According to a recent report from NBC affilliate, KCRA 3 in Sacramento, California, Governor Schwarzenegger has once again carved into the lives of the poor, the young, the infirmed, and those least able to bear the edge of his economic scalpel.
Programs like Cal-WORKS, which is the work-for-welfare program, mental health services, foster parent programs, and other necessary departments are being slashed to accommodate the $20 billion shortfall. According to the report, this budget reduction will affect 1.4 million people in the third largest state in the union. With a total population of 38,292,687 California citizens, that means that over 3.5% of the people in the Golden State are going to have to decide what to do in response to this situation.
One must wonder whether the highest paid administrators in state government are taking cuts in their pay, or if there is going to be a reduction in any of their benefits.
The lame duck governor has also indicated that a budget will not be signed that is not accompanied by budget and pension reforms. That is akin to saying that we must have better architectural plans for a barn that is currently burning. I’m certain that in Governor Schwarzenegger’s mind he is trying to avoid future issues of this type; however, as is spoken in the vernacular, he is “a day late and a dollar short.”
It was less than a year ago, we were discussing the the fact that the governor was flexing his muscles in areas that were not a top priority for the majority of Californians.
Programs such as research grants, expansion of prisons and universities, secondary transportation activities that are not being supplemented by the federal government, and parks and recreation should be cut long before programs that support children and the ill.
There should be three rules of thumb by which the governor reviews the budget:
1. Does this item support our children in any way?
2. Does this item support physical and mental health care for the largest number of people?
3. Does this item promote employment in the state?
Anything else should be eligble for reduction.
The ironic thing is that after all these years contending with Governor Schwarenegger, we’re finally realizing that he doesn’t meet any of these criteria.
Hey! that gives me an idea!
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