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It is time to pull the plug on California’s government

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POSTED May 10, 2009 1:49 a.m.
Santa Barbara is burning.

The water levels behind Oroville are precariously low.

The nation’s Appalachia Valley of the 21st century in terms of poverty – the Southern San Joaquin – reels under unemployment approaching nearly 20 percent.

California – despite all of its potential and wealth both natural and economic – has gotten it all wrong.

We haven’t altered land development patterns that make conditions ripe for annual wildfires that wipe out thousands of homes each year. We have done nothing to either expand surface storage or push aggressively toward desalination or reuse of treated wastewater for domestic purposes. And we have done little to address the true issues of wealth and poverty.

When it comes to cuddling with special interest groups, California leads the way. Sacramento leaders are more savvy that their federal colleagues at giving high-tech mega-millionaires tax breaks and incentives than they are with lifting the worker who toils seven days a week assuming he still has a job.  If you doubt this, the legislature has had absolutely no problems messing with voter initiatives after they are passed to “correct” provisions they declared were misdirected. Yet on Proposition 13 that allowed a split tax roll with commercial and investor properties often getting a free pass through creative real estate transactions that protect the 1978 tax base the state has done nothing. It wouldn’t anger homeowners. No, it would anger their campaign contributors and those who lavish all the attention and dinners on them. This despite analysis after analysis shows if Proposition 13 was kept intact for owner occupied housing while other property not protected by the Williamson Act was allowed to float to true market value even in today’s depressed market the state would  have a substantial upswing in revenue.

Nothing is more deadly to the future of this state than a legislator having their ego stroked by corporate special interest groups.

It is against this backdrop and California’s never-ending deficit that we are now being asked to approve six ballot propositions May 19 that are neither solution or a band-aid. They will only slow the rate of the cancer eating at California’s core.

The rest of America needs to pay attention as this is what 40 years of government entitlement mentality coupled with politicians that have the backbones of Silly Putty will get you.

A month ago, it was projected if all six measures passed we’d still have an $8 billion deficit. Now it is at $20 billion deficit even if all get approved. Voting for the measures May 19 is akin to giving the bad guys who are chasing and shooting at you more ammo once they run out of bullets.

There is little doubt things are going to get tougher if the measures all don’t pass. Then again, how do you feel going to the ballot box with a loaded gun pointed at your head? Don’t think Gov, Arnold Schwarzenegger is engaging in scare tactics by saying he will push to steal $2 billion more in property taxes from local  government.

It is clear that is exactly the intent of Sacramento. Remember all of those job cuts that were going to come from the bureaucracy in Sacramento during the budget impasse just a few months ago? Don’t look now but even with deficit Armageddon is closer and closer and modern day Neros are still fiddling.

It is painfully clear California doesn’t need to practice fiscal restraint. The entire government needs to be restructured. It has become a dilapidated house that can only be made functional and stronger by tearing it down to the foundation and starting again instead of expanding it as a Winchester Mystery House gone wild spending money on hallways that lead nowhere.

The time has come to submit a vote to the people to essentially disband the State of California and chuck out the unwieldy constitution that runs for 110 pages compared to the simple and eloquent federal constitution.

Our state constitution has deteriorated into a document that only a bureaucrat can love  with contradicting directives allowing them to chase their tails and call it work. It isn’t for the people as much as it kowtows to the special interests of various people.

A lot of the half-baked solutions put in place over the years have done nothing to change the course of California. Instead we are simply picking up speed to ram the iceberg of true economic disaster head-on.

It is time to pull the plug on California’s government.
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