Saturday, February 14, 2009

My take on California's budget "solution"

So California has a budget proposal which is currently being debated, and since I still live in California, I feel like I should be paying attention to what our local idiots are doing now. And by idiots, I mean our idiotic "leaders" who nominally have the best interests of the state in mind as they over-spend the state into financial oblivion. Anyway, the latest budget proposal has many hair-brained schemes, doesn't close the budget gap, and primarily relies on federal bailouts to keep the spending party going (for a real solution, see my "zero-day budget" idea which I blogged about a while ago).

The LA Times had an opinion piece about businesses being a big winner in the budget proposal, at the expense of normal people, at a time when the budget is in peril, and only added to buy Republican votes; the author was obviously not a fan. What the change does, per the article, is this:
Under the proposed changes, companies would no longer be required to pay state taxes based on a formula that includes the size of their workforce, the amount of property they own and their total California sales. Instead, they could pay based on total state sales alone. The idea, supporters say, is to stop penalizing companies for expanding their workforces and building new facilities in California. Under current law, the companies' state tax bills grow when they do those things.

Now, that sounds like a reasonable idea to me, if you're interested in having businesses employing people in the state: don't tax them extra for it. Obviously, the counter-argument is that businesses have offices here anyway, cause that's where people are: and that much is true in many cases. However, people see the writing on the wall: the business environment in California is horrible, as as businesses downsize and people leave, those jobs are not coming back.

Chalk it up, then, to a token effort to avert financial suicide, which is strongly and adamantly opposed by the Democrats, and only allowed into a bill to try to buy enough Republican votes to keep the tax and spend party going. As usual, I hope this plan fails: although the state desperately needs to avert the collapsing industry, the tax and spend party has to end, and the only way for that to happen is for their unsustainable economic model to actually collapse. The only way California is going to get better in the long run (and not just hobble along crippled by our long-term incumbent morons) is to have a clean-out, and the worse the budget gets the more fed-up the voters will hopefully get. It's like tough-love, and California desperately needs it to have a chance of getting better.

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