SACRAMENTO —Lately California lawmakers seem to be behaving like bad teenagers. Everything in their district is off the table for budget cuts, but they still expect to keep the excellent bond rating we now enjoy. It’s obvious that California is soon becoming the next Greece with a major budget disaster looming. However, Governor Schwarzenegger continues to turn on his star appeal in hopes that the federal government will ultimately bail the state out of its current economic crisis. For a man with a reported $400 million personal fortune, strong immigrant values, and who came to America with nothing and made himself rich and famous with hard work and saving, you’d think he’d be able to bully the Democrats and Republicans in the state’s legislature into listening to common sense before it is too late. I suppose all the “Terminator” films were just hype?
The problem seems to be that California lawmakers are afraid to go home to their own constituents and explain the dire need to cut the budget. This includes, teachers pay, city and state workers pay and even the unthinkable, those outrageous retirement accounts that most state workers have enjoyed through one of the nation’s highest retirement plans as well. When will Californians realize that to continue to demand services and be against raising taxes makes no fiscal sense? We have no alternatives but to slash the state’s government spending until the government finds itself again with a balanced budget. God forbid California’s astronomical tax rates be raised any further.
The Golden State is now one of the most difficult states for businesses to survive. The high tax rates and fees associated with starting or running a business in once the most welcoming state for industry, are now so outrageous and out of touch with reality that Utah, Nevada and even New Mexico are finding new companies willing to relocate from California in order to make a profit and to continue to be successful and most of all, competitive with others within their own industry.
Americans have this anti big business attitude right now. Perhaps the CEO’s of big industries have themselves to blame at least partly for this attitude. After all, executives have been raking in high salaries and excellent benefits while failing the companies they were entrusted to run. Their employees and shareholders were suppose to be cared for and put first. These same executives were the first to start whining for help when the Fall 2008 economic crash occurred. While many Americans and Californians cut their spending, stopped going to as many dinners and entertainment events, also we stopped buying clothing and other products until our 401K’s were back in order, or people found new jobs, executives were still being lavished with huge bonuses taken from the taxpayers. In our recent past, our capitalists and entrepreneurs were once the very people willing to struggle and sacrifice the most; however, this time around the big bank bailouts that started with President Bush’s administration and continued under President Obama’s watch have been the very ones begging for help, instead of cutting back and finding other ways for their businesses to survive. So there is selfishness on everyone’s part, not just the average guy.
California is the nation’s most populated state, and also the wealthiest. We should not be asking for the federal government, which means the U.S. taxpayers, to bail out our run-away spending. Governor Schwarzenegger should stand up to the politicians in Sacramento on both sides of the political aisle, use his celebrity and marketing savvy by going before the California public and start to explain that sacrifices are not a possibility, but a necessity. One we all had better take heed of and do something about before the perfect storm that met the nation of Greece lands on our beautiful Pacific shores and then we end up with a greater fiscal crisis.
The budget of California needs cutting. That includes services for you, for me, for the rich and the poor. California has the ability to shrink our government’s spending and see a great economic growth occur as a direct result of that within a few years. We are the only state that has every natural resource known to man within our borders. We are also the most diverse and talented citizenry in the world. For these very reasons, we must make the necessary cuts to keep our state strong and everyone, including the politicians in Sacramento need to simply buckle down and use common sense to answer the questions and solve the problems we now face. Most importantly, under no circumstances is the federal government to become California’s banker.