Sunday, June 07, 2009

Balancing Budgets

The LA Times has a cool little tool on their website that allows you, the reader, to come up with whacky ways to balance the huge budget shortfall Cali faces. My solution took 8 minutes. No one time fixes, and only sin tax increases. There are some interesting options left off like privatizing prisons, completely eliminating some govt departments, etc.

Still, this is not rocket science, it's balancing a checkbook. A biggie was ending in home health care for 440K people who would otherwise be in nursing homes getting the same frickin' care. I'm sorry, this is a luxury, and in times of crisis, you can't afford luxuries. Another big group I took on were state workers and teachers. Sorry, this just has to end. Private sector workers are forever worrying about losing their jobs, govt workers are virtually guaranteed employment no matter how bad they are for life. Then these same workers get pensions better than private sector pensions/401ks??? Only thing I spared was the state park system. I did not touch the MediCal eligibility line. I also raised taxes only on cigs and alcohol. Sin taxes seem a bit better since if you do not use those items, you never pay the tax. It is voluntary in a sense except for the addicts. I felt the worst about closing the community college system. I think privatizing the prison system would probably save enough money to keep some of the "nice" services.

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