I love it when a plan comes together – A-Team’s Hannibal
Arnold Schwarzenegger has fired off his assessment of where California is today. In short, we’re screwed.
Declaring that “California’s day of reckoning is here,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said today the state should turn its dire budget straits into an opportunity to make government more efficient.
Speaking to a rare mid-year joint session of the Legislature and other constitutional officers, Schwarzenegger acknowledged the billions of dollars in spending cuts he has proposed to close a $24.3 billion hole in the budget will be devastating to millions of Californians.
“People come up to me all the time, pleading ‘governor, please don’t cut my program,’” he said. “They tell me how the cuts will affect them and their loved ones. I see the pain in their eyes and hear the fear in their voice. It’s an awful feeling. But we have no choice.
“Our wallet is empty. Our bank is closed. Our credit is dried up.”
There’s still some hope: Here’s where the cuts are coming from:
Schwarzenegger has proposed a plan that relies partially on accounting maneuvers and borrowing funds from coming fiscal years, but mainly on deep cuts in nearly every program funded by state government.
Those range from cutting spending on K-12 schools, community colleges, the University of California; releasing some non-violent prisoners a year early; cutting pay for most state workers and laying off others; closing 80 percent of the state’s parks, and wiping out or paring back on health and social service programs for California’s neediest residents.
California is broken and needs to be fixed to keep people here. Maybe that’s not what we want. Growth for growth’s sake has proven to be an untenable solution for us. While we mourn the loss of programs, let us be happy for the new found frugality and self-sufficiency. Maybe some day we can save up in the fat years to prepare for the lean years.