The governor's dice roll (Tim Hunt) Around Town, posted by Arnold, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 9, 2012 at 9:58 pm
Tim Hunt: "California is a great dichotomy—we want all of the services (quality, low-cost higher education, locking up three-strikes criminals for life, lots of mass transit and freeways plus a social safety net), but we don’t want to pay more taxes and we love Proposition 13 that effectively freezes our property taxes."
I'm tired of hearing we want our services but don't want to pay. The truth is that the services we are paying for are overpriced. The cost of services increased dramatically during the housing bubble, which also accelerated the cost of pensions. Now that the bubble has popped and revenues have diminished substantially the cost structure of government not only remains inflexible, but has increased substantially during the recession. City employees have maintained their jobs and received raises during the entire recession. Pension costs have increased over 100% from their "normal costs" in the past five or so years and health care costs for their Cadillac plans have probably increased 32% in just the last four years.
We pay plenty for our services but the inflexible employee cost structure, along with out of control pension costs, are what is driving the elimination of social safety nets. The shrinking education dollar (for the same above mentioned reasons) is looking like a Salmon desperately trying to swim upstream toward the classroom before being grabbed from the air by the jaws of a predator.
Posted by local, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jan 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm
California has one of the highest tax rates already. When Brown ran for Governor he said that pensions were an issue. There is now a lot more talk in Sacramento on raising taxes than fixing pension problems. People, we cannot tax our way out of this hole. We have to fix the structural problems first. Otherwise this is just like giving more money to a drug user. Guess where the money goes?
Posted by Bill, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm
All told, California's governments received $4,731 per resident from all taxes, 14 percent more than the $4,160 average outside California.
Tim, you seem to be confusing services with governance. I believe we do not want armies of politicians and their appointed boards governing every aspect of our daily lives. It cost a lot of money to support the 300+ state agencies and boards and goodness knows how many county boards and agencies that are running free rein on the poor citizen.
Yes we want transportation, education, and basic protection and health services. But we do not need legions of overpaid, under-worked,
people who cannot justify their job's existence other then they were appointed by some politician.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jan 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm
First thing that can easily be cut down to regional size (North, South?) are County Offices of Education. Plenty of duplication of efforts there. They are costly and do not have any real authority over local district that can't or isn't already done by the state.