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True lies: The $26B budget deal from hell

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POSTED July 22, 2009 3:16 a.m.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and the so-called Big Five should be ashamed of themselves for coming up with the biggest Ponzi scheme the world has ever known.


The so-called budget deal to cover a $26 billion deficit includes a lot of sleight of hand accounting, pushes much of the tab for our collective sins into the future, and wantonly breaks  – they say suspend  - the state’s constitutional to drain billions from local governments that are already hemorrhaging.


The end result will be thousands of layoffs of police, firefighters, street crews, and park workers while Sacramento stays whole. That’s because instead of true reform or taking the hit where it belongs in Sacramento they have protected the state workers and their unions that they are all beholden to and double upped the pain on local communities.


If you doubt this, ask the governor or any legislator exactly how many of those 33,000 state workers who received layoff notices have actually lost their jobs.


The deal they came up with that goes to the California Legislature on Thursday will “borrow” $1 million from Manteca’s property tax revenues and seized$1.1 million this year and $1.1 million next year from the city’s gas tax receipts, and steal $5 million from the redevelopment agency even though a court has told them they can’t take RDA funds. If they do that, Sacramento will have stolen $26 million that legally was collected from Manteca taxpayers for use in Manteca since 1991.


It doesn’t matter the gas tax originally was created to be split 50-50 between the city and the state. That’s how Sacramento sold it to voters. Since then, the state’s been siphoning off the local government’s share to feed their addiction for expanding programs. Now, thanks to the Big Five & Arnold, there is no longer a pretense of any sharing. The state is so simply going to take it all.


They can’t legally take property tax and sales tax so what they are proposing is to “suspend” Proposition 1A that was approved by the voters a few years ago angry about Sacramento’s sticky fingers.


Remember the second proposition 13 the generated several billion dollars for water projects and flood control?  That money was “borrowed” three deficit deals ago to keep the Department of Water Resources payroll afloat. It was supposed to be repaid by now. How much of it has been repaid?

Try zilch.


It is illegal as hell to use bond money approved by voters for one purpose for another. But as ex-State Sen. Mike Machado rationalized you can’t have flood control or water supply solutions without a Department of Water Resources. Guess what? We still have neither but at least the Department of Water Resources employee base is still intact. Maybe they’ll respond the next time the levees break down here since there will be substantially less public safety crews locally to do so.


If you don’t think taking $2.1 million from Manteca’s general fund this year alone isn’t going to mean layoffs of police and fire as well as street and parks workers you’re crazier than The Big Five & Arnold.


If Arnold were really the man of reform like he claimed he was in his scripted run for government, he’d hold his ground. It is much better that this state face the music all at once instead of coming up with patchwork solutions that not only prolong the agony but make it worse.


Sacramento needs to go cold turkey and drop old spending habits


Those who cast votes in the legislature for the budget deal most assuredly will say they had no other choice. That is a blatant lie. They have another choice and that would be the complete overhaul of state government.


It is time for Californians to end the charade. No matter how nice State Sen. Lois Wolk is or Assemblyman Bill Berryhill might be, by voting for this budget they are setting the stage for your neighborhood to deteriorate by taking money that was collected for local purposes from you and me and sending it to Sacramento feed the bureaucracy.


They will relegate Californians to serfs to do the bidding of special interest groups if the $26 billion budget deal is rubber stamped by the state legislature.



To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com




 

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