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Come, See Your Future

by : Daveparts
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 17:27

Come, See Your Future By David Glenn Cox

The sword of Damocles has fallen; Atlas has dropped the Earth and an earthquake has struck California. Not a seismic earthquake but an economic earthquake.

The reverberations in the California real estate market combined with the outsourcing of jobs set into motion the shaking of the state’s economic foundations. If you were to see this play enacted in a theater, you wouldn’t believe it. I read it again and again and shake my head at what has become reality in this country. California faces a budget deficit of $26.8 billion dollars in the 2010 state budget.

The Governor has proposed:

A 5% pay cut for state employees; on June 6th the governor described state workers as having “unbelievable benefits.”

The complete elimination of the state’s welfare-to-work program.

The complete elimination of the state’s health insurance program for children; 900,000 children will lose health coverage.

Plans to close 200 state parks.

Elimination of the funding for AIDS counseling.

Reducing state grants to the blind and disabled to federally-mandated minimums.

Reduced funding for in-home care of seniors.

The elimination of 50,000 teaching positions.

The elimination of 5,000 state positions.

An immediate halt in funding of all state contracts, affecting thousands more private sector employees.

The California Senate Democrats offer a counter proposal of using the state’s rainy day fund to cover some of the shortfall and rolling back various corporate tax breaks. Senate Republican leader Dennis Hollingsworth objected, saying “he could not accept killing tax breaks designed to stimulate the economy.

"When you pull tax credits that are targeted toward creating jobs, it doesn’t result in more revenue – it results in less jobs."

The Obama administration has denied any direct assistance to California, and it has denied requests to temporarily underwrite the state’s budget shortfall. So 1,000,000 children will be cut from California’s welfare roles as welfare is eliminated. As Californians protested before the state’s budget conference committee, Will Lightbourne, Director of the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency said, “No civilized modern state has proposed this as a budget balancing ploy until now... When the safety net is eliminated in whole or part, all of the societal relationships are broken and what were communities become camps.

"The ending of the CalWorks program will cut vital support from 500,000 single mothers and 1,000,000 children," Lightbourne continued, saying eliminating these grants for these families will result in their “immediate descent into homelessness—not poverty, because they are already in poverty, but complete destitution.”

The Obama administration’s refusal to help can best be described as fearing to grab onto a drowning man. California is not alone in this crisis; New York, New Jersey, Florida and Illinois are close behind, and to save one they must save them all. And they are just not going to do that. Better that they drown one-by-one than to risk losing the luster of high popularity numbers. There is a great weakness in our democratic system that shows itself in times of crisis. It is difficult and potentially unpopular to do the right thing and it is easy and politically expedient to wring one’s hands and feign powerlessness to do anything about it.

But what can the President do, you might ask? That is the heart of the story because the crux of the California financial crisis is found in the boardrooms of the bond rating companies. The Fitch bond rating agency reduced California’s bond rating from stable to negative last month and this, of course, had a chilling affect on the bankers, and so we come back to where we started. It is Wall Street which is demanding these changes be made or no more bank loans to California.

So when President Obama tells Californians that California must resolve the “structural” problems within its budget, a model that he hopes will be implemented throughout the country, he is parroting the Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers. The unelected bankers, flush with government loan money, turn the screws on the very citizens who supplied the money to the banks.

This isn’t a government but an organized crime ring, a protection racket where elected officials do what they’re told or no more loans. The cuts to be imposed on the populace of California signal the end, not just of the great society, but even more troubling the end of decent society and of civil society. It illustrates that there is no level of depravity we will not sink to to take from the powerless.

Every level of California society will feel the cuts, every level that is except the financial class and ex-Hollywood actors. California is but the first; these same actions are coming to a statehouse near you, too. So come, see your future.



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