Target California

Traditionally, the main focus of this site has always been on Washington DC and the national issues that are centered in the three branches of government...the White House, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. It is now apparent that the deterioration of government by "We The People" has metastasized from the federal government to some state governments. Major financial problems are pushing several of our larger states toward insolvency to the extent that Congress is considering what legislation may be needed in order for states to be able to file for bankruptcy, that is, if it is determined that a sovereign state can file for bankruptcy. In light of these facts, several new governors are making a very strong effort to restore fiscal discipline to their state budgets and, not surprisingly, are meeting varying degrees of resistance in carrying out the very policies that their citizens elected them to implement.

However, other states are still pursuing a course that leads to financial disaster. Nowhere is this more evident than in the late great state of California where the will of the people as expressed through ballot initiatives has been severely ignored by current and past Governors and Legislatures. The cumulative result over the years of the many egregious decisions made by California's elected officials has been a reverse Rumpelstiltskin effect of turning the Golden State into one of straw. This is evidenced by:

  • The $25 billion budget deficit that dwarfs the entire budgets of most states
  • The lowest bond rating of all the states in the union
  • Record drop-out rates in public education
  • Unsolved infrastructure problems in water, energy, and transportation
  • Unsolved social issues concerning prisons, welfare, and illegal immigration

In recent months the question was asked, "Is California too big to fail?" prompting a brief discussion about a new category of federal bailouts. California and other states that are financially imperiled must be given the same medicine as the federal government...a transfusion of new blood in its elected representatives and a shrinking size of government.

As for major policy positions, this website contains many that are applicable at both the state and national levels. As for California specific policies, the following is offered:

  • Change the Legislature – Californians must throw out the existing "bought and paid for" legislators that are currently running Sacramento. No governor has a chance to pass major reform legislation with the "special interest" legislators that have controlled Sacramento for the past six decades.
  • Cut the Size of Government – Both the financial size and the legislative reach of government must be greatly reduced. This will not happen with the same type of legislators that we have now. Everything in the budget must be open to review and renegotiation. This will not be for the faint of heart.
  • Improve the Business Environment – California must cut its taxes and regulations that have created one of the worst business environments in the country. The fastest way to create real job growth is for existing businesses to invest and expand.
  • Get Californians Working – Other than improving the business environment, a plan must be put in place that substitutes legal Californians as employees replacing illegal immigrants. This can be accomplished by a wide assortment of legislative options that will identify jobs held by illegal immigrants.
  • Repeal AB32 – The ill-advised passage of the Kyoto Protocol inspired Global Warming Final Solutions Act must be reversed. This law will greatly exacerbate California's already negative business climate and will cause additional employers to either go out of business or leave the state. The supposed increase in employment for "green jobs" will not replace even 1% of the jobs already lost prior to this law taking effect.
  • Welfare Reform – California must immediately stop paying a premium above the federal minimum welfare benefits. Further, it must lower the number of fraudulent claims for welfare and unemployment benefits as well as providing tougher legislation for eligibility.
  • Pension Reform – This subject will create an uproar throughout the state but the costs today and in the future for the current system are not sustainable. The state economy will eventually collapse under the weight of pension costs. The "special interest" legislature-approved pension changes over the years have created an unfair burden on the private sector citizen. Revisions to the pension program for future retirees must include changes to the calculation of the annual earnings qualification period before retirement, the percentage of the earnings that will make up the pension, the age of eligibility, and other factors. Additionally, the unrealistic and, in some cases, unethically earned benefits currently being paid must be legally reviewed. The public pension program must be fair, affordable, carry its own risks, and be reasonably equivalent to the private sector.
  • Illegal Immigration – California's funding of the costs associated with illegal immigration is estimated at $10-20 billion per year. This equates to 40-80% of the current budget deficit, making it the biggest single component that should be addressed. However, this enormous drain on state financial resources was all but ignored during the recent gubernatorial election and is conspicuously absent from Governor Brown's current budget proposal. California must address this issue that has severely impacted its ability to fund and efficiently carry out its financial responsibilities to its citizens. The illegal immigration crisis is severely impacting the major areas of education, health care, law enforcement, the judiciary, and the prison systems.
  • Recall Election – Governor Brown and the Legislature will try to put on the ballot an initiative that is aimed at cajoling the citizens of California to inflict further financial damage on themselves and businesses by extending what was supposed to be a temporary tax increase for another five years. This tax initiative is a major component of Governor Brown's budget for he is planning on the additional taxes raised to pay for 50% of the $25 billion budget deficit. Without the initiative Sacramento will have to more fully cut the budget in areas that will negatively impact their financial benefactors which they obviously are being rewarded not to do. Their preference is to continue what they have always done which is to push the financial problems further into the future rather than address today the huge problems concerning welfare, the business environment, public pensions and illegal immigration. Therefore, since the elected officials want to use the tax initiative to avoid any real effort to solve the state's true financial problems, Californians should defeat the tax initiative if it gets on the ballot. Further, now that the 2011 election is over and Governor Brown and the Legislature have shown their real intent to simply continue the same shallow and predictable course that has made California the laughing stock of the nation, the citizens of California should launch a recall effort to replace both the legislature and the governor with new representatives that will tackle these problems head on.

In summary, the task ahead for California is a very difficult one that will take a will of iron to accomplish. In all fairness, Californians greatly share in the state's problems since they have continued to unwisely elect these representatives for decades and must now realize that these false leaders need to be replaced in order to pursue a path toward economic prosperity for the entire state. This new path must be a departure from the course that benefits special interest groups at the expense of the majority of Californians. The path to be pursued must benefit the state as a whole...for all Californians will benefit from a financially sound state that has a vibrant economy.

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