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Chris Reed
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Ok, let's go ahead and break the bank, break the cycle now while there are still a few things left to do about it? What can we do you say? Several things but if we wait longer the problem will only get worse.
Jeez, Chris, you tiptoe all around it but you can't seem to say it so, I will. California's sole problem is Liberalism.
Why do Californians continue to vote for the same old faces and show biz folks
Hold on a minute! Do not say California voters! Say the majority of California voters! I live in California and believe me there are many many millions of voters who are dumfounded by this "majority of California voters". Unfortunately for us the Democratic party has an unbreakable majority based on PUBLIC union members, those on government assistance, immigrants and wealthy liberals you find in San Francisco and much of Los Angeles (among other places). I also find a healthy middle class bloc of voters who simply say "I vote democratic". This is a majority (about 65% of voters) that is unbreakable.

Now I am not saying the people of those blocs are wrong because they vote how they do, that is every American's right to choose (even wrongly). I am saying they are wrong because the past results of their voting CLEARLY shows the negative effects to California.

Lastly, to all the California bashers, I understand more personally the frustration you feel. However, don't cut your nose off to spite your face. A robust California is a boon to all! Minerals to forest products to petroleum to agriculture to electronics to entertainment......if you use a product that contains those items you are using something California has likely had its hand in. Again, a robust California trickles to everywhere in the USA. In lieu of bashing all Californians, make it your mission the next time you speak to a California that always votes Democrat, try and point out the detriment to that person, his family and families across the USA. I try to respectfully do that and have got 1 to think differently. We only need 5% to 7% of the voters to change! To give opposition enough political muscle to slow down A LOT of the spending craziness that is going on. That is a constructive path that can be a benefit to all Americans including newly arrived Americans (Contrary to popular belief, my experience is there are a lot of Mexican immigrants who don't like Democratic policies.... but vote for them based on perceptions of what the opposition stands for).
Oh for some sanity in California. We need a revolution (peaceful) that will throw out the democratic legislature and the democratic governor and install people who will cut our budget, taxes and ludicrous regulations.
Hey is how you do it. Stop spending money you don't have.. It's really that easy
We can only work to replace the governing train wreck the old fashioned way...elect conservatives across the entire spectrum, state and local. Draining the swamp is our job. Shame on us for letting it come to this!
California voters are unteachable. They will keep the embezzlers and union crooks in Sacramento until at least the 22nd century --even if every single city in the Golden State goes broke. Difficult for rational people to grasp, I'll admit, but Californians are a special breed. They're dumber than dogs.

Oh, and in case anyone takes umbrage, I have standing to make the above comment. I am a Californian and know whereof I speak.
The corrupt alliance betwen the democrats, public employee unions, and left wing special interests is in control in CA and driving the state off the cliff. When the voters of that state rejected two moderate Republican businesswomen in favor of Gov Moonbeam and the worst Senator in the Senate, Barbara Boxer they rejected the chance to recover and they deserve what they get. More cuts, more DEBT, more taxes, and more misery. They deserve all of it. If you workd for a living or own a business in CA get out, and flee to a state that doesn't think that people that work hard for a living are nothing but sheep to be sheared. CA is done, and if we don't get rid of Obama our nation will be equally done!
It never ceases to amaze me how Californians can vote against their best interests year after year, but they do. The bottom line is you get the government you vote for and they're getting it. I just hope they don't believe they can get a bailout from the federal government. I certainly don't want my tax money going to a state that consistently refuses to do what's necessary to solve their problems.
Tom said: "Just don't let California come to the rest of country looking for bailouts when they collapse. They need to suffer the pains of their foolishness."

While I agree 100 percent, I fear a federal bailout (in whatever form) is the only way out. It won't happen, though, until there's a true meltdown and California's checks are actually bouncing. Golden State politicians will NEVER stop incinerating money. After all, this is the state that recently spent three quarters of a billion dollars to build . . . ONE HIGH SCHOOL.

Do yourself a big favor, if someone from California comes looking for a job, don't hire them unless you want several lawsuits for discrimination. And if you do hire them, don't expect to get any work out of them. Tell them to go back, you'll be doing your community a big favor.
It would be nice to see California throw all of the bums out. As more and more Californian cities go bankrupt, people are waking up to the enormous damage that Democrats and unions cause. This won't get rid of the bureaucrats for a while but at least it will stop the massive spending. Better late than never.
California is a one-party state. Democrats. Total incompetence. Like every other Democrat-run state, a failure, but even more stupid.
California has "cut education to the bone"? Don't think so:
Kinda glad I left CA 20 years ago for the wilds of New Hampshire.. ya we have snow and cold but the town budget is more about buying a fire truck/snow plow than declaring town bankruptcy
California and Illinois, both governed by Democrats, both going down like a lead balloon. Shameful.
As long as Californians continue to put Democrats in office, the political extension of the unions, California will continue toward bankruptcy, fiscally and culturally.
I didn't know the University of Texas (UT) had a satellite campus in San Diego (UT-San Diego), but this is an interesting article even though it's from a college newspaper.
I live in Santa Barbara cali, don't ever think of moving here if you want to start a business. Cali is going off a cliff stay out!!!!!!!! We are ranked dead last for places to open businesses and there is a reason for it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is not hard to understand. The Democrat legislature here in California are a bunch of whores, sold out to their union johns. If you don't get that, you don't understand California politics.
I have zero faith in the California voters. We elected a Governor nicknamed "Moonbeam" whose initial tenure created this mess, over a vastly superior, proven business manager. Shame on us. I expect more of the same for at least a decade. We've killed the "golden goose" and the remainder of the flock has already left.
I greive for California. It was good to my family and to me for three generations.
We left in 1988.
It was mostly insane by then and has become goofier and goofier since. The roadsides look like those of a 3rd world country, trash everywhere and they don't mow any more. Has CalTrans shrunk it's employee list? No, they just don't require the labor they once did.
Faced with the choice of electing a successful business woman or Governor Moonbeam, they elected moonbeam in a landslide.
That really says it all. Sad.
Many union jobs depend on illegal immigrants. About a third of the people in state prisons are illegals so about a third of that budget goes to that cost, i do not know what are the cost of illegal criminals is but is probably an equal amount much of which is spent on union service providers. the schools building and staffing are another huge expense that union people are being paid for. watching a great state staggering down hill is much like watching your children destroying themselves with drugs.
I'd never count on California voters to do the right thing.
How about the fact that a bill was introduced to make the whole place a SANCTUARY STATE! What else is there to say?
I think we can fix the tax problem once and for all in California. Lets have a movie star / movie industry tax. An extra tax for every actor, producer, director, make-up artist etc.. whether they make the films and tv shows in California or not.

California already has a millionaire tax, unlimited business regulations, taxes and fees on business (small and large). These Hollywood mougles are all for democrates and freebies - let them participate BIG TIME!!! You tax and regulate BIG Oil lets tax Big Hollywood - BIG TIME and EVERYONE involved in the process!!!! Spread the pain around and make them accountable for these elected officials that are killing this state!!!

California Schools???? My son just graduated from high school - out of 380 students FIVE are going to California state universities - the rest are leaving the state or going private. The students can't get in!!! No matter what the GPA if they are not a minority forget it. Only ONE student got into UCLA (sports)!!!

The rest of this country had better hold firm and NOT BAIL out this mess!!
The silliness that passes for legislative action in California is hysterical. But then where else could a bird brain like Nancy Pelozi be elected to public office. Soon California will be comprised of the very rich and the very poor; a third world state. It makes we in Indiana feel a bit smug; we after all have a budget surplus this year and business is moving here from your state. But please, keep on referring to us as a "fly over state", we we'll take your business but not your mindless liberals; they can stay there.
California the Golden state, Obama and the Democrats model for American future, is fast becoming the poster child for an bankrupt third world State!

An unholy alliance of Socialist Democrat politicians, Unions, and Illegal Aliens supporters are feasting like hogs at the trough of tax payers paid benefits while taxing & regulating business and the tax paying public into poverty.

The corruption and pandering of Left Wing Democrat Politicians to their constituency of Unions, Illegal Aliens and open border supporters, are driving business and citizens to other states & countries, while leaving the parasites, welfare leeches and Hollywood perverts in an increasing bankrupt, crime ridden, dysfunctional state!

For years California has ignored economics 101 and imported Criminals, Uneducated Parasites, and poverty from Mexico, which increased Medical, Welfare, Crime, Prison, etc. & adding a estimated 22 billion per year to Calif. State expense to support the invading horde of Illegal Aliens while exporting business and educated tax payers.

Like all Socialist countries the results have been a astronomical increase in social welfare, schooling, prison cost etc. and a lowing of Living standards, Heath care, Education standards, Tax receipts & finally Bankruptcy.

The policies of Comrade Obama and Wash. DC Democrats are intent on following Calif. policies and Pro-Illegal Aliens, Pro-Unions and Anti-tax paying citizens and are endorsing the same socialist process of rewarding the Corrupt, Stupid, Foolish, Lazy, Greedy & Criminal while punishing the responsible, honest, law abiding citizens of American.

Failure to abide by our Constitution against invasion & enforce our Immigration laws and constraints on wages and benefits for public employees will result in turning the Golden State into MexiCalif and the end of the Calif. Dream and the beginning of the MexiCalif. Nightmare!

Amnesty & Citizenship as a reward for their invasion of the USA, with chain immigration will result in the rest of the USA turned into a Spanish speaking third world cesspool and follow California into a polluted, over populated, Spanish speaking, third world Slum of Crime, Corruption, Poverty, Cruelly & Misery modeled on Mexico!

This will result in a population depending on Welfare and the Democrat party, thus assuring the lock on power for the Socialist Democrat party of the United States of Mexico!
Just don't let California come to the rest of country looking for bailouts when they collapse. They need to suffer the pains of their foolishness.
Count on Californians to do the right thing? Highly unlikely. Californians are just as confused as the legislators they vote into office. I gave up on the big CA a long time ago.
Given the fact that Californians apparently feel compelled to vote Democrat no matter how dire their economic plight might become as a result of that party's policies, they may soon resort to carving giant sculptures of Obama's head and facing these toward DC with the futile hope that the One shall come to their rescue. Sadly, their prospects shall be no better than those of the Easter Islanders.
Evangeline Brabant July 13, 2012 at 3:45 PM
Who is goint to ride it? All the taxpayers will be gone. So we will have to provide tax dollars so the illegals, going nowhere can ride it.

Right out of "ATLAS Shrugged." Rand is scary, she called it all so well, Only difference is, she thought we would build it in Mexico at the expense of U.S. interests. Well, same dif.

California is the laughing stock of the nation. And still, the left doesn't stop.
If any of you out there will give me $4 billion today, I promise to guarantee IN WRITING that I will come up with $98 billion over the next several years for anything you want to build.

Even California politicians cannot be so deluded as to believe that HSR will ever be viable. California's financial obligations over just the next few years are simply impossible to meet, through taxes or anything else. Is there any doubt that Jerry Brown et alia see their last desperate chance as federal dollars, either (1) given as a direct bailout to their too-big-to-fail state, or (2) disguised as crucial and socially beneficial programs and projects from which most of the money can be skimmed?

There isn't a single California politician who gives a ---- about whether HSR is running 10 or 20 or 30 years from now. It's far too late for the usual accounting tricks and budget legerdemain. It's now merely about kicking the can a few more feet down the road.
For decades, a student graduating from high school in California has attended school one and a half years less than students in most other states.

Now they cut the school year again.

One thing that means is that students will watch fewer movies in class, when teachers "have other things to do."

Now, the left will try to blackmail us into passing more taxes, while they increase spending, with threats to our education system.

We are already last, or second to last, in terms of quality of education here. That too, has been the situation for decades. So why should this new crisis spur us to vote for more spending ability for the left in Sacramento.

In the meantime, we spend 45 BILLION per year in freebees for illegals, including 30K per year free tuition at the UC system,and access to all college money sources available to citizens.

We give them 12.5 billion per year in health care, then there is the free food, free incarceration and legal defense, (one-third of our prison population),free education at the expense of our public school systems, and automatic citizenship for illegals' anchor babies. (we should change the 14th Amendment.)

We have cut welfare to our own citizens, created inhumane conditions at our animal shelters, driven busineses and taxpayers out of state, and penalized our childrens' K-12 educations. But still, the legislature cannot seem to even slow down in their massive spending frenzy and fiscally insane give-away bills.

If those of us who pay taxes actually saw some serious efforts at spending cuts, we might bw swayed. As it is, we cannot afford to be tricked once again by the tax and spend bunch in Sacramento.
Brown, Steinberg and the rest of the public employee union toadies are all part of the 15-foot tapeworm -- the parasite gnawing at the guts of the once-golden state of California.
Better to call it the "Bullet-in-the-brainpan" Train. Squish.

Because that's what it will do to California.
Adolfo Celi speaks with some wisdom. Unions will do to California what they did to Ohio and Michigan. Think Detroit.

Dean S, (1st comment, pro-train) is incorrect: the project is eligible for about 4b in federal dollars (meaning money taken from somewhere else). The remainder of the estimated 98b price tag must be found. Guess who the likely sheep to be fleeced for it will be?

The project is also insane on its face. We have a 7%+ sales tax, an 18 cent gas tax, a 9% income tax, property taxes, etc., but still have a multi-billion dollar deficit. The refusal of the state to impose a 5 year limit on welfare may be one reason. The state share of 500b in unfunded state and city pensions liabilities according to a Stanford study may be another. We are cutting schools and trauma wards. Why are we building a train?

The voters are not entirely at fault: ridership and cost projections were sold to the voters by a consortium of NY engineers, builders, unions and state employees eager for a new project to provide lifetime employment and large fees.

Normally you would expect the dedicated members of the 4th estate to reveal the truth about such a boondoggle.

But it was only AFTER the election that the "press" here (I use that term rather loosely to refer to the Los Angeles Times), printed stories that essentially reported "OMG-the ridership projections were inflated, the costs are not 33b but 98b, and it'll have to start in an area no one goes to by train."

This "news" came out because the law required an independent panel to assess the project: the panel did their job and after their report, the wool was off the eyes so to speak. No thanks to the media. 59% of the voters would vote against it today if they could.

The "media" here (think Los Angeles Times again)thinks the train is great. Naive, but well-intentioned voters rely on the Los Angeles Times until they are older and know better.

The Times has pushed for the "Bullet Train" from day one. It runs artists depictions of the train at every opportunity making it look great. Purple and yellow and zooming along. It even compared it to the dash of Egypt's spend thrift Pharohs, by comparing this project as a chance to build something like the Pyramids. Those of you that know how much money, labor hours and time were wasted on the useless pyramids see what I mean about the Times. They are clueless and also pathetically ignorant of history--unless we are supposed to build the train for as a tourist attraction for people century from now.

The latest is that the Train people rejected help from a French group that operates France's Bullet train.

The french, in what seems to be a very unusual demonstration of common sense for frenchmen, said "run it up an existing freeway route and it'll be cheaper and faster." The Train Bunch, acting more like real frenchmen, said in essence, "non, eet must be built through a central valley full of farms because Obama promised it to a congressman from there in return for his vote on the Affordable Care Act."

So it'll cost more, and take longer, and go to a place that makes no sense.

And FYI we already have a way to get from LA to SF: air. People have to drive to the train stations; the train will make several stops along the way. Perhaps those are reasons people don't take the train between LA and San Diego much as it is.

Of course the unions want it. Its jobs, and they don't care if the money buys anything useful.

The majority in the democratic legislature wants it for union votes and campaign contributions.

Dumb people want it because they, like the LA Times, have no clue.

The 59% who want a re-vote are too late for now. Maybe when more money is asked for.

Meantime, the Gov is asking for higher taxes in November. Why? we need the money to keep schools open he says.

B. Samuel Davis July 11, 2012 at 5:36 PM
I'm with Chris M - when you come right down to it, the voters of California are responsible for this.

BUT - let's not forget that Democrats, realizing that they could never get a permanent majority in California with its former population, made arranged the importation of voters which Democrats knew would vote overwhelmingly Democratic - in the mistaken belief that Democrats want to help those less well off. And yes some Republican interests went along with this, but the real impetus behind the massive immigration to California was at the behest of the corrupt Democrats, who wanted to change the voting direction of the state.

Thus, with the power going to Democrats, California was transformed by Democrats from a prosperous, well educated, relatively crime free state to the bankrupt horror we have today, with the highest percentage of people on governmental assistance in the nation.

Democrats accomplished the foregoing with all the corrupt tools at their disposal. The most important of these is, of course, the funneling of taxpayer money through public unions for campaign donations, and keeping a lock on the media. Democrats also use forced governmental dependence under which they have destroyed the African American community by shattering the family, criminalizing the community, taking away the will to be educated, encouraging chemical dependency, suborning of the leadership so that loyalty is to party not community, and all the rest - Democrats understand full well that such conditions lead to lopsided vote tallies.

The actions described in this article are simply more of the same for Democrats - there is no real intention to change anything for public unions - that may lead to a lessening of the money spigot, and Democrats need all the money they can get. After all, their way of operating is so patently twisted and corrupt, that only control of the media and political process allows them to continue it. And in order to enforce such control, Democrats need money - and that comes from the taxpayers through public unions.

After all what possible benefit would Democrats have as a result of lessening of benefits to public unions? The so-called private sector is not a Democratic interest group. Why would Democrats care at all about the private sector - in fact, the WORSE it does the better Democrats do. A bad economy drives away Republicans, and consolidates power in those who remain. If the money starts to run out who cares? The Courts have stated emphatically that contractual arrangements with public unions cannot be abrogated.

Besides those who are corrupt are by nature short sighted. If these actions lead to collapse of the system, for Democrats this is all to the better - more poor people means more votes.

Chris (R) - you really have to understand with what you are dealing with here - these are people who have ruined much of an entire race - scores of millions of men, women and children over the years - what do they care about education, prosperity and all the rest.

You think that this is an absurd view, that it can't be true, but look at the results, look how bad it can get, and still these people continue - never admitting they are wrong about anything. No person of reasonable intelligence can possibly believe that behind it all isn't some intention, or at least a craven disregard of reality. How could any person consider how poorly those who have adopted the Democratic way of governing have done and not think that such poor results are done intentionally - no one could possibly be so irrational as to think otherwise.

It's my view of it anyway - I suppose that those who think Democrats have good intentions even though what they do causes nothing but misery. I have come to believe that no one could be that irrational, that those who run the Democratic system are doing it on purpose because although it is not a system that works in terms of prosperity, living in a crime free society etc. the Democratic way of governing does work in the sense of consolidating power in the Democratic Party. How else to explain why Democrats have 100% of the cotes in the black community even after they have destroyed a huge part of it? How to explain what is going on in the Latino community - same thing.

And for these people - the Democrats - POWER, the ability to run things, to control the patronage, is all that matters. If you don't see that you are only fooling yourself.
It's hard to imagine the courts will not block this spending because it so grossly violates the requirements of the proposition that authorized the bonds.

But then, this IS California.
Ventura Capitalist July 11, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Somehow a number of very specific requirements got written into Prop 1A. For example, all funding must be in place before they start; 2 hr 40 min door to door LA to SF with NO changing trains; the first section constructed must be electrified; and many others. The "project" these clowns have presented does not come close to meeting these requirements.

So in the real world, if Lockyer moved to sell a single nickel's-worth of those 1A bonds based on this comic book, he'd get slapped with an injunction. Then unless they could build the Rocket Train without that bond money, the thing would be dead. Period. No more discussion and NO MORE VOTING.

But this is not the real world. This is union democrat California. The law is just a suggested starting point for chiseling and corruption. Thus we have:

Initiative to Stop High Speed Rail
Regarding Dean's statement, "The High Speed Rail Project brings Federal Dollars into California." As if that is a good thing. Federal dollars are just the dollars paid by taxpayers from all over the United States. Don't fiscally mismanage California and then lay the debt on the rest of the US.
While the voters were fooled by the con men pushing the HSR measure in 2008, it's clear that the voters have turned against the project -- in large part because it's now apparent the whole boondoggle projection was a pack of intentional lies.

IF it goes back on the ballot, it will be voted down by a 2-1 margin, according to polls. Even the WASHINGTON POST now editorializes against it -- "Please, somebody stop this train."
It is quite silly to blame the unions, the state legislature, Gov. Brown or even the California Democratic Party. Those to blame are the people of California, who, like the people of France, have chosen to steal from their children. The "people" can be stupid--look at Greece.
Chris Reed (author) July 11, 2012 at 1:04 AM
Dean is simply wrong. Democrats in Sacramento have not proposed anything but cosmetic changes on the margins with pensions. Yes, high-speed rail brings federal funds into California. But the $68 billion project has been trashed by more than a dozen independent reviews, and is less than one-fifth funded. That's not a responsible project for a broke state to commit to without future funding.
Precisely Chris! Irresponsible spending by tour elected officials or should I rephrase and say by the unions elected officials. The train project was economically irresponsible from the day some liberal had the dream. Taxes in California are excessively high in order to fund the union programs and the social entitlements. Let's try the approach of a person earning what they use and spend.
Ventura Capitalist July 10, 2012 at 9:17 PM
The moral decay in this state is stunning. Given an opportunity to start reforming their protection racket for child molesting teachers, the bill didn't even get out of committee.

You'll need a shower and some disinfectant after learning the story of Mark Berndt and the cookies he fed to 9-year old children -- in his Los Angeles classroom -- for over TWENTY YEARS.

The school board had to allow him to retire (with pension) and made a $40,000 payoff to him and the union lawyers to get them to stop appealing his firing. Why? The next step in the firing process was a three-member appeal panel INCLUDING TWO TEACHERS. The school board was certain that they would put him back in the classroom. Think about it: two teachers would vote to send a child molester back to the classroom!

These despicable unions democrats routinely bargain away the health and safety of children for their own greed. Could they possibly be any more disgraceful?
Bullet trains make NO sense unless you're a Moonbeam Brown union crony, bent on screwing the taxpayers. We have cars, we have planes for travel... Any mode in between is unnecessary, useless, beyond expensive..
It’s puzzling why editorialists frequently attribute California voters with common sense regarding these frequent boondoggles which pass unimpeded through our state legislature. While the average citizen in other states might well assume a state government deep in the red would never consider massive wealth transfers to Friends of the Democrats, California voters have a well-documented track record of being indifferent to these clever swindles so easily orchestrated by Sacramento. A few short years ago, California ran through 3 billion dollars to fund embryonic stem cell research. Has your personal physician mentioned a cure or newly discovered medicine attributable to this massive stem cell boondoggle?

No miracle cures on the horizon you’re aware of – and why not? Primarily because this 3 billion dollar wealth transfer from taxpayers to selected beneficiaries had nothing to do with developing therapeutic cures. What was intended was development of private bio-medical industries funded by the state treasury. Additionally, state universities suddenly found themselves awash in research funding along with generous salary increases for educators. Political cronies were appointed to well-paid jobs on the Stem Cell Oversight Committee. And lucrative patents resulting from the generous funding weren’t the undisputed property of taxpayers as would normally be assumed.

Like High Speed Rail now, the mass marketing of the stem cell Prop. initiative boondoggle followed the normal pattern. Celebrities, such as Michael J. Fox and Nancy Reagan, assured the state’s taxpayers the money would be put to good use in discovering cures available to all. Altruistic motives were shamelessly touted in a massive media blitz prior to the election. But the intended purpose of the initiative was to benefit certain private individuals and their political allies. Since the stem cell boondoggle worked so smoothly, why wouldn’t Californians jump on the High Speed Rail bandwagon? And you can fool all of the people all of the time – Californians are living proof of that.
I've read some good articles on City Journal so it is disappointing when a few that present a distorted, simplistic, partisan presentation of the facts appear. The California Democrats did not reject Pension reform, they offered a less extreme but still robust version. The High Speed Rail Project brings Federal Dollars into California that will create new jobs and generate tax revenue. Regardless of the outcome of these two initiatives California still faces a huge deficit because of a structural imbalance that can only be corrected by either bringing in new revenue or further hacking away at education and state services which have already been cut to the bone.