Now, most people, at least in Southern California, were well aware that the Los Angeles Lakers were in the first game of the conference finals, managing a two-point win after a bunch of hard calls. (Whiners will complain that the end-of-game calls went LA’s way, and will forget, for instance, the mugging that Derek Fisher took in the third quarter that drew no responses at all from the refs. Or all those missed free throws. But that’s another story.)
But a lot of them will be very surprised to learn that we actually had a statewide election today. A series of linked propositions intended to reform the budget process and solve our twenty-one billion dollar deficit. Now, a casual glance at the content of what was going on would have revealed that indeed, the propositions were almost all smoke and mirrors, borrowing from the future and taking away funding locks previously instituted by the voters. Only one proposition — restricting the ability of Legislators and their staff to receive pay raises in years when the budget is in deficit — passed.
The margins are convincing in every way. This, finally, is an issue that “transcends” partisanship — the voters are saying loud and clear that smoke and mirrors isn’t going to cut it. We sent these clowns to Sacramento so they would make the hard choices needed to keep the state running.
They need to start doing that. Because they are now out of increase-the-inputs options. Selling the Cow Palace isn’t going to get the job done. They’ve already raised our taxes to the point that Californians are now the most-taxed people in America. Californians are not under-taxed.
We need to cut our state government down to size. Yes, it’s going to suck. But people in the private sector have been taking job cuts, hour reductions, and enduring layoffs for more than a year now, while the state government has continued to grow. It’s time for some brass tacks budget cutting. Did I mention it’s going to suck? But like putting GM through a Chapter 11 or seizing an over-leveraged bank, it’s got to be done.