California is Broke. Why?

"If you think this country's bad off now, just wait 'til I get through with it." ...Groucho Marx as Rufus T.

By Alberto Marrero Salas
Published on LatinoLA: June 19, 2009

California is Broke. Why?

California, we're broke. This is after paying one of the highest income tax rates, sales tax rates and other tax rates in the country. Why?

There is no money to treat the poor and the undocumented. There is however enough money to pay Councilman Bernard Parks over $430,000 per year. Yes there is money for that.

Too bad for the children. Let's cut out the Healthy Children program. There is no money available.
The salary for our City Councilmen is $178,898 per yea;r that is over 400% of the medium income for Los Angeles.

Yes we have money for that.

Let's cut summer school. Let the parents, especially the needy, pay for day care for their children.
At the same time each councilman gets eight free cars each year. Yeah, we got the bucks to pay for that. That's eight cars times 15 councilmen: that's a total of 120 cars and I would bet you that none of them drives a KIA. We have plenty of money for that.

Let's fire the teachers. Specially the good ones that have no tenure. Let's keep the deadwood hacks that UTLA protects. Let us, however, pay Mayor Villar over $232,000 per year. Name one accomplishment that Mayor Villar (other than dating TV reporters) has made in the last 12 months? You can't? Well neither can I.

Let's cut out help for Alzheimer's patients. Who cares? After all they will never remember that we cut their aid ha ha ha !! At the same time each Councilman has a $100,000 slush fund at his disposal. Again that is $100,000 times fifteen.

Let's close the parks. We are out of money. In an excellent article in LA Weekly by Paul Trector we learn that each council member has a budget of over 1.2 million dollars. But there is no money for parks.

Let's cut out loans to college students. There is no money for that. But let us keep the 20 aides that each Councilman has at a salary of over $94,000 per year.

Now I ask you, can you name one good thing or one half-ass thing that the City Council of Los Angeles accomplished last year? Can you? I know that I can't.

Let's let out thousands of prisoners. There is no money in the budget to keep them incarcerated. Specially when most prison guards make over $100,000 a year. Meanwhile let us not privatize the prisons. The average CCA guard (Corrections Corp. of America) makes about $45,000 a year.

By privatizing the prisons we would save billions of dollars. We would not be on the hook for pensions or health care, but we can't do that as this would upset the Correctional Officer's Union.

Let's cut out medicines for HIV and AIDS patients. At the same time make sure that no city or state employee pays anything ever for medical and dental care for his entire family. No co-payments, no drug payments. Nada, zilcho ... all paid by taxpayers. But there is no money to save AID and HIC patients.

No money for swimming pools. No money for after school programs. The wallet is empty, the bank is dry, our credit dried up. (The Governator).

Meanwhile state employees have 14 paid holidays per year. Most of us have six.

Did your 401k get clobbered? Can't retire? Muy malo. So sad. There is no money to help you retire. There is however enough money to make up all the losses of Los Angeles City employees and State employees.

Lost your home. So sad. Lost part of your retirement in real estate investments? Muy malo. CalPers lost hundreds of millions of dollars in bad real estate investments. No problem. You and I make up the losses.

Your 401K gets massacred. That's a cold shot, ese. Now you get taxed in order to make up losses by public employee unions pensions (CALPERS).

You're screwed. They are guaranteed by you. That's a real cold shot, ese.

Karen Bass says, want to go to a State Park that your taxes have already paid for? Well, that will cost you an additional $15 per household car this after doubling registration costs last February. No new taxes no parks.

On the same day Bass rejected a 5% pay cut for State employees. How dare you want to cut salaries by 5% when the real unemployment (including the undocumented workers) figure is about 15% for California. How could you? Where are these corrupt sold out politicians get their campaign contributions from?

Now I ask you is there a pattern here?

In the future, vote no on any bond or new tax. Whether Republican or Democrat, vote out the incumbent. If Quasimodo is running against Villareigosa, vote for Quasimodo. If Bozo the Clown is running against the Governator Ahnold, vote for Bozo.

Honestly could Quasimodo or Bozo do any worse? I doubt it.

California will eventually go the way of GM and Chrysler. The State pensions and benefits are not sustainable. The real estate bubble is gone, never to come back again. Eventually the State will have to file for bankruptcy and renegotiate just like GM did all of its union contracts.

If you raise taxes you will see an Exodus of small business to tax friendly states like Nevada and Utah. This will only hasten the inevitable.

It's time that the people get a fair break and all of the politicians and the unions that own them should bear some of the sacrifices that these times require. This is supposed to be a government for the people and by the people not for the unions and their lackeys the politicians.

My thanks to all at LATINOLA. Were it not for the dedicated people here, our voices would be seldom heard.

About Alberto Marrero Salas:
Partner Nacara 2000. Worked on Wall Street during the go go 70's and 80's with Merrill Lynch and Prudential Bache.
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