A lot of states are coming to a fork in the road; how to live within their budget. Here in California, teachers, firemen and police have already gotten their budgets trimmed. Now it is time for deeper budget cuts or entertain the idea of raising taxes.
Here is a breakdown of present expenditures:
The Republicans are dead set against tax increases and more or less figure if you pay no taxes in, you’re first in line to lose benefits. In essence, it's the free stuff that the poor qualify for.
The Democrats on the other hand, want to raise taxes on the rich and big business and leave entitlements alone. Needless to say, the Democrats are not after the Big business vote. By God, make those fat corporations pay their fair share, rah rah rah! (I might sound a bit biased here, but show me a business that pays taxes, it's passed on to the customer)
We have two political philosophies that differ immensely. California’s problem is a financial one created by an economy that has gone sour. If the economy was in good shape, this problem would not exist.
The question arises, will either political view, result in a solution? Sadly, probably not. From looking back at history, raising taxes in hard times (the Democrats plan) brings in less revenue and stifles the creation of new businesses. Of course if you are poor and your entitlements get cut (The Republicans plan), you will vote for the Democrats to get them back. Both perspectives appear doomed to failure.
Where else can the state governments cut? There are limits here; people expect and demand services for their tax dollars. The part of the budget that might end up being cut could be welfare and health care.
Governator Schwarzenegger is suggesting elimination of some welfare programs. However it seems more likely that California residents might see an across the board cut in welfare benefits of say 25% this year and another 25% the following year. This would put our state in line with the benefits other states pay. We could also see major cuts in health care. Health care for kids could flat out disappear.
And as if it couldn't get any worse, new laws will prevent four million Arizona "tourists" from their annual trek to the San Joaquin Valley in California to harvest vegetables this year (a definite crimp on "tourism"). This should have no adverse effect on this years bumper pot crop.
It kind of looks as if those that don't help row and bail water out of the boat, get to swim along side.