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Magda Hassan
05-29-2009, 12:30 PM
Looking very grim in this part of the world. A total lack of imagination about any real fixes. Sick women and poor children first to be thrown off life raft. What a pathetic response.






Billions in new cuts loom for California — including eliminating welfare and closing most state parks

By Karen de Sα

Mercury News

Posted: 05/26/2009 07:19:35 PM PDT
Updated: 05/27/2009 08:59:42 AM PDT


Facing a growing state budget deficit, that could reach nearly $24 billion,... ( Rich Pedroncelli )




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Special Section

News, resources as California battles another fiscal mess (http://www.mercurynews.com/california-budget)




Related Stories


May 28:
Schwarzenegger: More pay cuts for state workers (http://www.mercurynews.com/california-budget/ci_12471387)
May 27:
Shock, awe greet Schwarzenegger's proposal to end welfare (http://www.mercurynews.com/california-budget/ci_12463488)
May 26:
Schwarzenegger details $5.5 billion in additional cuts (http://www.mercurynews.com/california-budget/ci_12453266)




Faced with a ballooning deficit and a clear signal that voters won't pay more to fix it, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger released a budget plan Tuesday that would eliminate welfare, drop 1 million poor children from health insurance, cut off new grants for college students and shut down 80 percent of state parks.
In a state that long has prided itself on its social safety net, it could well go down in history as the most drastic reduction in social programs ever. And billions in further cuts will be unveiled later this week.
The governor's proposal to whack an additional $5.5 billion from state programs stunned even longtime Capitol-watchers with its blunt force. Ending cash assistance for 1.3 million impoverished state residents, for example, would make California the only state with no welfare program.
"Every single first-world nation has a safety net program for children," said Will Lightbourne, Santa Clara County's social services director. "This would return us to the era of Dickens — you'd have to go back to the 19th century to find a comparable proposal."
The governor's office reiterated that the cuts were painful but unavoidable, with the proposed budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year already outdated before lawmakers even begin debate. Schwarzenegger's finance team now says the deficit will grow to $24.3 billion by July 1, up from the previous $21.3 billion projected shortfall.
"The scope and the severity of



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this recession have forced us to put options on the table that would have been unthinkable just a few short months ago," said H.D. Palmer, the state's deputy director of finance.Schwarzenegger had warned before last week's special election that if voters did not approve a host of tax and budget-reform measures, stunning cuts to social services, education and other vital state programs would be necessary.
The deepest cuts
So, in the wake of the resounding "no" that came from a disillusioned electorate, he has held true to his promise and then some:
The budget proposal would eliminate vast swaths of programs, including CalWORKs — the welfare program serving more than 521,000 families who now receive $526 average monthly grants — and Healthy Families, which subsidizes health care for low-income children whose families don't qualify for Medi-Cal. Those cuts would also cost the state billions in federal matching funds.
Medi-Cal coverage for dialysis and for breast and cervical cancer treatment for those over age 65 would be cut. Undocumented immigrants would lose nonemergency health care.
In the prisons, rehabilitation, education and vocational programs would be hacked. So would the sentences of nonviolent, non-serious offenders, who would go free a year early.
More than 200,000 college-bound students would lose some or all of their tuition assistance under the Cal Grant program. New grants for students to attend college would be eliminated, and existing grants would be reduced. All of that would come on top of $335 million in cuts for the University of California and California State University systems — which already have seen $415 million in cuts this year, forcing student fee increases.
Surprisingly spared the ax — so far, anyway — were the state's battered K-12 schools. Though they represent California's single biggest budget http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site568/2009/0527/20090527_095838_5.27.budgettable.jpg (http://www.mercurynews.com/portlet/article/html/imageDisplay.jsp?contentItemRelationshipId=2454207 )

expense, the governor proposed no new cuts Tuesday.Political stunt?
But the depth of the proposal had some analysts calling it a political stunt to jar bickering legislators, and still others saying nothing would surprise them in these recessionary times of record unemployment.
Lauren Asher, acting president of the nonprofit Institute for College Access & Success in Berkeley, said eliminating tens of millions in financial aid would reduce students' tuition assistance by up to $9,708 apiece. At least 118,000 students would lose their entire grants, she said, adding that "the proposed cuts will wreak havoc with college plans for this fall."
The governor's budget also proposes massive and historic cuts to California's system of 279 state parks, from Big Basin Redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Malibu beaches. Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting general fund money to parks in half this year and eliminating it entirely next year — cuts on a scale that have never been imposed on the state parks system since it began in earnest in the 1920s.
"Absolutely, we will have to close parks. The question is how many," said Roy Stearns, a spokesman for the state parks department in Sacramento.
While Schwarzenegger and Republican legislators have made clear new taxes or fees are off the table, Assembly budget committee Chairwoman Noreen Evans — embodying Democratic reaction to the Republican governor's proposal — vowed to push for new revenue measures such as taxes on soda or oil production as alternatives to more spending cuts.
"I will look under every rock and every leaf," the Santa Rosa Democrat said, "so that we can make sure women and children are fed and their medical needs are taken care of."

Jan Klimkowski
05-29-2009, 06:40 PM
As the character Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) said of The Terminator:


Listen and understand. That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and it absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are dead.

Bruce Clemens
05-30-2009, 01:47 AM
Very sad indeed.

But in thinking about the situation, some points come to mind-
It looks as though California voters are finally to the point where they are hunkering down and are unwilling to provide yet more tax dollars to the government even if the money is to help the needy. They are afraid of their own financial situation in this depression- they are fearful of how they will keep what they have and how their children will survive in the future. And when they see billions and billions going out to maintain our perpetual war on “terror” and the war on (people who choose to use) drugs, and millions of dollars worth of of tax funded freebees going to other countries, and even more millions needed in California to feed, school and give health care to non-citizens, I can understand their reticence to dig even deeper.

Maybe they are just done. Maybe it’s finally come to the every-man-for-himself attitude that the sculptors of the NWO have long been trying to create. Maybe California is the canary in the mine telling us what is going to happen next to the rest of us.

The typical U.S. 30% to 40% taxation of the working man (woman) may not sound like too much to our European friends, but the issue is what do you get for the price. If I live in a country that taxes me at 50% or above but isn't involved in global economic, military and societal domination, isn't spending billions a month on idiotic wars, and for that taxation I get decent health care, a pension, decent housing and reasonable employment conditions, I might be OK with it and willing to contribute a little more for the poor and downtrodden. But in the U.S. we are taxed at a slightly lower rate but get absolutely nothing for it except the chance to sink or swim.

I don't necessarily agree with what the Terminator is doing, but I can understand the constraints under which he is operating. It's gonna be pretty rough for Californians in the near future.

I used to be one. Glad I'm gone.

Dawn Meredith
05-30-2009, 01:29 PM
Commuting prison sentences for non violent offenders is an excellent idea, he's also talked about legalizing pot and taxing it, would be great if he would go the max there and legalize all drugs. Imagine how the CIA (etc ) would feel. The money saved on not prosecuting drug offenders woud be incalucatable.

If welfare is stopped there WILL be blood in the streets. Glad I don't live there, either. He's really got a mess to deal with. Fortunately he can't just print more $ like they do in Washington.

Dawn

Bruce Clemens
05-30-2009, 08:50 PM
Commuting prison sentences for non violent offenders is an excellent idea, he's also talked about legalizing pot and taxing it, would be great if he would go the max there and legalize all drugs. Imagine how the CIA (etc ) would feel. The money saved on not prosecuting drug offenders woud be incalucatable.
Dawn

Absolutely- this 40 year long "War on Drugs" has done nothing to reduce drug use or make us safer or more healthy. It has served only to enrich the drug cartels and the CIA, militarize the police, enrich them through draconian seizure laws (cash, cars, boats, airplanes, houses) and empower the authorities to train school children to submit. The DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program- which sends police in fancy fantasy cars (e.g. police Corvettes) into schools to indoctrinate our kids into fearing things like marijuana and beer and encourages them to report on friends and family- purports to be a "great success" when studies have shown that it actually has no effect, or even a negative effect in long term drug abuse of its participants. Yet it still goes on.

This war on (people who choose to use) drugs is a fraud. Look at the material here: http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php Prohibition doesn't work. It didn't in the 1930s and it doesn't today. At least back then we were smart enough to see it and change things. We don't seem able to do that today.

Peter Lemkin
05-30-2009, 09:01 PM
Commuting prison sentences for non violent offenders is an excellent idea, he's also talked about legalizing pot and taxing it, would be great if he would go the max there and legalize all drugs. Imagine how the CIA (etc ) would feel. The money saved on not prosecuting drug offenders woud be incalucatable.

If welfare is stopped there WILL be blood in the streets. Glad I don't live there, either. He's really got a mess to deal with. Fortunately he can't just print more $ like they do in Washington.

Dawn

The ONLY 'plus' I can see is in the early release of prisoners. Everything else will be disaster for the poor and middle class. I used to live many years in CA and can tell you that the other budget cuts spell disaster and will terminate the Terminator! [and much of CA]