Sunday, January 18, 2009

CA Out of Cash

California's Controller, John Chiang, has announced a 30 day delay on tax returns and other payments, beginning on Feb 1, because the Golden State is running out of money.

OK, being a little snarky right now, but I haven't gotten a refund from the state for almost 10 years now. I always owe them something, no matter how much I have deducted out of my check each month, it is never enough. But then I always try to guess how much I will owe and pay only that much. I have never liked making interest free loans to the government.

But back when I did get a refund, it was always a check, and it took a long time to get. Usually at least 6 to 8 weeks. So first off is anyone going to notice a 30 day delay?

Secondly. Since the state has said that they are going to delay those payments will we, the taxpayers, you know, the people these clowns work FOR, be allowed the same indulgence? Will I be allowed to send in my tax return with a note that says
"Sorry cash is a little tight right now, I will send in your check in 30 days."

I'm not holding my breath on that one.

But this leaves me with one very important question. The state is facing a huge deficit, some experts are saying as much as 41 billion over the next 18 months. And yet our state legislature still hasn't come up with a balanced budget proposal that does not solve all our problem by taxing the hell out of all of us. Are we still paying our state senators and congressmen? Are these clowns collecting a paycheck for running our state into bankruptcy? If the state starts issuing IOUs will the first ones issued be given to the asshats who have legislated us into this situation?

We need a policy here in the Republik of Kalifornia - on the the day the budget is due and the state government has not produced an approved balanced budget, their paychecks stop, immediately. They do not get paid until they start doing their jobs.

So in the interest of not just bitching but actually trying to do something useful I'm going to quote the Governor's own Budget proposal explaining why we are in this mess:

In 1998‑99, the state’s budget was balanced and projected to remain in balance. Figure INT‑01 displays General Fund revenue and spending growth since 1998‑99. As the figure shows, one year later, revenues increased by 23 percent, due to a stock market and dot‑com boom that drove unprecedented increases in stock option and capital gains income. These were magnified from a state revenue perspective, because the state’s income tax system relies disproportionately on the very high‑end earners most likely to receive such gains. The surge in revenues resulted in massive – and unsustainable – new spending commitments. When revenues declined, the state relied mostly on one‑time measures, such as borrowing, to temporarily reduce spending without cutting back underlying program commitments. Thus, the structural deficit was born.

Emphasis is mine, in order to point out that we got into this mess because our elected officials were spending like drunken sailors and when the good times of high revenues ended the spending didn't. Now our elected officials want to punish all of us for their idiotic and irresponsible actions and fixing the problem by taxing us back into a high revue condition.

Of course it never occurs to them that runaway spending got us into this situation so maybe we should stop rein in the spending. Its like the old joke of the man who goes to the doctor and says "It hurts when I do this." and the doctor replies "then stop doing that."

1 comment:

Stan said...

It is amazing that the idea of cutting spending is only used to convey the severity of the situation such as the "must cut spending on schools, police, and fire" rather than all the garbage that they added. This ploy was used to detract from any useful spending cuts and the new IOU ploy is more of the same.

It is just disheartening to see that when programs in CA result in financial failure, the country as a whole does not rise up and throw off the pork that we are being smothered with.