Any Idiot Can Understand Being Taxed to Death, Even the Idiots in California
Hold up now, California, I'm on your team here so I am certainly not calling you a bunch of idiots.
We are a bunch of idiots, of course, for having put up with this asshat Schwarzenegger since he kicked Governor Gray Davis out of office - and can I just say that I was exceptionally offended by that little move? I worked the polls in San Francisco when I was several months pregnant with my little boy in 2003 and remember writing in a journal that I kept for him that I was proud to be part of the election process that day and hoped he'd inherit my love of politics in his adulthood. I pictured the boy whose face I'd never seen but who'd been kicking me in the back for 3 months, all grown up and doing his part for the farce of the American election process. My grandmother handed it down to me, it was only fair that I offer it to my son. That's just how these things work.
6 years later, my little boy is far more grown up than I would like him to be, the Iraq war is still raging (declared one week before he was born) and Schwarzenegger is still an asshat.
Could be worse, right? We could have ended up with Gary Coleman.
Via The Economist, a sign that Californians aren't as stupid as our asshole Governor seems to think we are:
At one point during his desperate campaign for six ballot measures meant to reduce California’s gaping budget deficit, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor, pleaded with voters not to make California “the poster child for dysfunction”. But on May 19th they did exactly that.
Confused and bored by the wonky and tangled wording on the ballot, most voters ignored the election entirely. Those who did turn out rejected all measures except one that freezes legislators’ pay during budget-deficit years—a ritualised form of venting general anger. Mr Schwarzenegger, already unpopular before this crisis, may well now be remembered as a failure. On election day, he fled the state for the more flattering photo opportunity of joining Barack Obama in the White House Rose Garden to announce tighter national fuel-efficiency standards for cars.
As a result of California’s election, the state now faces a $21.3 billion gap between revenues and spending. Life, which has been no picnic for many in this state since the recession began, is about to get a lot worse. There have already been two rounds of budget cuts since last autumn. A third, savage, round must now follow.
Mr Schwarzenegger has already hinted at the cuts he will propose to the legislature. The easy part is to release prisoners. California’s 33 prisons, with about 168,000 inmates, many of them locked up because of inflexible sentencing laws passed by voters, are scandalously overcrowded. Mr Schwarzenegger is thinking about freeing 38,000 people. Half of them are undocumented immigrants whom he would transfer to federal custody.
I love that line "scandalously overcrowded."
Well, Mr Governor? We're waiting.
Now, it's incredibly easy to rip on the powers that be and say "oh how dare they _____!" and "I can't believe those asshats did ______!" but it's incredibly difficult to offer solutions to the problems. In the spirit of tackling the impossible, I would like to offer my 5 step plan to save California. Are you paying attention, Mr Taxinator? I hope so.
1. Slice the living fucking daylights out of state payroll (this suggestion does not need an explanation. For more on the absolutely vulgar behavior of the state when it comes to amassing well-paid minions for its army of failure, I direct you to my Californian neighbor from way down South, WC Varones)
2. Eliminate useless programs like smoking cessation and free or low-cost health care for every single body that wanders up through San Diego regardless of citizenship (hey, I'm not an immigrant-basher so don't even go there, as you may recall my son's father came from Nicaragua in the midst of a civil war in the 80s - he also went through the appropriate channels and secured a green card under political amnesty, not by buying one on 22nd and Mission Streets in San Francisco for $80) - state-funded smoking cessation programs? Who needs them when cigarettes are up to $7 a pack! That should be enough motivation right there to quit.
3. Enough with the snazzy housing projects! I'm not sure if this is simply a San Francisco thing since I don't make it down to Los Angeles or the Central Valley to skeeze on their housing projects but why in the fuck someone on Section 8 lives better than I do with my hardworking ass is beyond me. Cut it! Growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I recall that housing projects were identifiable by the fact that they were only slightly higher class than Chicago's Cabrini Green. You knew they were projects. In San Francisco, you'd think they were dot com condos. Cut it!
4. Ditch the light rail idea, it's absolutely moronic. Did they really try to sneak in light rail from SF to LA onto last year's ballot? Really? Who commutes from SF to LA? Who even goes to LA? Back in my day, if you wanted to go to LA, you bought a $5 Greyhound ticket from SF to San Jose and rode down South with a tranny, a meth dealer from Sweden, and a displaced Kansan who just discovered he was gay. That's just how we rolled. Stop pulling stupid ideas out of your hat, California, we don't have time for stupidity.
5. Fall into the ocean. This suggestion will save bazillions of dollars a year and also save the country from such scourges as Alec Baldwin and Rosie O'Donnell who likely live near the Malibu shores. Thank God.
For a bonus 6th suggestion, I recommend that the state legalize marijuana, tax the shit out of it, and release all the poor saps who are sitting in California's overcrowed jails learning how to use a shank simply because they sold an ounce to their neighbor and got busted. California prisons breed exactly the sort of folks we just don't need (trust me, we've reached our quota), and having potheads hob-nobbing it with murderous gang-bangers for 10 - 15 years is bad all around. This should be obvious.
Keep an eye on us, America, as what is going on now in California will not be isolated. As always, we're just at the forefront. Yay trailblazing our way to bottom!! FUCK YEAH!!
To my fellow Californians, I don't know about you guys but I'm going down with this sinking ship. I decided this was home 11 years ago when I was but a Midwestern teenager with a single tattoo and a completely incorrect assumption that San Francisco would be a hub of creativity as opposed to the third world toilet it actually is. It is still home. It will always be home. So the Taxinator can fiscally rape us all he wants, I refuse to abandon ship simply because of mismanagement.
In other words, Governor Schwarzenegger can kiss my pristine backside if he thinks I, as a Californian, am willing to simply roll over and let him drive my state into the ground. So suck it.