To close the California budget gap, funds for education will now have to be slashed by $5.3 billion, and $2.8 billion will be cut from health and social programs, the governor said. Mr. Schwarzenegger also said the state would move about 19,000 illegal immigrants to federal facilities and transfer more than 23,000 nonviolent offenders to local jails to cut costs.
Regards the illegal alien criminals: This budget crisis creates a bigger incentive for states to identify illegal aliens amount those in prison. Sounds like any prisoner who is an illegal alien can be turned over to the federal government. So why aren't states already trying harder to identify illegal alien criminals? This would lead to their eventual deportation. Much better for us in the long run.
It takes a huge multi-year budget crisis with a $21 billion dollar budget gap to get the state of California to shift non-violent prisoners from expensive (read: staffed by high priced labor) state prisons to cheaper local jails. This is why I'm not sympathetic to the state government. It makes me wonder what else the government resists cutting that does not change quality of service delivered to the citizens of the state.
Back when Shwarzenegger's predecessor Gray Davis was in office Davis made a deal with the state prison guard union to give them large wage increases in exchange for big campaign donations. This is a major reason why those local jails cost less to run than the state prisons.
I think a severe fiscal crisis (and hopefully bankruptcy) in California will basically cut down on the amount of parasitism that has built up in the system. Nothing less than a severe crisis will shake loose well entrenched parasites.
Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Merced, pointed to the University of California's administration as ripe for spending cuts.
"Does the UC president's office need 1,000 employees or can he do it with 500?" Denham asked. "Do we need to have presidents and chancellors that are making $400,000 plus per year?"
I'm thinking the UC president could run the UC with far fewer people. I'm also thinking the cost of instruction could be lowered with lots more video recording of lectures and web-based delivery of tests. Cut labor costs more more automation of education.
A San Jose State University political science professor is eager to fix the state's financial problems with lots of new taxes.But he's facing big state university cuts. I say video record lectures of political science professors and employ fewer of them to deliver lectures.
The top 1 percent of the richest taxpayers typically pay about half of all personal income taxes in California. More than 55 percent of the state revenue last year came from personal income taxes, followed by the sales tax with 27 percent.
As long as times are good, this arrangement works because as people splurge on big-ticket items and make profits, they send large infusions of tax revenue to the state. But when the economy takes a tumble and people tighten their belts and corporations’ profits fall, the state’s primary source of revenue takes a precipitous drop.
“California is unique in that it so dependent on such a small portion of the population,” said Mark Baldassare, president of the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonprofit in San Francisco that does independent research on the state’s economic, social and political issues.
Low skilled immigrants - both legal and illegal - pay little in taxes because they have little earning power. If we deported them and greatly raised the standards for legal immigrants we could get far fewer but higher earning immigrants. This would both lower the cost of government and increase revenue available to fund government.
Also potentially on the chopping block is CalGrants, a financial assistance program that offers cash grants to lower- and middle-income college students each year. The governor's proposal would eliminate the 77,000 in new grants awarded each year at a cost of $180 million, but that saving would eventually grow to more than $900 million as students graduate and the program is phased out.
A cut in the buying power of students will reduce prices of tuition at private colleges. Rather than spend $900 million per year in grants to students why not spend a much smaller sum to record college course lectures and shift more courses onto the web? Cut costs rather than fund inefficiency. That's the way it goes in private industry.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2009 May 21 10:47 PM Economics Government Costs|