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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

YOU fix the Budget !!!

I looked at the headlines on Yahoo this morning and, surprise surprise, my wonderful state of California did not pass a budget. Again. What kind of morons are running this state? And why are we paying them? I think we should recall all the elected officials and just grab some smart looking suits from off the street and bring them in to figure out this mess. Couldn't be any worse than it already is.

So do YOU think you could do better? (I sure do.) Well folks, here's your chance. The LA Times (how did they find the time with all the Michael Jackson stories this week?) has come up with an interactive "YOU Balance the Budget" game which allows you to make cuts and/or raise taxes to balance California's Budget once and for all. You can find it here.

I'm playing it right now. First I'm going to cut K-12 and community colleges to the Prop 98 limit (whatever that is....) It says that districts could cut one week from the school year to compensate and I've just shaved a cool 5.3 billion off the budget. I'm on a roll baby!

Next I'm going to eliminate 33 state boards that the governor has labeled redundant, cut the legislature in half, and add a third and fourth furlough day for all government workers. There, I've saved another 1.2 billion.

OK, now it's getting tougher. I guess I will eliminate health and dental for state retirees. (Hey, I don't have those things, why should I pay for others to have them?) That's 1.2 billion. And I'll end contributions to the teacher pension fund (sorry guys but you make like 3 times more than I do....) There's 1.3 billion. Hmmm..... still 15.5 billion to go and every teacher in the state hates me. Yikes!

I can save 100 million by changing sentencing laws for lower level offenders, turn 19,000 illegal immigrants now in state prison over to federal authorities for deportation (that's a duh!), and reduce prison time for parole violations. That saved about 380 million.

Crap, still 14.7 billion to go. What's left? I'll cut Medi-Cal for LEGAL immigrants to only allow emergency services. I'll cut Medi-Cal waivers, rollbacks and dental coverage. Savings: 550 million. I'll cut state pensions and reduce health benefits. I'll end In Home Services to the Disabled, eliminate welfare to half a million Californians, and release some inmates. Phew! It's easy once you begin..... like ripping off a bandaid!

Still 10 Billion to go. OK, I'm ending the Cal Grant program. Sorry. Cutting Disability for the Developmentally Disabled. Cutting Child Welfare Services. No more cash and food for Blind LEGAL immigrants. Thank God they can't read this (oh, that was bad!!!) In home workers - your salary has to be cut to minimum wage. SSI to the disabled, gone! Healthy Families Program, over! Drug and Alcohol Programs, who needs 'em!

I'm going to eliminate the Office of Emergency Services (what do they do anyway?) and close the California Conservation Corps. No more funding for state parks. I'll drop coverage for more Medi-Cal families.

Crap, still 8.2 Billion to go. I can't touch law enforcement, because with all the new hungry, sick and homeless (not to mention all the criminals) walking the streets this state is gonna need 'em, believe me!

Damn, still not there. Not by a long shot. OK, so it's like this. I can either completely shut down both the community college system and the state college system AND allow offshore drilling off the Santa Barbara Coast, or I'm gonna need to raise taxes. Again. And a lot.

Your choice. I'm off to a buffet dinner. It's a free meal for me (though it costs California taxpayers $225 a plate). It's the end of the fiscal year, baby, and I'm going to celebrate!!!