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California Financial Meltdown

Original post made by Pablo, Downtown, on Jun 10, 2009

The clock is ticking on the California economy what should be done?

Web Link

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Read what one of our founders wrote:

"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our selection between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat in our drink, in our necessities and comforts, in our labors and in our amusements, for our callings and our creeds...our people.. must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live.. We have not time to think, no means of calling the mis-managers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow suffers. Our landholders, too...retaining indeed the title and stewardship of estates called theirs, but held really in trust for the treasury, contented with penury, obscurity and exile.. private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by private extravagance.
This is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering... And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in it's train wretchedness and oppression." -Thomas Jefferson Web Link

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Posted by bobbi
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:56 pm

thanks for the link!

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Its very depressing to live in a time when the true foundation of this country to being dismantled. I love this country and want to see it survive, but we are in the process of a fundemental change which I'm afraid is going to be the way of our future.

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Posted by Johnny
a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 11, 2009 at 6:38 am

These guys just refuse to address the real issues and cut retirement benefits of state workers.................amazing in that they think we will give in.

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2009 at 7:29 am

Johnny, I'm with you. For starters, the 3 point system needs to go away. Next, retirement benefits should not be granted until age 62 (partial benefits) and age 65 (full benefits), just like the rest of us taxpayers.

Me Too: Never, ever give up!

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Posted by Rich
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 11, 2009 at 9:05 am

Me too; I'd say the foundation of this country was destroyed decades ago. Now we are paying the piper after all the years of waste, corruption, and out of control spending. Virtually every elected representative we have, especially those in this area, should be thrown out of office. Will they? I doubt it but it does seem more and more people are fed-up with our rotten politicians. Unfortunately they tend to think their representatives are good and every other politician is the problem. Throw the bums out!

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Posted by I have a dream
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2009 at 9:51 am

I'm thinking of running for office on a simple platform (I'm serious):

I will refuse to take money from any special interest group, including unions.

I will look at all sides of an issue and make a decision I feel would be in the best long-term interest of the people I represent.

I confess up front that I don't have all the answers but I will seek solutions from all quarters.

I promise to be fiscally protective of scarce tax dollars.

My office door will always be open, to everyone.

The first thing I would do upon taking office would be to cut my compensation by 10%. I can't ask others to sacrafice if I'm not willing to lead.

I promise to serve no more than two terms, in any government position. Once I have served, I will never seek another public office.

Do you think I have a chance, in California?

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 11, 2009 at 10:40 am

"...make a decision I feel would be in the best long-term interest of the people I represent."

This is the kicker. The hardest of all the things you said. Why? Because we are a society of immediate return. People don't want to hear that some change is going to benefit them down the road, they want everything solved now. That's why we get bills in Congress that tack on funding dams in Montana, Califoria, etc - because they Congressman says it will create jobs. So making a long-term decision is usually not popular and it why we are where we are.

Our government reacts the same way many corporation behave - what will give us the most profit this quater, so our stockholders will be "happy" - not what is going to be best for the company over the next decade.

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 11, 2009 at 10:41 am

I have a Dream - goodluck!

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Posted by Informed
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Voter aproved initiatives are part of what got us here. Nearly 90% of the state budget is locked outside of the control of the Legislature due to voter approved initiatives that lock portions of the general fund. Remember after school programs, transportation funding, three strikes?

A $24 billion deficit is 26% of the general fund. Is there that much waste? Think you can do a better job? Try...take the Next 10 budget challenge and see if you can balance the budget.

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Posted by Frank Lee
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2009 at 12:02 am

Informed, I just took the challenge. My goal was to reduce taxes and reduce government mandates and regulations (green house gas mandates, for example) in order to attract business formation and expansion and protect current businesses from panicking and either reducing labor and labor costs, leaving the state or going out of business. Using my plan, I was not able to balance the budget (I ran a $21b deficit). The problem with the challenge was that it did not calculate the positive impact of my collective strategy. Examples internationally and in much lower taxed other states bares great evidence that my strategy will re-ignite the California economic engine and wipe out the deficit in a few years. The challenge is biased to have participants want to reflexively increase taxes. Fascinating and frightening!

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