Morning, folks!

If 1981 was the "Morning In America," then 2006 marked the beginning of "A Nightmare In The State Legislature." By this, I mean that in the year I noted, we began to find out what a bunch of ninnies can do to wreck the process of creating a state budget...and ultimately, the state's economy.

Frankly, there are folks in the legislature who would't give two hoots and a holler if the state economy crashed, irrepairably trashed. These are "The Children Of Jarvis-Gann": fanatically opposed to new taxes and fees, even if the state's economy ended up being FedExe'd to the Ninth Level of Hades without the needed financing.

To them, the "way to salvation" is simple. Cut, cut, cut some more; outsource most programs to the "almighty private sector"; and label anybody who disagrees as a "socialist"...or worse. Only "Then" will California "grow and thrive."

Problem is, most of what they want to put on the chopping block are the very same programs that help our most vulnerable citizens--the elderly, the blind, the disabled (both physical and mental/developmental), young children, and the working poor. To The Children Of Jarvis-Gann, there is no need to fund programs for "Lazies, Nutjobs, Gimps, Brats, and Geezers," as they often will say in unguarded moments.

Just turn all state programs to "The Almighty Private Sector"? Hate to tell ya, Bubba, but the private sector is not so almighty, nor was it designed to replace the government in providing services. For those in the private sector, there is only one hard-and-fast rule: Turn a HUGE Profit!"

An example of this is the S.D. County Payee System. Those on Social Security/SSI for a psychiatric condition can easily relate. Many months ago, the county hired The Organizer II to take over managing the finances of those deemed "unable to handle their own finances" by a psychiatrist and a social worker. They were willing to help out--for a fee. Which they deduct from the SSI/SSDI checks of their clients for "accounting fees." Right now, the "accounting fee" runs $39/month. For such a princely sum, you'd expect good service, right? Not here, m'man! Not only are they hard to get a hold of via the phone, but also they have this sneaky problem of not informing their clients if there has been a change in their SSI/SSDI/Medi-Cal/Medicare statuses. They also refuse to send the clients their 1099G forms...which working clients need when it's time to file their tax forms with Uncle Sam and the Franchise Tax Board.

This is but one example of why private sector companies should never be used to do a governmental function. For the private sector's motto seems to be "The Public Be Damned...Full Profits Ahoy!" Not the sort of attitude you want if you are going to entrust the private sector with a public sector program to run!

The namecalling speaks for itself. However, this is SOP for the GOP when out of power. Remember "secular humanist" and "Liberal"? Today's "Gotcha" word is "socialist"...as if we're going to toss our democratic values out for ones better suited for Scandinavia or Western Europe.

To The Children Of Jarvis-Gann, I say this: "PULL YOUR CRANIUM OUT OF YOUR RECTAL CAVITY!"

As program-after program is cut or eliminated? As state employees end up at the Employment Development Department seeking a new job? As our state's economy-and-future fall into Davey Jones' Locker, without hope of retrieval? You have to ask yourself one question...

"DID YOUR GODS-THAT-FAILED TELL YOU THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN?"

Then keep the answer to yourself...you will need it when you must answer for your deeds in the afterlife!

--RKJ

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