Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mississippi on the Pacific

I've been looking over some of the consequences of California's latest budget deal, and I can come to no other conclusion: Thanks to the wonders of direct democracy, a small minority of far right nuts, have turned California into Mississippi on the Pacific.

With a voter mandated two thirds majority required to either pass a budget or a tax increase, it's now possible for a one third plus one minority to dictate how California will be governed. Despite the fact that California is an overwhelmingly democratic and liberal state, (Despite the election of Governor Action Hero. Talk about buyer's remorse.) the Repug minority and the Gov. have managed to dictate massive cuts in the social safety net, and education.

At a time when health insurance is becoming more and more expensive, we've made cuts to programs for uninsured children, and home health care for shut-ins. Of course, the formerly insured are going to start showing up in emergency rooms, a far more expensive way to treat the sick. But then again, there are so few emergency rooms left in our state, so in the long run, thousands of premature deaths might end up saving us money. I wonder how many deaths of children, the long term disabled, and the elderly we're willing to adsorb in order to continue the Ronald Reagan war on taxes? Funny, I thought the far right was oh so pro-life.
And of course, let's not forget education. I dare anyone out there to find a reputable economist who will argue that what we really need is a less educated work force. So the one third on the far right have forced massive cuts to schools and universities. Every time I hear about a major employer leaving the state, I also hear from Repugs that it's because of taxes. Has it ever occurred to them that it might be because we're no longer providing a decent education to our future workers?
Yes California is becoming like Mississippi. I've ceased to be surprised about California's on going death spiral. What amazes me is that the Repugs are proud of what they are doing to our state. It's time for a constitutional convention, a rewrite of the rules, and an elimination of the initiative process.
Just for fun: California's latest decent into initiative madness is a, still circulating, proposition to require drug and alcohol tests for state senators and assemblymen. There might be some merit in this one. After all, you'd have to be on something to put up with the whims of the California electorate.

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