Friday, February 13, 2009

Where oh where has our money gone?

Paul Rogers of the San Jose Mercury News reminded me today that he worked on an analysis of California's economic mess and that I had missed it. He will be on KQED (Channel 9 - San Francisco) tonight, discussing this as part of their This Week In Northern California program.

The big numbers that most do not talk about are all there.
A Mercury News analysis of state spending since Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took office in late 2003 found that he and the Democratic-controlled Legislature have spent money well beyond the rate of inflation and California's population growth — $10.2 billion more.
Click Read more! to where I try to figure out what this means.

One of the things we have to realize is there has been an expansion of spending beyond what the rate of inflation would seem to justify. So, there is a modicum of substance in the Republican position if only they had a solution other than to beatify Howard Jarvis.

This is the final culmination of decades of playing to the peanut gallery while the actors on the Sacramento Stage only read their lines without passion, hoping that no one would notice when it came time to run again. Every time it came to a hard decision, they passed the buck by putting it on the ballot. Well, if what we voted in is an example of what full citizen democracy can bring us, it is a good advertisement for a benevolent dictatorship.
"We got what we wanted and we've never figured out how to pay for it. And then we had this recession, and that made everything worse," said Stephen Levy, director of the Palo Alto-based Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy.
There are no good short term solutions. That is why it is taking so long to get anything done.

Until we start answering fundamental question regarding the services we need from Government and how we are going to pay for them, we will be saddled with this problem. One sure way to differentiate Greens from other parties is to get beyond slogans and present new, well reasoned approaches to such difficult problems.

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