Meh Culpa

Calfornia Proposition 1C snatches $5 billion from the mouths of babes and children

Here they go again.  Arnie and the Legislature are using 1C to borrow from our children and their children and their children’s children.  1C borrows $5 billion from future lottery profits,  while taking 20 to 30 years to pay off the debt,  yet the proposition is being sold as a way to balance the budget. Over the long term passing 1C means that it’s going to make future budget balancing acts even more difficult.

What gets me is that this measure isn’t just a one-time deal, though no one really mentions that point.  1C allows borrowing from the lottery at any time in the future, which means the “loans” to the General Fund may never end, and the children of California from 5 to 21  wouldn’t be getting the Lottery money due their educational institutions.  Oh yeah, as long as  the debt needs repaying, that’s what the Lottery will do instead of abiding by the will of the voters who passed the Lottery measure for K through JC Education back in the 1980’s.

The politicians in Sacramento, especially the *cough*Republican minority*cough,* are all about taking Educational funding away.  It’s always the first thing to go.  And now it’s going ‘way back in the future.

The legislative analyst takes pains in the subjunctive to say that the state might not borrow from the Lottery after all, in which case it might cover future payments the General Fund provides for Education.  Yeah, right.   (Sorry for being all cynical, but the subjunctive doesn’t cover the concrete, it is the stuff of daydreamy maybes.  Castles in the Air, so to speak.)

As if we need more, there’s another problem: The General Fund that’s borrowing from the Lottery to balance a massive deficit would have to make up for payments the Lottery would usually make.  Sound convoluted?  It is.

Plus, if the money isn’t there now,  I doubt the General Fund can make up the balance owed from 2009-10 next year.  Maybe there would be enough money in the General Fund for a payback in some decade or other, but probably not this one. Which means trying to find the money from another program certain politicians like to cut from the General Fund (See 1E and Inside Governor Hoover’s Budget Revise*).  Funny, you don’t see the Gov’nor taxing the people who can most afford it. A Randian** Republican to his core,  Ahhhnold insists on screwing over The Little Guy and The Little Kids and the Disadvantaged Through No Fault of Their Own.

How much sense does this measure make so far?

For creative accountants, it’s great because it  means balancing the budget on paper.  But  it may also make  us less competitive in the future by taking brain candy from the babies’ mouths.  Frankly speaking, the 8th largest economy*** in the world  needs its competitive features, but we’ve been slipping for over a decade.   Considered the high-tech state, California is about 46th in the country in terms of schools’ technology access and use and the state cannot afford to lose what little it has.    Personally, I think passing 1C will help guarantee more slippage.

I don’t think we  can we afford more of what 1A / 1B  promises our kids and possibly their kids and grandkids–less rather than more.

Can you tell I’m voting NO?


* Most spectacularly (for anyone who doesn’t want to read much more): “[I]nstead of temporarily cutting various services, the Governor’s revised budget would cut them permanently, particularly in programs like Medi-Cal, In-Home Supportive Services, SSI/SSP, regional centers, Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants. …The vast majority of those cuts would be implemented regardless of the outcome of the May 19 ballot measures.” He’s also raising fees for residents of veterans’ homes.  Despicable.

** See also “The Troubled Economics of Ayn Rand.”

*** In 2007.  Whaddaya wanna bet we’re about 10th or 11th this year?

Advertisements

May 16, 2009 Posted by | borrowing, California, conservative, Democrats, Depression, Economy, Education, far right, politics, poltical theories, Republicans, social theories | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scariness: Projected California jobless rates through 2011


From: http://www3.signonsandiego.com/photos/2009/mar/25/26988/

April 4, 2009 Posted by | Bush administration, politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fandango Friday: Hang your head low

Scaramouche

Scaramouche

There are days when you just want to go back to bed.

  • Blago was indicted by Patrick Fitzgerald yesterday–as if we didn’t all see that coming.
  • Coleman conceded today.  Maybe he asked his erstwhile backers to show him the money and they claimed that Bernie Madoff had run off with it.
  • Obama had his first date with the G-20 and he didn’t get a goodnight kiss. “I think we did all right,” he said.  Not really.  Many Americans don’t know that the rest of the world blames us for the  sand trap we’ve all found ourselves in, but they do.   Rightly.  We failed to regulate our financial system and we got pwned as a result. Now we’re going to have to learn to make do with less, to not being the Head Muckety Muck of the World.  It won’t kill us to reduce our exceptionalism.  We’ve been living off its insidious fruits for too long now.
  • Bristol Palin’s ex-beau, and the father of her child, thinks he and Bristol could conceivably get back together someday.  Dude, before 2012?  Ya think?
  • Robert Reich says “It’s a Depression.” Oh yeah. And in California there are predictions of 12% – 15% unemployment by next spring.  (I think I am going to move.)
  • The Guardian has posted a brutal video of a young girl being whipped (literally) by the Swat Valley Pakistani Taliban a day or two after Karzai declared rape legal in Afghanistan.   The girl in the video was punished for leaving her house with a man who wasn’t her husband. She begged them to stop beating her and just kill her. This beating was not about the religion of Islam as some may believe, it’s cultural and it’s local.  Still, it makes you want to hang your head low that there are such bad men in the world.

April 4, 2009 Posted by | Afghanistan, Depression, diplomacy, Economy, Foreign policy, human rights, Obama, Pakistan, politics, religion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment