winning.

The Bee article sums it up by quoting Claremont McKenna Government Professor, John Pitney:

“Sometimes games of chicken end in a crash.”

Unfortunately if they do, it is a crash that would harm the voters and taxpayers of all Californians, regardless of their party affiliation. Time for both sides of the aisle to step up, work together, and fix the problems. Then they can figure out who won.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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170 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Why aren't the republicans coming out in full swing against Arnold like they did against Gray Davis when they moved to recall him? Arnold started this. I just don't understand why we don't put back in the taxes that were taking out. The vehicle license fee is one way on generating more income. But instead, they spew the same old republican ideology that is slowly but surely chipping away at any and all government services….excepting law enforcement and prisons..(of course)Typical republicans, they want all kinds of services but don't want to pay for them. They have no problem paying for programs that kill people such as war and such, but can't stand paying for services for the poor. And what's sad to say is that most of them call themselves …Christian…. What an insult to Christ. Why is the democratic legislature not coming in and standing up for what's right? Why is California so right wing?

  2. Anonymous

    Solving the budget problem is simple: End the war on drugs.1) We'll save money on cops and prison guards.2) Tax revenue from sales.3) Jobs for making/growing the drugs.It may not solve the entire budget problem but I assure you that it will help a hell of a lot more than another damn casino.

  3. dont like the Repugs

    The Repugs are using this budget situation to try to get measures passed that they would not normally have the votes to get passed. This includes weakening environmental and business regulations, and labor laws. Their ultimate goal is to have the government fail since they don’t believe in government outside of basics like the military. They think all other aspects should be privatized and the government should ‘drown in a bathtub’.
    So you won’t see movement on their side since this is exactly what they want.

  4. dont like the Repugs

    The Repugs are using this budget situation to try to get measures passed that they would not normally have the votes to get passed. This includes weakening environmental and business regulations, and labor laws. Their ultimate goal is to have the government fail since they don’t believe in government outside of basics like the military. They think all other aspects should be privatized and the government should ‘drown in a bathtub’.
    So you won’t see movement on their side since this is exactly what they want.

  5. dont like the Repugs

    The Repugs are using this budget situation to try to get measures passed that they would not normally have the votes to get passed. This includes weakening environmental and business regulations, and labor laws. Their ultimate goal is to have the government fail since they don’t believe in government outside of basics like the military. They think all other aspects should be privatized and the government should ‘drown in a bathtub’.
    So you won’t see movement on their side since this is exactly what they want.

  6. dont like the Repugs

    The Repugs are using this budget situation to try to get measures passed that they would not normally have the votes to get passed. This includes weakening environmental and business regulations, and labor laws. Their ultimate goal is to have the government fail since they don’t believe in government outside of basics like the military. They think all other aspects should be privatized and the government should ‘drown in a bathtub’.
    So you won’t see movement on their side since this is exactly what they want.

  7. Happy In Davis

    Amen to the first comment!

    That is exactly what this state needs is a hearty dose of reality or a smoking crash!

    I applaud the Republican side of the house for their stance. This state does not need more revenue. It desperately needs to downsize the role of government to fit within its income.

    How about balancing the budget by taking the CALPERS assets? It really is public money in any case. There is absolutely no reason we shouldn’t be able to fix the budget with these funds. Why? Because the public is already obliged to cover the payments to retirees in the event of any shortfall. So why not simply use the funds now to pay for all these glorious social programs and bloated public salaries? Hmmmm?

    Oh yeah, because the legions of locusts that comprise our public employees want to protect their bloated retirement funds AND cover their current incomes using still more public money. They don’t trust the public to cover their retirement needs because they know that their ongoing salary demands will eventually break the bank.

    I hope that the republicans hold fast and whoever is advocating higher taxes can simply go “drown in a bathtub”.

    Ahhh… this whole situation makes me smile. Its about time! Its really a no lose situation… Either the democrats finally relent on all the stupid programs they advocate or the whole rube-goldberg mess that is California government comes to a crashing halt! Its like getting Christmas early!!! Yeah!!!!

  8. Happy In Davis

    Amen to the first comment!

    That is exactly what this state needs is a hearty dose of reality or a smoking crash!

    I applaud the Republican side of the house for their stance. This state does not need more revenue. It desperately needs to downsize the role of government to fit within its income.

    How about balancing the budget by taking the CALPERS assets? It really is public money in any case. There is absolutely no reason we shouldn’t be able to fix the budget with these funds. Why? Because the public is already obliged to cover the payments to retirees in the event of any shortfall. So why not simply use the funds now to pay for all these glorious social programs and bloated public salaries? Hmmmm?

    Oh yeah, because the legions of locusts that comprise our public employees want to protect their bloated retirement funds AND cover their current incomes using still more public money. They don’t trust the public to cover their retirement needs because they know that their ongoing salary demands will eventually break the bank.

    I hope that the republicans hold fast and whoever is advocating higher taxes can simply go “drown in a bathtub”.

    Ahhh… this whole situation makes me smile. Its about time! Its really a no lose situation… Either the democrats finally relent on all the stupid programs they advocate or the whole rube-goldberg mess that is California government comes to a crashing halt! Its like getting Christmas early!!! Yeah!!!!

  9. Happy In Davis

    Amen to the first comment!

    That is exactly what this state needs is a hearty dose of reality or a smoking crash!

    I applaud the Republican side of the house for their stance. This state does not need more revenue. It desperately needs to downsize the role of government to fit within its income.

    How about balancing the budget by taking the CALPERS assets? It really is public money in any case. There is absolutely no reason we shouldn’t be able to fix the budget with these funds. Why? Because the public is already obliged to cover the payments to retirees in the event of any shortfall. So why not simply use the funds now to pay for all these glorious social programs and bloated public salaries? Hmmmm?

    Oh yeah, because the legions of locusts that comprise our public employees want to protect their bloated retirement funds AND cover their current incomes using still more public money. They don’t trust the public to cover their retirement needs because they know that their ongoing salary demands will eventually break the bank.

    I hope that the republicans hold fast and whoever is advocating higher taxes can simply go “drown in a bathtub”.

    Ahhh… this whole situation makes me smile. Its about time! Its really a no lose situation… Either the democrats finally relent on all the stupid programs they advocate or the whole rube-goldberg mess that is California government comes to a crashing halt! Its like getting Christmas early!!! Yeah!!!!

  10. Happy In Davis

    Amen to the first comment!

    That is exactly what this state needs is a hearty dose of reality or a smoking crash!

    I applaud the Republican side of the house for their stance. This state does not need more revenue. It desperately needs to downsize the role of government to fit within its income.

    How about balancing the budget by taking the CALPERS assets? It really is public money in any case. There is absolutely no reason we shouldn’t be able to fix the budget with these funds. Why? Because the public is already obliged to cover the payments to retirees in the event of any shortfall. So why not simply use the funds now to pay for all these glorious social programs and bloated public salaries? Hmmmm?

    Oh yeah, because the legions of locusts that comprise our public employees want to protect their bloated retirement funds AND cover their current incomes using still more public money. They don’t trust the public to cover their retirement needs because they know that their ongoing salary demands will eventually break the bank.

    I hope that the republicans hold fast and whoever is advocating higher taxes can simply go “drown in a bathtub”.

    Ahhh… this whole situation makes me smile. Its about time! Its really a no lose situation… Either the democrats finally relent on all the stupid programs they advocate or the whole rube-goldberg mess that is California government comes to a crashing halt! Its like getting Christmas early!!! Yeah!!!!

  11. Anonymous

    So basically your solution is to take money away from people’s retirement? Sorry but that’s not a solution to this. You’re basically just picking and choosing who you take money from.

  12. Anonymous

    So basically your solution is to take money away from people’s retirement? Sorry but that’s not a solution to this. You’re basically just picking and choosing who you take money from.

  13. Anonymous

    So basically your solution is to take money away from people’s retirement? Sorry but that’s not a solution to this. You’re basically just picking and choosing who you take money from.

  14. Anonymous

    So basically your solution is to take money away from people’s retirement? Sorry but that’s not a solution to this. You’re basically just picking and choosing who you take money from.

  15. Bushs Fist

    Republicans are going to have to accept tax increases, there is no way to make this work without increasing revenue. Democrats are going to have to accept program cuts–figure out which programs can be cut (which is a problem onto itself) and then how much money can be saved from them.

    Tax increases in the middle of a recession? That is not reality. What is reality is the state has not been forced to control itself with spending, which you have mentioned here. I don’t want to belittle my fellow Californians too much but they have created part of this mess with passage of all of these bonds over the years including this election with high speed rail. There is no $, so the only quick fix is tax increases, but that hurts the pocket.

    California needs to stop issuing bond initiatives. It just piles on the debt, who is kidding who.

    Tax increases just make a bad recession worse.

  16. Happy In Davis

    not all all… to maintain our legions of locusts (sorry, I mean public employees) we have to come up with the money from somewhere. Why not from their own bloated treasury? I mean what better source of money than from the people who will get it back?

    Best solution of course is to simply cut the budget to match income.

  17. Bushs Fist

    Republicans are going to have to accept tax increases, there is no way to make this work without increasing revenue. Democrats are going to have to accept program cuts–figure out which programs can be cut (which is a problem onto itself) and then how much money can be saved from them.

    Tax increases in the middle of a recession? That is not reality. What is reality is the state has not been forced to control itself with spending, which you have mentioned here. I don’t want to belittle my fellow Californians too much but they have created part of this mess with passage of all of these bonds over the years including this election with high speed rail. There is no $, so the only quick fix is tax increases, but that hurts the pocket.

    California needs to stop issuing bond initiatives. It just piles on the debt, who is kidding who.

    Tax increases just make a bad recession worse.

  18. Happy In Davis

    not all all… to maintain our legions of locusts (sorry, I mean public employees) we have to come up with the money from somewhere. Why not from their own bloated treasury? I mean what better source of money than from the people who will get it back?

    Best solution of course is to simply cut the budget to match income.

  19. Bushs Fist

    Republicans are going to have to accept tax increases, there is no way to make this work without increasing revenue. Democrats are going to have to accept program cuts–figure out which programs can be cut (which is a problem onto itself) and then how much money can be saved from them.

    Tax increases in the middle of a recession? That is not reality. What is reality is the state has not been forced to control itself with spending, which you have mentioned here. I don’t want to belittle my fellow Californians too much but they have created part of this mess with passage of all of these bonds over the years including this election with high speed rail. There is no $, so the only quick fix is tax increases, but that hurts the pocket.

    California needs to stop issuing bond initiatives. It just piles on the debt, who is kidding who.

    Tax increases just make a bad recession worse.

  20. Happy In Davis

    not all all… to maintain our legions of locusts (sorry, I mean public employees) we have to come up with the money from somewhere. Why not from their own bloated treasury? I mean what better source of money than from the people who will get it back?

    Best solution of course is to simply cut the budget to match income.

  21. Bushs Fist

    Republicans are going to have to accept tax increases, there is no way to make this work without increasing revenue. Democrats are going to have to accept program cuts–figure out which programs can be cut (which is a problem onto itself) and then how much money can be saved from them.

    Tax increases in the middle of a recession? That is not reality. What is reality is the state has not been forced to control itself with spending, which you have mentioned here. I don’t want to belittle my fellow Californians too much but they have created part of this mess with passage of all of these bonds over the years including this election with high speed rail. There is no $, so the only quick fix is tax increases, but that hurts the pocket.

    California needs to stop issuing bond initiatives. It just piles on the debt, who is kidding who.

    Tax increases just make a bad recession worse.

  22. Happy In Davis

    not all all… to maintain our legions of locusts (sorry, I mean public employees) we have to come up with the money from somewhere. Why not from their own bloated treasury? I mean what better source of money than from the people who will get it back?

    Best solution of course is to simply cut the budget to match income.

  23. Anonymous

    Hello Bush,

    I could say the same thing, program cuts in the middle of recession? You do realize what it means to cut a program? You are taking away jobs and money from the economy. Is that going to help during a recession, no. But what choice do you have???

  24. Anonymous

    Hello Bush,

    I could say the same thing, program cuts in the middle of recession? You do realize what it means to cut a program? You are taking away jobs and money from the economy. Is that going to help during a recession, no. But what choice do you have???

  25. Anonymous

    Hello Bush,

    I could say the same thing, program cuts in the middle of recession? You do realize what it means to cut a program? You are taking away jobs and money from the economy. Is that going to help during a recession, no. But what choice do you have???

  26. Anonymous

    Hello Bush,

    I could say the same thing, program cuts in the middle of recession? You do realize what it means to cut a program? You are taking away jobs and money from the economy. Is that going to help during a recession, no. But what choice do you have???

  27. Anonymous

    Hello Happy,

    You are taking away money that has been promised to people’s retirements, I can’t think of a worse solution. And to make matters worse, you don’t seem to get it, this is money that people planned their futures around receiving in compensation for the work they have done for the state.

  28. Anonymous

    Hello Happy,

    You are taking away money that has been promised to people’s retirements, I can’t think of a worse solution. And to make matters worse, you don’t seem to get it, this is money that people planned their futures around receiving in compensation for the work they have done for the state.

  29. Anonymous

    Hello Happy,

    You are taking away money that has been promised to people’s retirements, I can’t think of a worse solution. And to make matters worse, you don’t seem to get it, this is money that people planned their futures around receiving in compensation for the work they have done for the state.

  30. Anonymous

    Hello Happy,

    You are taking away money that has been promised to people’s retirements, I can’t think of a worse solution. And to make matters worse, you don’t seem to get it, this is money that people planned their futures around receiving in compensation for the work they have done for the state.

  31. Bushs Fist

    “Hello Bush,
    I could say the same thing, program cuts in the middle of recession? You do realize what it means to cut a program? You are taking away jobs and money from the economy. Is that going to help during a recession, no. But what choice do you have???”

    Actually you have touched on something here. There is no good answer. Part of me thinks the gov. should do nothing, because they only make a bad problem worse. Part of me thinks programs need to be cut. Part of me thinks it is in education, since that is where the lion’s share of state revenue goes. We spend and spend and spend on it, but we still rank at the bottom anyway.

    What I do think we have absolute control over however, is these bond initiatives. We have spent ourselves drunk with boosts in ed spending, high speed rail, and environment initiatives during a time we knew we couln’t afford it. That is where I think the voters should take some more responsibility for how they vote. The debt we are in is not all the govt’s fault. I never want to blame the voter, but goddamnit, DPD just got finished telling us how destitute we are and how we are in a crunch, but the voters go ahead and approve some expensive high speed rail that no-one will use.

  32. Bushs Fist

    “Hello Bush,
    I could say the same thing, program cuts in the middle of recession? You do realize what it means to cut a program? You are taking away jobs and money from the economy. Is that going to help during a recession, no. But what choice do you have???”

    Actually you have touched on something here. There is no good answer. Part of me thinks the gov. should do nothing, because they only make a bad problem worse. Part of me thinks programs need to be cut. Part of me thinks it is in education, since that is where the lion’s share of state revenue goes. We spend and spend and spend on it, but we still rank at the bottom anyway.

    What I do think we have absolute control over however, is these bond initiatives. We have spent ourselves drunk with boosts in ed spending, high speed rail, and environment initiatives during a time we knew we couln’t afford it. That is where I think the voters should take some more responsibility for how they vote. The debt we are in is not all the govt’s fault. I never want to blame the voter, but goddamnit, DPD just got finished telling us how destitute we are and how we are in a crunch, but the voters go ahead and approve some expensive high speed rail that no-one will use.

  33. Bushs Fist

    “Hello Bush,
    I could say the same thing, program cuts in the middle of recession? You do realize what it means to cut a program? You are taking away jobs and money from the economy. Is that going to help during a recession, no. But what choice do you have???”

    Actually you have touched on something here. There is no good answer. Part of me thinks the gov. should do nothing, because they only make a bad problem worse. Part of me thinks programs need to be cut. Part of me thinks it is in education, since that is where the lion’s share of state revenue goes. We spend and spend and spend on it, but we still rank at the bottom anyway.

    What I do think we have absolute control over however, is these bond initiatives. We have spent ourselves drunk with boosts in ed spending, high speed rail, and environment initiatives during a time we knew we couln’t afford it. That is where I think the voters should take some more responsibility for how they vote. The debt we are in is not all the govt’s fault. I never want to blame the voter, but goddamnit, DPD just got finished telling us how destitute we are and how we are in a crunch, but the voters go ahead and approve some expensive high speed rail that no-one will use.

  34. Bushs Fist

    “Hello Bush,
    I could say the same thing, program cuts in the middle of recession? You do realize what it means to cut a program? You are taking away jobs and money from the economy. Is that going to help during a recession, no. But what choice do you have???”

    Actually you have touched on something here. There is no good answer. Part of me thinks the gov. should do nothing, because they only make a bad problem worse. Part of me thinks programs need to be cut. Part of me thinks it is in education, since that is where the lion’s share of state revenue goes. We spend and spend and spend on it, but we still rank at the bottom anyway.

    What I do think we have absolute control over however, is these bond initiatives. We have spent ourselves drunk with boosts in ed spending, high speed rail, and environment initiatives during a time we knew we couln’t afford it. That is where I think the voters should take some more responsibility for how they vote. The debt we are in is not all the govt’s fault. I never want to blame the voter, but goddamnit, DPD just got finished telling us how destitute we are and how we are in a crunch, but the voters go ahead and approve some expensive high speed rail that no-one will use.

  35. Rich Rifkin

    “Republicans are going to have to accept tax increases, there is no way to make this work without increasing revenue.”

    I am not sure what taxes make sense to raise at this point. We have the highest sales tax rate in the nation. Five states have no sales tax at all. Most of the rest are 4 or 5 percent. We also have the highest marginal income tax rates of any state.

    It is true that our property tax rates are comparatively low. But our properties are more valuable, so the money raised from property tax in California is not low, and due to Prop 13 we cannot raise the current rates.

    If we raise any taxes any higher, that is apt to just destroy our economy. For sales taxes, it takes money out of consumers’ pockets, permitting them to spend less and live worse. With income tax rates, there is just no benefit to raising them. We are already driving high income earners (who pay most of the income tax in California) to move their income, if not themselves, out of state.

    It’s simple to say, “The state needs more revenues.” How to get them is the trouble.

    The most important thing structurally the state government needs to do is massively reduce salaries and benefits to state employees across the board. Easy to say, but, of course, very hard to do. (Freezing salaries won’t suffice.)

    If the legislature doesn’t do this now, during the crisis, they will simply end up firing low-end people who provide vital services (such as nurses aides who provide in-home care to handicapped and otherwise very ill people). The victims of the most likely cuts will be the poorest and most desperate in our state.

    The second thing the state needs to do is to take a look at all of the regulatory boards — things like the board of examiners for hair dressers and nurses and so on. Those boards have employees making more than $100,000 a year who show up on a very infrequent basis. (These are the types of jobs ex-legislators take upon beng voted out or termed out of office.) Maybe for safety purposes some of those boards are vital. But those which aren’t — for example, the licensing board for hair braiders — we need to get rid of. For the ones we keep, all of the overly paid ex-pols should be let go.

  36. Rich Rifkin

    “Republicans are going to have to accept tax increases, there is no way to make this work without increasing revenue.”

    I am not sure what taxes make sense to raise at this point. We have the highest sales tax rate in the nation. Five states have no sales tax at all. Most of the rest are 4 or 5 percent. We also have the highest marginal income tax rates of any state.

    It is true that our property tax rates are comparatively low. But our properties are more valuable, so the money raised from property tax in California is not low, and due to Prop 13 we cannot raise the current rates.

    If we raise any taxes any higher, that is apt to just destroy our economy. For sales taxes, it takes money out of consumers’ pockets, permitting them to spend less and live worse. With income tax rates, there is just no benefit to raising them. We are already driving high income earners (who pay most of the income tax in California) to move their income, if not themselves, out of state.

    It’s simple to say, “The state needs more revenues.” How to get them is the trouble.

    The most important thing structurally the state government needs to do is massively reduce salaries and benefits to state employees across the board. Easy to say, but, of course, very hard to do. (Freezing salaries won’t suffice.)

    If the legislature doesn’t do this now, during the crisis, they will simply end up firing low-end people who provide vital services (such as nurses aides who provide in-home care to handicapped and otherwise very ill people). The victims of the most likely cuts will be the poorest and most desperate in our state.

    The second thing the state needs to do is to take a look at all of the regulatory boards — things like the board of examiners for hair dressers and nurses and so on. Those boards have employees making more than $100,000 a year who show up on a very infrequent basis. (These are the types of jobs ex-legislators take upon beng voted out or termed out of office.) Maybe for safety purposes some of those boards are vital. But those which aren’t — for example, the licensing board for hair braiders — we need to get rid of. For the ones we keep, all of the overly paid ex-pols should be let go.

  37. Rich Rifkin

    “Republicans are going to have to accept tax increases, there is no way to make this work without increasing revenue.”

    I am not sure what taxes make sense to raise at this point. We have the highest sales tax rate in the nation. Five states have no sales tax at all. Most of the rest are 4 or 5 percent. We also have the highest marginal income tax rates of any state.

    It is true that our property tax rates are comparatively low. But our properties are more valuable, so the money raised from property tax in California is not low, and due to Prop 13 we cannot raise the current rates.

    If we raise any taxes any higher, that is apt to just destroy our economy. For sales taxes, it takes money out of consumers’ pockets, permitting them to spend less and live worse. With income tax rates, there is just no benefit to raising them. We are already driving high income earners (who pay most of the income tax in California) to move their income, if not themselves, out of state.

    It’s simple to say, “The state needs more revenues.” How to get them is the trouble.

    The most important thing structurally the state government needs to do is massively reduce salaries and benefits to state employees across the board. Easy to say, but, of course, very hard to do. (Freezing salaries won’t suffice.)

    If the legislature doesn’t do this now, during the crisis, they will simply end up firing low-end people who provide vital services (such as nurses aides who provide in-home care to handicapped and otherwise very ill people). The victims of the most likely cuts will be the poorest and most desperate in our state.

    The second thing the state needs to do is to take a look at all of the regulatory boards — things like the board of examiners for hair dressers and nurses and so on. Those boards have employees making more than $100,000 a year who show up on a very infrequent basis. (These are the types of jobs ex-legislators take upon beng voted out or termed out of office.) Maybe for safety purposes some of those boards are vital. But those which aren’t — for example, the licensing board for hair braiders — we need to get rid of. For the ones we keep, all of the overly paid ex-pols should be let go.

  38. Rich Rifkin

    “Republicans are going to have to accept tax increases, there is no way to make this work without increasing revenue.”

    I am not sure what taxes make sense to raise at this point. We have the highest sales tax rate in the nation. Five states have no sales tax at all. Most of the rest are 4 or 5 percent. We also have the highest marginal income tax rates of any state.

    It is true that our property tax rates are comparatively low. But our properties are more valuable, so the money raised from property tax in California is not low, and due to Prop 13 we cannot raise the current rates.

    If we raise any taxes any higher, that is apt to just destroy our economy. For sales taxes, it takes money out of consumers’ pockets, permitting them to spend less and live worse. With income tax rates, there is just no benefit to raising them. We are already driving high income earners (who pay most of the income tax in California) to move their income, if not themselves, out of state.

    It’s simple to say, “The state needs more revenues.” How to get them is the trouble.

    The most important thing structurally the state government needs to do is massively reduce salaries and benefits to state employees across the board. Easy to say, but, of course, very hard to do. (Freezing salaries won’t suffice.)

    If the legislature doesn’t do this now, during the crisis, they will simply end up firing low-end people who provide vital services (such as nurses aides who provide in-home care to handicapped and otherwise very ill people). The victims of the most likely cuts will be the poorest and most desperate in our state.

    The second thing the state needs to do is to take a look at all of the regulatory boards — things like the board of examiners for hair dressers and nurses and so on. Those boards have employees making more than $100,000 a year who show up on a very infrequent basis. (These are the types of jobs ex-legislators take upon beng voted out or termed out of office.) Maybe for safety purposes some of those boards are vital. But those which aren’t — for example, the licensing board for hair braiders — we need to get rid of. For the ones we keep, all of the overly paid ex-pols should be let go.

  39. FastFwed

    “Happy in Davis” is right on! Nice piece…IN THE MEANTIME: An ALCOHOL tax that can’t be ignored, to be “temporary” of course, for 3 years…and I mean significant..two or three dollars on every bottle of wine, $2 on every 12oz. beer and $5 on every gallon of liquor bought, consumed, brewed or distilled, here in great ol’ CA.
    THIS time no more fraudulent tobacco taxes! Guess most of you aren’t gonna’ be with me on this??

  40. FastFwed

    “Happy in Davis” is right on! Nice piece…IN THE MEANTIME: An ALCOHOL tax that can’t be ignored, to be “temporary” of course, for 3 years…and I mean significant..two or three dollars on every bottle of wine, $2 on every 12oz. beer and $5 on every gallon of liquor bought, consumed, brewed or distilled, here in great ol’ CA.
    THIS time no more fraudulent tobacco taxes! Guess most of you aren’t gonna’ be with me on this??

  41. FastFwed

    “Happy in Davis” is right on! Nice piece…IN THE MEANTIME: An ALCOHOL tax that can’t be ignored, to be “temporary” of course, for 3 years…and I mean significant..two or three dollars on every bottle of wine, $2 on every 12oz. beer and $5 on every gallon of liquor bought, consumed, brewed or distilled, here in great ol’ CA.
    THIS time no more fraudulent tobacco taxes! Guess most of you aren’t gonna’ be with me on this??

  42. FastFwed

    “Happy in Davis” is right on! Nice piece…IN THE MEANTIME: An ALCOHOL tax that can’t be ignored, to be “temporary” of course, for 3 years…and I mean significant..two or three dollars on every bottle of wine, $2 on every 12oz. beer and $5 on every gallon of liquor bought, consumed, brewed or distilled, here in great ol’ CA.
    THIS time no more fraudulent tobacco taxes! Guess most of you aren’t gonna’ be with me on this??

  43. FastFwed

    Oh, and speaking of waste: We have a Finance Director here with our City AND we have a Budget Director?? Navazio and Fletcher but who they are doesn’t matter…These two positions alone are probably costing in excess of $250,000.
    Is everyone okay with Emlen(he’s clueless by the way..)doing this?…I don’t think this City will EVER have the tax base it thinks it will have. I think the Budget Director position is NEW in the past 2 or 3 years because Ms.Fletcher worked here many years ago, left for greener pastures and has been rehired. Something smells….

  44. FastFwed

    Oh, and speaking of waste: We have a Finance Director here with our City AND we have a Budget Director?? Navazio and Fletcher but who they are doesn’t matter…These two positions alone are probably costing in excess of $250,000.
    Is everyone okay with Emlen(he’s clueless by the way..)doing this?…I don’t think this City will EVER have the tax base it thinks it will have. I think the Budget Director position is NEW in the past 2 or 3 years because Ms.Fletcher worked here many years ago, left for greener pastures and has been rehired. Something smells….

  45. FastFwed

    Oh, and speaking of waste: We have a Finance Director here with our City AND we have a Budget Director?? Navazio and Fletcher but who they are doesn’t matter…These two positions alone are probably costing in excess of $250,000.
    Is everyone okay with Emlen(he’s clueless by the way..)doing this?…I don’t think this City will EVER have the tax base it thinks it will have. I think the Budget Director position is NEW in the past 2 or 3 years because Ms.Fletcher worked here many years ago, left for greener pastures and has been rehired. Something smells….

  46. FastFwed

    Oh, and speaking of waste: We have a Finance Director here with our City AND we have a Budget Director?? Navazio and Fletcher but who they are doesn’t matter…These two positions alone are probably costing in excess of $250,000.
    Is everyone okay with Emlen(he’s clueless by the way..)doing this?…I don’t think this City will EVER have the tax base it thinks it will have. I think the Budget Director position is NEW in the past 2 or 3 years because Ms.Fletcher worked here many years ago, left for greener pastures and has been rehired. Something smells….

  47. Bushs Fist

    I agree with all of the points Rich Made. I also want point out that tax increases often hurt poor people. Tax increases on “the wealthy” often come to bite poor people in the end, even though the intention is the opposite. For example, CA taxes gasoline more than any other state. Who does that hurt most? The rich, who can afford up to $20 per gallon gas, or the poor, who can afford no gas at all?

    Furthermore, some people get on their high horses about “driving less.” But people who need to drive more are people not wealthy enough to live in that ideal location next to a job. Bill Gates doesn’t even have to drive to work. Oprah Winfrey can afford to design her own town on top of where she works so she would never have to drive again. poor people don’t have that luxury. They must commute, albeit great distances, so they are taxed to death on gasoline.

  48. Bushs Fist

    I agree with all of the points Rich Made. I also want point out that tax increases often hurt poor people. Tax increases on “the wealthy” often come to bite poor people in the end, even though the intention is the opposite. For example, CA taxes gasoline more than any other state. Who does that hurt most? The rich, who can afford up to $20 per gallon gas, or the poor, who can afford no gas at all?

    Furthermore, some people get on their high horses about “driving less.” But people who need to drive more are people not wealthy enough to live in that ideal location next to a job. Bill Gates doesn’t even have to drive to work. Oprah Winfrey can afford to design her own town on top of where she works so she would never have to drive again. poor people don’t have that luxury. They must commute, albeit great distances, so they are taxed to death on gasoline.

  49. Bushs Fist

    I agree with all of the points Rich Made. I also want point out that tax increases often hurt poor people. Tax increases on “the wealthy” often come to bite poor people in the end, even though the intention is the opposite. For example, CA taxes gasoline more than any other state. Who does that hurt most? The rich, who can afford up to $20 per gallon gas, or the poor, who can afford no gas at all?

    Furthermore, some people get on their high horses about “driving less.” But people who need to drive more are people not wealthy enough to live in that ideal location next to a job. Bill Gates doesn’t even have to drive to work. Oprah Winfrey can afford to design her own town on top of where she works so she would never have to drive again. poor people don’t have that luxury. They must commute, albeit great distances, so they are taxed to death on gasoline.

  50. Bushs Fist

    I agree with all of the points Rich Made. I also want point out that tax increases often hurt poor people. Tax increases on “the wealthy” often come to bite poor people in the end, even though the intention is the opposite. For example, CA taxes gasoline more than any other state. Who does that hurt most? The rich, who can afford up to $20 per gallon gas, or the poor, who can afford no gas at all?

    Furthermore, some people get on their high horses about “driving less.” But people who need to drive more are people not wealthy enough to live in that ideal location next to a job. Bill Gates doesn’t even have to drive to work. Oprah Winfrey can afford to design her own town on top of where she works so she would never have to drive again. poor people don’t have that luxury. They must commute, albeit great distances, so they are taxed to death on gasoline.

  51. David M. Greenwald

    Budget Manager job description:

    Salary: $79,526.30 – $96,664.67 annually

    “This is a single level general management position responsible for overseeing and participating in the development of the City’s budgets and Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), providing financial information and analysis to aid executive management and the City Council in policy making and performing centralized budget administration activities. This classification is distinguished by the responsibility for planning, organizing and directing the City’s budgeting process. The position requires exceptional familiarity with the municipal budget and capital improvement plans (CIP) and related processes, mastery of the technical expertise related to assigned programmatic responsibilities, as well as knowledge of the operating procedures of the department or office to which assigned. “

  52. David M. Greenwald

    Budget Manager job description:

    Salary: $79,526.30 – $96,664.67 annually

    “This is a single level general management position responsible for overseeing and participating in the development of the City’s budgets and Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), providing financial information and analysis to aid executive management and the City Council in policy making and performing centralized budget administration activities. This classification is distinguished by the responsibility for planning, organizing and directing the City’s budgeting process. The position requires exceptional familiarity with the municipal budget and capital improvement plans (CIP) and related processes, mastery of the technical expertise related to assigned programmatic responsibilities, as well as knowledge of the operating procedures of the department or office to which assigned. “

  53. David M. Greenwald

    Budget Manager job description:

    Salary: $79,526.30 – $96,664.67 annually

    “This is a single level general management position responsible for overseeing and participating in the development of the City’s budgets and Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), providing financial information and analysis to aid executive management and the City Council in policy making and performing centralized budget administration activities. This classification is distinguished by the responsibility for planning, organizing and directing the City’s budgeting process. The position requires exceptional familiarity with the municipal budget and capital improvement plans (CIP) and related processes, mastery of the technical expertise related to assigned programmatic responsibilities, as well as knowledge of the operating procedures of the department or office to which assigned. “

  54. David M. Greenwald

    Budget Manager job description:

    Salary: $79,526.30 – $96,664.67 annually

    “This is a single level general management position responsible for overseeing and participating in the development of the City’s budgets and Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), providing financial information and analysis to aid executive management and the City Council in policy making and performing centralized budget administration activities. This classification is distinguished by the responsibility for planning, organizing and directing the City’s budgeting process. The position requires exceptional familiarity with the municipal budget and capital improvement plans (CIP) and related processes, mastery of the technical expertise related to assigned programmatic responsibilities, as well as knowledge of the operating procedures of the department or office to which assigned. “

  55. Be responsible

    “I applaud the Republican side of the house for their stance. This state does not need more revenue. It desperately needs to downsize the role of government to fit within its income.”

    Absolutely!

    And since you clearly don’t have the spine to suggest how to downsize:

    Imagine how much we can save if we eliminate public education. Public education never did you any good, did it?

    We should also shut down some prisons. Get rid of Caltrans. The roads will take care of themselves.

  56. Be responsible

    “I applaud the Republican side of the house for their stance. This state does not need more revenue. It desperately needs to downsize the role of government to fit within its income.”

    Absolutely!

    And since you clearly don’t have the spine to suggest how to downsize:

    Imagine how much we can save if we eliminate public education. Public education never did you any good, did it?

    We should also shut down some prisons. Get rid of Caltrans. The roads will take care of themselves.

  57. Be responsible

    “I applaud the Republican side of the house for their stance. This state does not need more revenue. It desperately needs to downsize the role of government to fit within its income.”

    Absolutely!

    And since you clearly don’t have the spine to suggest how to downsize:

    Imagine how much we can save if we eliminate public education. Public education never did you any good, did it?

    We should also shut down some prisons. Get rid of Caltrans. The roads will take care of themselves.

  58. Be responsible

    “I applaud the Republican side of the house for their stance. This state does not need more revenue. It desperately needs to downsize the role of government to fit within its income.”

    Absolutely!

    And since you clearly don’t have the spine to suggest how to downsize:

    Imagine how much we can save if we eliminate public education. Public education never did you any good, did it?

    We should also shut down some prisons. Get rid of Caltrans. The roads will take care of themselves.

  59. Anonymous

    “How about balancing the budget by taking the CALPERS assets? It really is public money in any case. There is absolutely no reason we shouldn’t be able to fix the budget with these funds. Why? Because the public is already obliged to cover the payments to retirees in the event of any shortfall. So why not simply use the funds now to pay for all these glorious social programs and bloated public salaries? Hmmmm?”

    Awesome! Then you can somehow pass on the deficit in pensions to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation! Several private companies have already done so.

    Live it up now! Let our kids deal with the mess.

    We’re watching the death of Capitalism. The chickens are coming home to roost.

  60. Anonymous

    “How about balancing the budget by taking the CALPERS assets? It really is public money in any case. There is absolutely no reason we shouldn’t be able to fix the budget with these funds. Why? Because the public is already obliged to cover the payments to retirees in the event of any shortfall. So why not simply use the funds now to pay for all these glorious social programs and bloated public salaries? Hmmmm?”

    Awesome! Then you can somehow pass on the deficit in pensions to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation! Several private companies have already done so.

    Live it up now! Let our kids deal with the mess.

    We’re watching the death of Capitalism. The chickens are coming home to roost.

  61. Anonymous

    “How about balancing the budget by taking the CALPERS assets? It really is public money in any case. There is absolutely no reason we shouldn’t be able to fix the budget with these funds. Why? Because the public is already obliged to cover the payments to retirees in the event of any shortfall. So why not simply use the funds now to pay for all these glorious social programs and bloated public salaries? Hmmmm?”

    Awesome! Then you can somehow pass on the deficit in pensions to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation! Several private companies have already done so.

    Live it up now! Let our kids deal with the mess.

    We’re watching the death of Capitalism. The chickens are coming home to roost.

  62. Anonymous

    “How about balancing the budget by taking the CALPERS assets? It really is public money in any case. There is absolutely no reason we shouldn’t be able to fix the budget with these funds. Why? Because the public is already obliged to cover the payments to retirees in the event of any shortfall. So why not simply use the funds now to pay for all these glorious social programs and bloated public salaries? Hmmmm?”

    Awesome! Then you can somehow pass on the deficit in pensions to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation! Several private companies have already done so.

    Live it up now! Let our kids deal with the mess.

    We’re watching the death of Capitalism. The chickens are coming home to roost.

  63. Anonymous

    Anonymous said…
    “Does DPD know all ?
    If you believe so you’re akin to little locusts…
    I’ve heard that Sue Greenwald is his mum!
    [Mum’s the word, right, except you saw it here on the Davis PD blog]
    That’s got to influence writing style…”

    [“Style,” in a manner of speaking…if you call reprinting stale Bee articles and dashing off comments on them a “writing” style.]
    DPD does take after Sue in one regard, voluminousness: the where-one-word-would do-twenty-gotta-be-better “writing style.”

    Could DPD be aspiring to be a lawyer like his mentor Sue.

  64. Anonymous

    Anonymous said…
    “Does DPD know all ?
    If you believe so you’re akin to little locusts…
    I’ve heard that Sue Greenwald is his mum!
    [Mum’s the word, right, except you saw it here on the Davis PD blog]
    That’s got to influence writing style…”

    [“Style,” in a manner of speaking…if you call reprinting stale Bee articles and dashing off comments on them a “writing” style.]
    DPD does take after Sue in one regard, voluminousness: the where-one-word-would do-twenty-gotta-be-better “writing style.”

    Could DPD be aspiring to be a lawyer like his mentor Sue.

  65. Anonymous

    Anonymous said…
    “Does DPD know all ?
    If you believe so you’re akin to little locusts…
    I’ve heard that Sue Greenwald is his mum!
    [Mum’s the word, right, except you saw it here on the Davis PD blog]
    That’s got to influence writing style…”

    [“Style,” in a manner of speaking…if you call reprinting stale Bee articles and dashing off comments on them a “writing” style.]
    DPD does take after Sue in one regard, voluminousness: the where-one-word-would do-twenty-gotta-be-better “writing style.”

    Could DPD be aspiring to be a lawyer like his mentor Sue.

  66. Anonymous

    Anonymous said…
    “Does DPD know all ?
    If you believe so you’re akin to little locusts…
    I’ve heard that Sue Greenwald is his mum!
    [Mum’s the word, right, except you saw it here on the Davis PD blog]
    That’s got to influence writing style…”

    [“Style,” in a manner of speaking…if you call reprinting stale Bee articles and dashing off comments on them a “writing” style.]
    DPD does take after Sue in one regard, voluminousness: the where-one-word-would do-twenty-gotta-be-better “writing style.”

    Could DPD be aspiring to be a lawyer like his mentor Sue.

  67. Anonymous

    “We’re watching the death of Capitalism. The chickens are coming home to roost. “

    I don’t think melodrama is and hyperbole is really what we need right now.

  68. Anonymous

    “We’re watching the death of Capitalism. The chickens are coming home to roost. “

    I don’t think melodrama is and hyperbole is really what we need right now.

  69. Anonymous

    “We’re watching the death of Capitalism. The chickens are coming home to roost. “

    I don’t think melodrama is and hyperbole is really what we need right now.

  70. Anonymous

    “We’re watching the death of Capitalism. The chickens are coming home to roost. “

    I don’t think melodrama is and hyperbole is really what we need right now.

  71. Bushs Fist

    Imagine how much we can save if we eliminate public education. Public education never did you any good, did it?

    Actually my public education from K-12 wasn’t worth crap. I got the bulk of my learning in college and from my mom and dad. god bless em’

  72. Bushs Fist

    Imagine how much we can save if we eliminate public education. Public education never did you any good, did it?

    Actually my public education from K-12 wasn’t worth crap. I got the bulk of my learning in college and from my mom and dad. god bless em’

  73. Bushs Fist

    Imagine how much we can save if we eliminate public education. Public education never did you any good, did it?

    Actually my public education from K-12 wasn’t worth crap. I got the bulk of my learning in college and from my mom and dad. god bless em’

  74. Bushs Fist

    Imagine how much we can save if we eliminate public education. Public education never did you any good, did it?

    Actually my public education from K-12 wasn’t worth crap. I got the bulk of my learning in college and from my mom and dad. god bless em’

  75. grover

    Empty the prisons, close the schools, get rid of the highway patrol, close the hospitals, let the roads disintegrate, cut off assistance to the poor, at least we will have a balanced budget.

  76. grover

    Empty the prisons, close the schools, get rid of the highway patrol, close the hospitals, let the roads disintegrate, cut off assistance to the poor, at least we will have a balanced budget.

  77. grover

    Empty the prisons, close the schools, get rid of the highway patrol, close the hospitals, let the roads disintegrate, cut off assistance to the poor, at least we will have a balanced budget.

  78. grover

    Empty the prisons, close the schools, get rid of the highway patrol, close the hospitals, let the roads disintegrate, cut off assistance to the poor, at least we will have a balanced budget.

  79. Heaving Up My Dinner

    There is rampant waste in gov’t – the proof is in statements issuing from gov’t officials. In a budget crisis they “tighten up” on travel, contracts, etc. and somehow save a million here, a million there. Why haven’t they been saving these millions all along?

    The media makes sure neither party compromises – it doesn’t make for great sixty second sound bites. Who gets all the attention in the nation? The extreme elements of both parties. The moderates are not being heard, and a lot of them have left both parties in disgust.

    Allowing businessmen to “loot” failing companies is disgraceful. We have the head of Merril Lynch walking away with millions ($300 million I believe) in golden parachutes, as the company goes under. And where is the federal gov’t in all this? It shouldn’t be allowing this – and I don’t care whose administration it occurs under.

    Pay scales are skewed. We are paying $20 or $30 million to Hollywood Stars per movie, but $60,000 per year to lab analysts finding cures for cancer. There is something very wrong with this picture. We see this problem in our own city. Some city employees with nothing more than a bachelor’s degree and not much common sense are making more than PhD’s working in science labs developing and producing super technologies. Salaries of city employees is completely out of control.

    We turn a blind eye to absolute corruption when it is directly under our nose. Paul Navazio, our Finance Director in Davis, was declaring a balanced budget not so long ago when Saylor and Souza were running for office – placing anything that didn’t look good in the “unmet needs” category. Now Navazio claims there is a serious financial crisis? The guy is an out and out crook. Yet we don’t do anything about having him fired. Why not? Creative bookkeeping is creative bookkeeping. We tolerate corruption at mammoth levels. Navazio’s getting paid a huge salary and can’t even keep the books honest or straight.

    Where is all this faith in Obama that was going around not more than a month ago, that he was going to effect “great change” for the better? He has inherited an economic mess with no easy fix. There are indemic problems with our economy, that stem from the public’s apathy, failure to follow what is going on, unwillingness to demand better from its leaders, and refusal to make sure the basics are taken care of before public money is spent on frills. The high speed rail example is illustrative of this phenomenon.

    If I hear members of the School Board whine one more time about how distressed they are, I am going to vomit. If you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Consolidate the d__ned elections, stop wringing hands over it, and move on. This is just another example of how our politicians fixate on side issues, to avoid addressing the real underlying problems. Harris is going to whimper about getting an extra term, just to make sure it doesn’t look like he is asking for an extension, at a cost of $500K to the school district? Give me a break! This is a no brainer – consolidate elections to save money. BTW, how come removing mandates about class sizes is suddenly a possibility, when we were told it was not an option?

  80. Heaving Up My Dinner

    There is rampant waste in gov’t – the proof is in statements issuing from gov’t officials. In a budget crisis they “tighten up” on travel, contracts, etc. and somehow save a million here, a million there. Why haven’t they been saving these millions all along?

    The media makes sure neither party compromises – it doesn’t make for great sixty second sound bites. Who gets all the attention in the nation? The extreme elements of both parties. The moderates are not being heard, and a lot of them have left both parties in disgust.

    Allowing businessmen to “loot” failing companies is disgraceful. We have the head of Merril Lynch walking away with millions ($300 million I believe) in golden parachutes, as the company goes under. And where is the federal gov’t in all this? It shouldn’t be allowing this – and I don’t care whose administration it occurs under.

    Pay scales are skewed. We are paying $20 or $30 million to Hollywood Stars per movie, but $60,000 per year to lab analysts finding cures for cancer. There is something very wrong with this picture. We see this problem in our own city. Some city employees with nothing more than a bachelor’s degree and not much common sense are making more than PhD’s working in science labs developing and producing super technologies. Salaries of city employees is completely out of control.

    We turn a blind eye to absolute corruption when it is directly under our nose. Paul Navazio, our Finance Director in Davis, was declaring a balanced budget not so long ago when Saylor and Souza were running for office – placing anything that didn’t look good in the “unmet needs” category. Now Navazio claims there is a serious financial crisis? The guy is an out and out crook. Yet we don’t do anything about having him fired. Why not? Creative bookkeeping is creative bookkeeping. We tolerate corruption at mammoth levels. Navazio’s getting paid a huge salary and can’t even keep the books honest or straight.

    Where is all this faith in Obama that was going around not more than a month ago, that he was going to effect “great change” for the better? He has inherited an economic mess with no easy fix. There are indemic problems with our economy, that stem from the public’s apathy, failure to follow what is going on, unwillingness to demand better from its leaders, and refusal to make sure the basics are taken care of before public money is spent on frills. The high speed rail example is illustrative of this phenomenon.

    If I hear members of the School Board whine one more time about how distressed they are, I am going to vomit. If you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Consolidate the d__ned elections, stop wringing hands over it, and move on. This is just another example of how our politicians fixate on side issues, to avoid addressing the real underlying problems. Harris is going to whimper about getting an extra term, just to make sure it doesn’t look like he is asking for an extension, at a cost of $500K to the school district? Give me a break! This is a no brainer – consolidate elections to save money. BTW, how come removing mandates about class sizes is suddenly a possibility, when we were told it was not an option?

  81. Heaving Up My Dinner

    There is rampant waste in gov’t – the proof is in statements issuing from gov’t officials. In a budget crisis they “tighten up” on travel, contracts, etc. and somehow save a million here, a million there. Why haven’t they been saving these millions all along?

    The media makes sure neither party compromises – it doesn’t make for great sixty second sound bites. Who gets all the attention in the nation? The extreme elements of both parties. The moderates are not being heard, and a lot of them have left both parties in disgust.

    Allowing businessmen to “loot” failing companies is disgraceful. We have the head of Merril Lynch walking away with millions ($300 million I believe) in golden parachutes, as the company goes under. And where is the federal gov’t in all this? It shouldn’t be allowing this – and I don’t care whose administration it occurs under.

    Pay scales are skewed. We are paying $20 or $30 million to Hollywood Stars per movie, but $60,000 per year to lab analysts finding cures for cancer. There is something very wrong with this picture. We see this problem in our own city. Some city employees with nothing more than a bachelor’s degree and not much common sense are making more than PhD’s working in science labs developing and producing super technologies. Salaries of city employees is completely out of control.

    We turn a blind eye to absolute corruption when it is directly under our nose. Paul Navazio, our Finance Director in Davis, was declaring a balanced budget not so long ago when Saylor and Souza were running for office – placing anything that didn’t look good in the “unmet needs” category. Now Navazio claims there is a serious financial crisis? The guy is an out and out crook. Yet we don’t do anything about having him fired. Why not? Creative bookkeeping is creative bookkeeping. We tolerate corruption at mammoth levels. Navazio’s getting paid a huge salary and can’t even keep the books honest or straight.

    Where is all this faith in Obama that was going around not more than a month ago, that he was going to effect “great change” for the better? He has inherited an economic mess with no easy fix. There are indemic problems with our economy, that stem from the public’s apathy, failure to follow what is going on, unwillingness to demand better from its leaders, and refusal to make sure the basics are taken care of before public money is spent on frills. The high speed rail example is illustrative of this phenomenon.

    If I hear members of the School Board whine one more time about how distressed they are, I am going to vomit. If you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Consolidate the d__ned elections, stop wringing hands over it, and move on. This is just another example of how our politicians fixate on side issues, to avoid addressing the real underlying problems. Harris is going to whimper about getting an extra term, just to make sure it doesn’t look like he is asking for an extension, at a cost of $500K to the school district? Give me a break! This is a no brainer – consolidate elections to save money. BTW, how come removing mandates about class sizes is suddenly a possibility, when we were told it was not an option?

  82. Heaving Up My Dinner

    There is rampant waste in gov’t – the proof is in statements issuing from gov’t officials. In a budget crisis they “tighten up” on travel, contracts, etc. and somehow save a million here, a million there. Why haven’t they been saving these millions all along?

    The media makes sure neither party compromises – it doesn’t make for great sixty second sound bites. Who gets all the attention in the nation? The extreme elements of both parties. The moderates are not being heard, and a lot of them have left both parties in disgust.

    Allowing businessmen to “loot” failing companies is disgraceful. We have the head of Merril Lynch walking away with millions ($300 million I believe) in golden parachutes, as the company goes under. And where is the federal gov’t in all this? It shouldn’t be allowing this – and I don’t care whose administration it occurs under.

    Pay scales are skewed. We are paying $20 or $30 million to Hollywood Stars per movie, but $60,000 per year to lab analysts finding cures for cancer. There is something very wrong with this picture. We see this problem in our own city. Some city employees with nothing more than a bachelor’s degree and not much common sense are making more than PhD’s working in science labs developing and producing super technologies. Salaries of city employees is completely out of control.

    We turn a blind eye to absolute corruption when it is directly under our nose. Paul Navazio, our Finance Director in Davis, was declaring a balanced budget not so long ago when Saylor and Souza were running for office – placing anything that didn’t look good in the “unmet needs” category. Now Navazio claims there is a serious financial crisis? The guy is an out and out crook. Yet we don’t do anything about having him fired. Why not? Creative bookkeeping is creative bookkeeping. We tolerate corruption at mammoth levels. Navazio’s getting paid a huge salary and can’t even keep the books honest or straight.

    Where is all this faith in Obama that was going around not more than a month ago, that he was going to effect “great change” for the better? He has inherited an economic mess with no easy fix. There are indemic problems with our economy, that stem from the public’s apathy, failure to follow what is going on, unwillingness to demand better from its leaders, and refusal to make sure the basics are taken care of before public money is spent on frills. The high speed rail example is illustrative of this phenomenon.

    If I hear members of the School Board whine one more time about how distressed they are, I am going to vomit. If you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Consolidate the d__ned elections, stop wringing hands over it, and move on. This is just another example of how our politicians fixate on side issues, to avoid addressing the real underlying problems. Harris is going to whimper about getting an extra term, just to make sure it doesn’t look like he is asking for an extension, at a cost of $500K to the school district? Give me a break! This is a no brainer – consolidate elections to save money. BTW, how come removing mandates about class sizes is suddenly a possibility, when we were told it was not an option?

  83. David M. Greenwald

    “Paul Navazio, our Finance Director in Davis, was declaring a balanced budget not so long ago when Saylor and Souza were running for office – placing anything that didn’t look good in the “unmet needs” category. Now Navazio claims there is a serious financial crisis?”

    While I am loathe to defend the city and critical of city finances, I cannot let this statement go unanswered.

    The implication is that suddenly the city started accounting differently, they have not.

    I am critical of putting unmet needs into a holding category to understate the degree to which the city is underfinanced.

    Nevertheless, what has happened in Davis is the same thing that has happened across the state–namely the economy is probably going to be the worst of most of our lifetimes or at least since the thirties. What we are seeing is not fiscal mismanagement in the city causing the new problem, but rather a poor economy vastly reducing revenue. This is true for the state, the county, and the school district.

    I agree with you on one point here, the city has figured out it could save around $600K by simply tightening their belts, had they done that for the last ten years, the city would have enough buffer to outlast this. I am critical in fact of all jurisdictions for the same.

  84. David M. Greenwald

    “Paul Navazio, our Finance Director in Davis, was declaring a balanced budget not so long ago when Saylor and Souza were running for office – placing anything that didn’t look good in the “unmet needs” category. Now Navazio claims there is a serious financial crisis?”

    While I am loathe to defend the city and critical of city finances, I cannot let this statement go unanswered.

    The implication is that suddenly the city started accounting differently, they have not.

    I am critical of putting unmet needs into a holding category to understate the degree to which the city is underfinanced.

    Nevertheless, what has happened in Davis is the same thing that has happened across the state–namely the economy is probably going to be the worst of most of our lifetimes or at least since the thirties. What we are seeing is not fiscal mismanagement in the city causing the new problem, but rather a poor economy vastly reducing revenue. This is true for the state, the county, and the school district.

    I agree with you on one point here, the city has figured out it could save around $600K by simply tightening their belts, had they done that for the last ten years, the city would have enough buffer to outlast this. I am critical in fact of all jurisdictions for the same.

  85. David M. Greenwald

    “Paul Navazio, our Finance Director in Davis, was declaring a balanced budget not so long ago when Saylor and Souza were running for office – placing anything that didn’t look good in the “unmet needs” category. Now Navazio claims there is a serious financial crisis?”

    While I am loathe to defend the city and critical of city finances, I cannot let this statement go unanswered.

    The implication is that suddenly the city started accounting differently, they have not.

    I am critical of putting unmet needs into a holding category to understate the degree to which the city is underfinanced.

    Nevertheless, what has happened in Davis is the same thing that has happened across the state–namely the economy is probably going to be the worst of most of our lifetimes or at least since the thirties. What we are seeing is not fiscal mismanagement in the city causing the new problem, but rather a poor economy vastly reducing revenue. This is true for the state, the county, and the school district.

    I agree with you on one point here, the city has figured out it could save around $600K by simply tightening their belts, had they done that for the last ten years, the city would have enough buffer to outlast this. I am critical in fact of all jurisdictions for the same.

  86. David M. Greenwald

    “Paul Navazio, our Finance Director in Davis, was declaring a balanced budget not so long ago when Saylor and Souza were running for office – placing anything that didn’t look good in the “unmet needs” category. Now Navazio claims there is a serious financial crisis?”

    While I am loathe to defend the city and critical of city finances, I cannot let this statement go unanswered.

    The implication is that suddenly the city started accounting differently, they have not.

    I am critical of putting unmet needs into a holding category to understate the degree to which the city is underfinanced.

    Nevertheless, what has happened in Davis is the same thing that has happened across the state–namely the economy is probably going to be the worst of most of our lifetimes or at least since the thirties. What we are seeing is not fiscal mismanagement in the city causing the new problem, but rather a poor economy vastly reducing revenue. This is true for the state, the county, and the school district.

    I agree with you on one point here, the city has figured out it could save around $600K by simply tightening their belts, had they done that for the last ten years, the city would have enough buffer to outlast this. I am critical in fact of all jurisdictions for the same.

  87. Bushs Fist

    Time to be brutally honest here. The state is facing a problem of such severity that I do not believe most people grasp the magnitude of it. First it was $10 billion (that’s with a “b”), then $28 billion, now the latest is perhaps $40 billion.

    yeah, and now add $10 billion for the shiny new choo choo train you just approved!! And in the middle of a situation where you knew the state couldn’t afford it.

    I’ll say it again. CA voters need to take responsibility for how they vote, and how their actions create the mess they find themselves in.

  88. Bushs Fist

    Time to be brutally honest here. The state is facing a problem of such severity that I do not believe most people grasp the magnitude of it. First it was $10 billion (that’s with a “b”), then $28 billion, now the latest is perhaps $40 billion.

    yeah, and now add $10 billion for the shiny new choo choo train you just approved!! And in the middle of a situation where you knew the state couldn’t afford it.

    I’ll say it again. CA voters need to take responsibility for how they vote, and how their actions create the mess they find themselves in.

  89. Bushs Fist

    Time to be brutally honest here. The state is facing a problem of such severity that I do not believe most people grasp the magnitude of it. First it was $10 billion (that’s with a “b”), then $28 billion, now the latest is perhaps $40 billion.

    yeah, and now add $10 billion for the shiny new choo choo train you just approved!! And in the middle of a situation where you knew the state couldn’t afford it.

    I’ll say it again. CA voters need to take responsibility for how they vote, and how their actions create the mess they find themselves in.

  90. Bushs Fist

    Time to be brutally honest here. The state is facing a problem of such severity that I do not believe most people grasp the magnitude of it. First it was $10 billion (that’s with a “b”), then $28 billion, now the latest is perhaps $40 billion.

    yeah, and now add $10 billion for the shiny new choo choo train you just approved!! And in the middle of a situation where you knew the state couldn’t afford it.

    I’ll say it again. CA voters need to take responsibility for how they vote, and how their actions create the mess they find themselves in.

  91. Bushs Fist

    “$647 million per year potentially fully offset by passenger fees.”

    That is what you and DPD are gambling on. The $10 billion (plus interest payments)is a guaranteed cost, but the $647 million is a gamble. You don’t gamble with money you don’t have.

  92. Bushs Fist

    “$647 million per year potentially fully offset by passenger fees.”

    That is what you and DPD are gambling on. The $10 billion (plus interest payments)is a guaranteed cost, but the $647 million is a gamble. You don’t gamble with money you don’t have.

  93. Bushs Fist

    “$647 million per year potentially fully offset by passenger fees.”

    That is what you and DPD are gambling on. The $10 billion (plus interest payments)is a guaranteed cost, but the $647 million is a gamble. You don’t gamble with money you don’t have.

  94. Bushs Fist

    “$647 million per year potentially fully offset by passenger fees.”

    That is what you and DPD are gambling on. The $10 billion (plus interest payments)is a guaranteed cost, but the $647 million is a gamble. You don’t gamble with money you don’t have.

  95. Bushs Fist

    Not to beat a horse to death, but I need to say something else here. Assuming the state debt is
    $40 billion, the high speed rail is $10 billion plus interest payments. That means high speed rail alone is over 1/4 of the entire debt.

    Then we wonder why education needs to be cut. Then the people who vote for the fancy new choo choo toy cry a river about education cuts and budget deficits. I’ll say it again. If education gets cut, the CA voters caused it.

  96. Bushs Fist

    Not to beat a horse to death, but I need to say something else here. Assuming the state debt is
    $40 billion, the high speed rail is $10 billion plus interest payments. That means high speed rail alone is over 1/4 of the entire debt.

    Then we wonder why education needs to be cut. Then the people who vote for the fancy new choo choo toy cry a river about education cuts and budget deficits. I’ll say it again. If education gets cut, the CA voters caused it.

  97. Bushs Fist

    Not to beat a horse to death, but I need to say something else here. Assuming the state debt is
    $40 billion, the high speed rail is $10 billion plus interest payments. That means high speed rail alone is over 1/4 of the entire debt.

    Then we wonder why education needs to be cut. Then the people who vote for the fancy new choo choo toy cry a river about education cuts and budget deficits. I’ll say it again. If education gets cut, the CA voters caused it.

  98. Bushs Fist

    Not to beat a horse to death, but I need to say something else here. Assuming the state debt is
    $40 billion, the high speed rail is $10 billion plus interest payments. That means high speed rail alone is over 1/4 of the entire debt.

    Then we wonder why education needs to be cut. Then the people who vote for the fancy new choo choo toy cry a river about education cuts and budget deficits. I’ll say it again. If education gets cut, the CA voters caused it.

  99. Anonymous

    “Not to beat a horse to death, but I need to say something else here. Assuming the state debt is
    $40 billion, the high speed rail is $10 billion plus interest payments. That means high speed rail alone is over 1/4 of the entire debt.”

    No. The high speed rail is a $647 million hit, which puts it at about 1/80th of the debt.

  100. Anonymous

    “Not to beat a horse to death, but I need to say something else here. Assuming the state debt is
    $40 billion, the high speed rail is $10 billion plus interest payments. That means high speed rail alone is over 1/4 of the entire debt.”

    No. The high speed rail is a $647 million hit, which puts it at about 1/80th of the debt.

  101. Anonymous

    “Not to beat a horse to death, but I need to say something else here. Assuming the state debt is
    $40 billion, the high speed rail is $10 billion plus interest payments. That means high speed rail alone is over 1/4 of the entire debt.”

    No. The high speed rail is a $647 million hit, which puts it at about 1/80th of the debt.

  102. Anonymous

    “Not to beat a horse to death, but I need to say something else here. Assuming the state debt is
    $40 billion, the high speed rail is $10 billion plus interest payments. That means high speed rail alone is over 1/4 of the entire debt.”

    No. The high speed rail is a $647 million hit, which puts it at about 1/80th of the debt.

  103. Anonymous

    Here’s the impartial analysis:

    “Fiscal Impact from the Legislative Analyst:

    State costs of $19.4 billion, assuming 30 years to pay both principal and interest costs of the bonds. Payments would average about $647 million per year.”

  104. Anonymous

    Here’s the impartial analysis:

    “Fiscal Impact from the Legislative Analyst:

    State costs of $19.4 billion, assuming 30 years to pay both principal and interest costs of the bonds. Payments would average about $647 million per year.”

  105. Anonymous

    Here’s the impartial analysis:

    “Fiscal Impact from the Legislative Analyst:

    State costs of $19.4 billion, assuming 30 years to pay both principal and interest costs of the bonds. Payments would average about $647 million per year.”

  106. Anonymous

    Here’s the impartial analysis:

    “Fiscal Impact from the Legislative Analyst:

    State costs of $19.4 billion, assuming 30 years to pay both principal and interest costs of the bonds. Payments would average about $647 million per year.”

  107. Bushs Fist

    http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/1261098.html

    “WHAT IT COSTS

    The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates the bonds would cost state taxpayers about $647 million a year in principal and interest for 30 years, about $19.4 billion in all.”

    BTW, the $647 million is the yearly cost to the state, not $10 billion.

    that is yearly cost. And it adds up to $19 billion, which is about half of the state’s current debt.

    “No. The high speed rail is a $647 million hit, which puts it at about 1/80th of the debt.”

    the total cost of the project is 1/2 of the debt.

    The $10 billion is misleadingly small. As Clinton might say, “it’s the interest stoopid!”

    Excuse me, but don’t buy fancy expensive toys you know you cannot afford and then complain to taxpayers about lack of funds for education.

  108. Bushs Fist

    http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/1261098.html

    “WHAT IT COSTS

    The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates the bonds would cost state taxpayers about $647 million a year in principal and interest for 30 years, about $19.4 billion in all.”

    BTW, the $647 million is the yearly cost to the state, not $10 billion.

    that is yearly cost. And it adds up to $19 billion, which is about half of the state’s current debt.

    “No. The high speed rail is a $647 million hit, which puts it at about 1/80th of the debt.”

    the total cost of the project is 1/2 of the debt.

    The $10 billion is misleadingly small. As Clinton might say, “it’s the interest stoopid!”

    Excuse me, but don’t buy fancy expensive toys you know you cannot afford and then complain to taxpayers about lack of funds for education.

  109. Bushs Fist

    http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/1261098.html

    “WHAT IT COSTS

    The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates the bonds would cost state taxpayers about $647 million a year in principal and interest for 30 years, about $19.4 billion in all.”

    BTW, the $647 million is the yearly cost to the state, not $10 billion.

    that is yearly cost. And it adds up to $19 billion, which is about half of the state’s current debt.

    “No. The high speed rail is a $647 million hit, which puts it at about 1/80th of the debt.”

    the total cost of the project is 1/2 of the debt.

    The $10 billion is misleadingly small. As Clinton might say, “it’s the interest stoopid!”

    Excuse me, but don’t buy fancy expensive toys you know you cannot afford and then complain to taxpayers about lack of funds for education.

  110. Bushs Fist

    http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/1261098.html

    “WHAT IT COSTS

    The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates the bonds would cost state taxpayers about $647 million a year in principal and interest for 30 years, about $19.4 billion in all.”

    BTW, the $647 million is the yearly cost to the state, not $10 billion.

    that is yearly cost. And it adds up to $19 billion, which is about half of the state’s current debt.

    “No. The high speed rail is a $647 million hit, which puts it at about 1/80th of the debt.”

    the total cost of the project is 1/2 of the debt.

    The $10 billion is misleadingly small. As Clinton might say, “it’s the interest stoopid!”

    Excuse me, but don’t buy fancy expensive toys you know you cannot afford and then complain to taxpayers about lack of funds for education.

  111. Don Shor

    From a commentary in the OC Register:
    “[In 2006] California voters approved an additional $42 billion in bond measures. When the amounts approved in 2004 are added, that brought the total amount of general obligation (taxpayers on the hook) bonds to $120 billion, up from just $42 billion in 2002. Currently, according to Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, more than 5 percent of the state budget goes to retire bond debt. The investment community traditionally gets nervous when that figure creeps above 5 percent, and California now has the lowest credit rating of any state.

    Before the 2006 bonds were approved California had 2.5 times as much bonded indebtedness as in 1995-96, and 10 times as much as in 1985-86.”

    The $10 billion approved for high speed rail doesn’t even build the thing. It just starts the process for what is estimated at an $80 billion project. The notion that it will pay for itself by user fees is ridiculous; no mass transit system I know of has ever paid for itself (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that). It was irresponsible for the voters to approve it, or any other bond measures, in the present fiscal circumstances.

    As an urgency measure, sale of all bonds approved and not yet sold should be ceased if that is legally possible.

  112. Don Shor

    From a commentary in the OC Register:
    “[In 2006] California voters approved an additional $42 billion in bond measures. When the amounts approved in 2004 are added, that brought the total amount of general obligation (taxpayers on the hook) bonds to $120 billion, up from just $42 billion in 2002. Currently, according to Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, more than 5 percent of the state budget goes to retire bond debt. The investment community traditionally gets nervous when that figure creeps above 5 percent, and California now has the lowest credit rating of any state.

    Before the 2006 bonds were approved California had 2.5 times as much bonded indebtedness as in 1995-96, and 10 times as much as in 1985-86.”

    The $10 billion approved for high speed rail doesn’t even build the thing. It just starts the process for what is estimated at an $80 billion project. The notion that it will pay for itself by user fees is ridiculous; no mass transit system I know of has ever paid for itself (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that). It was irresponsible for the voters to approve it, or any other bond measures, in the present fiscal circumstances.

    As an urgency measure, sale of all bonds approved and not yet sold should be ceased if that is legally possible.

  113. Don Shor

    From a commentary in the OC Register:
    “[In 2006] California voters approved an additional $42 billion in bond measures. When the amounts approved in 2004 are added, that brought the total amount of general obligation (taxpayers on the hook) bonds to $120 billion, up from just $42 billion in 2002. Currently, according to Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, more than 5 percent of the state budget goes to retire bond debt. The investment community traditionally gets nervous when that figure creeps above 5 percent, and California now has the lowest credit rating of any state.

    Before the 2006 bonds were approved California had 2.5 times as much bonded indebtedness as in 1995-96, and 10 times as much as in 1985-86.”

    The $10 billion approved for high speed rail doesn’t even build the thing. It just starts the process for what is estimated at an $80 billion project. The notion that it will pay for itself by user fees is ridiculous; no mass transit system I know of has ever paid for itself (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that). It was irresponsible for the voters to approve it, or any other bond measures, in the present fiscal circumstances.

    As an urgency measure, sale of all bonds approved and not yet sold should be ceased if that is legally possible.

  114. Don Shor

    From a commentary in the OC Register:
    “[In 2006] California voters approved an additional $42 billion in bond measures. When the amounts approved in 2004 are added, that brought the total amount of general obligation (taxpayers on the hook) bonds to $120 billion, up from just $42 billion in 2002. Currently, according to Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, more than 5 percent of the state budget goes to retire bond debt. The investment community traditionally gets nervous when that figure creeps above 5 percent, and California now has the lowest credit rating of any state.

    Before the 2006 bonds were approved California had 2.5 times as much bonded indebtedness as in 1995-96, and 10 times as much as in 1985-86.”

    The $10 billion approved for high speed rail doesn’t even build the thing. It just starts the process for what is estimated at an $80 billion project. The notion that it will pay for itself by user fees is ridiculous; no mass transit system I know of has ever paid for itself (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that). It was irresponsible for the voters to approve it, or any other bond measures, in the present fiscal circumstances.

    As an urgency measure, sale of all bonds approved and not yet sold should be ceased if that is legally possible.

  115. Anonymous

    “”What we are seeing is not fiscal mismanagement in the city causing the new problem, but rather a poor economy vastly reducing revenue. This is true for the state, the county, and the school district. “”

    So if its not fiscal mismanagement as stated by the owner of this blog .

    Then lay off of the city worker bashing that seems to be all you can do .

    After reading this topic it sounds like the state is where the help is needed…

  116. Anonymous

    “”What we are seeing is not fiscal mismanagement in the city causing the new problem, but rather a poor economy vastly reducing revenue. This is true for the state, the county, and the school district. “”

    So if its not fiscal mismanagement as stated by the owner of this blog .

    Then lay off of the city worker bashing that seems to be all you can do .

    After reading this topic it sounds like the state is where the help is needed…

  117. Anonymous

    “”What we are seeing is not fiscal mismanagement in the city causing the new problem, but rather a poor economy vastly reducing revenue. This is true for the state, the county, and the school district. “”

    So if its not fiscal mismanagement as stated by the owner of this blog .

    Then lay off of the city worker bashing that seems to be all you can do .

    After reading this topic it sounds like the state is where the help is needed…

  118. Anonymous

    “”What we are seeing is not fiscal mismanagement in the city causing the new problem, but rather a poor economy vastly reducing revenue. This is true for the state, the county, and the school district. “”

    So if its not fiscal mismanagement as stated by the owner of this blog .

    Then lay off of the city worker bashing that seems to be all you can do .

    After reading this topic it sounds like the state is where the help is needed…

  119. David M. Greenwald

    Let me be more clear here–the current budget deficit is largely due to the economy. The concern with employees wages and more so with retirement packages is a longer term concern. And that will lead to problems down the line. And no, this is not exclusively a Davis problem.

  120. David M. Greenwald

    Let me be more clear here–the current budget deficit is largely due to the economy. The concern with employees wages and more so with retirement packages is a longer term concern. And that will lead to problems down the line. And no, this is not exclusively a Davis problem.

  121. David M. Greenwald

    Let me be more clear here–the current budget deficit is largely due to the economy. The concern with employees wages and more so with retirement packages is a longer term concern. And that will lead to problems down the line. And no, this is not exclusively a Davis problem.

  122. David M. Greenwald

    Let me be more clear here–the current budget deficit is largely due to the economy. The concern with employees wages and more so with retirement packages is a longer term concern. And that will lead to problems down the line. And no, this is not exclusively a Davis problem.

  123. Anonymous

    Anonymous said…
    Sue [Greenwald] is not a lawyer :eyeroll:
    12/14/08 2:14 PM

    Maybe not, but if she walks like a lawyer, quacks like a lawyer and like a bird of a feather hangs around with the Mike Harringtons of this Davis universe, she sure thinks like a lawyer…

  124. Anonymous

    Anonymous said…
    Sue [Greenwald] is not a lawyer :eyeroll:
    12/14/08 2:14 PM

    Maybe not, but if she walks like a lawyer, quacks like a lawyer and like a bird of a feather hangs around with the Mike Harringtons of this Davis universe, she sure thinks like a lawyer…

  125. Anonymous

    Anonymous said…
    Sue [Greenwald] is not a lawyer :eyeroll:
    12/14/08 2:14 PM

    Maybe not, but if she walks like a lawyer, quacks like a lawyer and like a bird of a feather hangs around with the Mike Harringtons of this Davis universe, she sure thinks like a lawyer…

  126. Anonymous

    Anonymous said…
    Sue [Greenwald] is not a lawyer :eyeroll:
    12/14/08 2:14 PM

    Maybe not, but if she walks like a lawyer, quacks like a lawyer and like a bird of a feather hangs around with the Mike Harringtons of this Davis universe, she sure thinks like a lawyer…

  127. Don Shor

    “Let me be more clear here–the current budget deficit is largely due to the economy.”

    In 2002-3 California faced a $23.6 billion gap between revenues and expenditures.
    In 2003-4, the gap was $38.2 billion.

    In 2004-5 the gap was about $15 billion.

    In 2005-6 it was $9.1 billion.

    In 2006-7 it was $6.4 billion.

    In 2007-8 it was %5.5 billion.

    California ran major deficits in the 1980’s as well.

    The problem isn’t primarily the economy, although that has made the situation much worse. Various initiatives since the 1970’s, starting with Prop 13, have constrained the ability of elected officials to make changes in the budget. The voters have passed huge bond measures, increasing the state’s debt. Measures put before the voters to change the budget process have been rejected after massive ad campaigns by special interest groups.

    Neither party has had any particular reason to compromise, as present districting makes most seats safe and reduces the likelihood of moderate assembly members and senators getting nominated and elected. Attempts to change that process have been opposed by special interests and the parties.

    Past budgets have papered over the deficits or pushed them out to future years. The problem is so bad this year, though, that the deficit can’t be solved without
    –tax increases,
    –significant program cuts including social welfare programs,
    –elimination of state agencies,
    –education cuts, and probably
    –federal aid.

    Since they control both Assembly and Senate, it is the responsibility of the Democrats to propose program cuts first to show the Republicans they are serious. California Republicans have been incredibly obstructionist before, but the numbers just aren’t there to do this without some tax and fee increases. So they will have to put up as well. Nevertheless, I think the onus is on the Democratic leadership to put forward specific proposals first. The governor is pretty irrelevant to the process, except to seek federal aid.

  128. Don Shor

    “Let me be more clear here–the current budget deficit is largely due to the economy.”

    In 2002-3 California faced a $23.6 billion gap between revenues and expenditures.
    In 2003-4, the gap was $38.2 billion.

    In 2004-5 the gap was about $15 billion.

    In 2005-6 it was $9.1 billion.

    In 2006-7 it was $6.4 billion.

    In 2007-8 it was %5.5 billion.

    California ran major deficits in the 1980’s as well.

    The problem isn’t primarily the economy, although that has made the situation much worse. Various initiatives since the 1970’s, starting with Prop 13, have constrained the ability of elected officials to make changes in the budget. The voters have passed huge bond measures, increasing the state’s debt. Measures put before the voters to change the budget process have been rejected after massive ad campaigns by special interest groups.

    Neither party has had any particular reason to compromise, as present districting makes most seats safe and reduces the likelihood of moderate assembly members and senators getting nominated and elected. Attempts to change that process have been opposed by special interests and the parties.

    Past budgets have papered over the deficits or pushed them out to future years. The problem is so bad this year, though, that the deficit can’t be solved without
    –tax increases,
    –significant program cuts including social welfare programs,
    –elimination of state agencies,
    –education cuts, and probably
    –federal aid.

    Since they control both Assembly and Senate, it is the responsibility of the Democrats to propose program cuts first to show the Republicans they are serious. California Republicans have been incredibly obstructionist before, but the numbers just aren’t there to do this without some tax and fee increases. So they will have to put up as well. Nevertheless, I think the onus is on the Democratic leadership to put forward specific proposals first. The governor is pretty irrelevant to the process, except to seek federal aid.

  129. Don Shor

    “Let me be more clear here–the current budget deficit is largely due to the economy.”

    In 2002-3 California faced a $23.6 billion gap between revenues and expenditures.
    In 2003-4, the gap was $38.2 billion.

    In 2004-5 the gap was about $15 billion.

    In 2005-6 it was $9.1 billion.

    In 2006-7 it was $6.4 billion.

    In 2007-8 it was %5.5 billion.

    California ran major deficits in the 1980’s as well.

    The problem isn’t primarily the economy, although that has made the situation much worse. Various initiatives since the 1970’s, starting with Prop 13, have constrained the ability of elected officials to make changes in the budget. The voters have passed huge bond measures, increasing the state’s debt. Measures put before the voters to change the budget process have been rejected after massive ad campaigns by special interest groups.

    Neither party has had any particular reason to compromise, as present districting makes most seats safe and reduces the likelihood of moderate assembly members and senators getting nominated and elected. Attempts to change that process have been opposed by special interests and the parties.

    Past budgets have papered over the deficits or pushed them out to future years. The problem is so bad this year, though, that the deficit can’t be solved without
    –tax increases,
    –significant program cuts including social welfare programs,
    –elimination of state agencies,
    –education cuts, and probably
    –federal aid.

    Since they control both Assembly and Senate, it is the responsibility of the Democrats to propose program cuts first to show the Republicans they are serious. California Republicans have been incredibly obstructionist before, but the numbers just aren’t there to do this without some tax and fee increases. So they will have to put up as well. Nevertheless, I think the onus is on the Democratic leadership to put forward specific proposals first. The governor is pretty irrelevant to the process, except to seek federal aid.

  130. Don Shor

    “Let me be more clear here–the current budget deficit is largely due to the economy.”

    In 2002-3 California faced a $23.6 billion gap between revenues and expenditures.
    In 2003-4, the gap was $38.2 billion.

    In 2004-5 the gap was about $15 billion.

    In 2005-6 it was $9.1 billion.

    In 2006-7 it was $6.4 billion.

    In 2007-8 it was %5.5 billion.

    California ran major deficits in the 1980’s as well.

    The problem isn’t primarily the economy, although that has made the situation much worse. Various initiatives since the 1970’s, starting with Prop 13, have constrained the ability of elected officials to make changes in the budget. The voters have passed huge bond measures, increasing the state’s debt. Measures put before the voters to change the budget process have been rejected after massive ad campaigns by special interest groups.

    Neither party has had any particular reason to compromise, as present districting makes most seats safe and reduces the likelihood of moderate assembly members and senators getting nominated and elected. Attempts to change that process have been opposed by special interests and the parties.

    Past budgets have papered over the deficits or pushed them out to future years. The problem is so bad this year, though, that the deficit can’t be solved without
    –tax increases,
    –significant program cuts including social welfare programs,
    –elimination of state agencies,
    –education cuts, and probably
    –federal aid.

    Since they control both Assembly and Senate, it is the responsibility of the Democrats to propose program cuts first to show the Republicans they are serious. California Republicans have been incredibly obstructionist before, but the numbers just aren’t there to do this without some tax and fee increases. So they will have to put up as well. Nevertheless, I think the onus is on the Democratic leadership to put forward specific proposals first. The governor is pretty irrelevant to the process, except to seek federal aid.

  131. Bushs Fistula

    Pete Wilson (Republican) signed some early budgets in the 1990’s that included tax increases. The 1991 budget had a gap of about $10 billion.

    Those tax increases didn’t seem to hurt the California economy in the rest of the decade.

  132. Bushs Fistula

    Pete Wilson (Republican) signed some early budgets in the 1990’s that included tax increases. The 1991 budget had a gap of about $10 billion.

    Those tax increases didn’t seem to hurt the California economy in the rest of the decade.

  133. Bushs Fistula

    Pete Wilson (Republican) signed some early budgets in the 1990’s that included tax increases. The 1991 budget had a gap of about $10 billion.

    Those tax increases didn’t seem to hurt the California economy in the rest of the decade.

  134. Bushs Fistula

    Pete Wilson (Republican) signed some early budgets in the 1990’s that included tax increases. The 1991 budget had a gap of about $10 billion.

    Those tax increases didn’t seem to hurt the California economy in the rest of the decade.

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