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Stimulus Bill realities, CA style...

 
 
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 11:20 pm
Job growth, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, we heard a lot of promises from Obama and the dems about the $785 billion stimulus bill.

Just received the news about California obtaining $50 billion from the bill.

8 percent is going towards funding transportation projects.

8 percent!

The rest?

Education, health care, unemployment, housing, welfare...

Is this how you grow 2.5 million jobs, as Obama has been fond of saying?

Granted, California is going down the tubes. Mostly because our state legislature has been controlled by the dem party for decades, and they have empowered state employee unions with extravagant pay, retirement, and benefits, allowed environmentalists veto power over most business, and allowed excessive social spending until the state has run out of money.

So the stimulus, er, spending bill will bail out the state.

This year.

We're doomed, people...



Quote:

Calif. expects $31B from federal stimulus program
By JUDY LIN, Associated Press Writer

Tuesday, March 10, 2009
03-10) 17:56 PDT SACRAMENTO, (AP) --

California is in line to receive at least $31.5 billion in federal stimulus funding, much of which will help plug budget shortfalls to education and other programs, state officials reported Tuesday.

Billions more will be available through competitive grants that Schwarzenegger administration officials say they will pursue aggressively. Landing additional grant money would push California's total closer to $50 billion, administration officials said.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's chief deputy budget director, Ana Matosantos, told lawmakers the administration "will access all funds available."

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office released the first official rundown of the money California is expected to receive from the $787 billion stimulus bill.

Most of the money will be used to fill gaps in education and health care programs. California also will get help with housing, welfare and unemployment programs. About 8 percent of the total will fund transportation projects.

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor urged lawmakers to begin using the federal money to start highway and road projects that have been stalled by the state's budget crisis and the frozen credit markets that have prevented the state from borrowing money. He also urged them to act quickly to draw as much Medicaid funding as possible.

He warned lawmakers against using the money for ongoing programs because the stimulus funding should be considered a one-time infusion of cash. State revenue also is likely to fall below even the most conservative estimates, he said.

"The Legislature will need to take many actions in the coming months to ensure that the funds are used in ways that meet its priorities and preferences," Taylor wrote in the analysis by his office.

The report said about $8 billion would help the state avoid cuts to education funding, minimizing the number of teacher layoffs. Schools are required to notify staff by March 15 that they could be laid off for the 2009-2010 school year, and the California Teachers Association estimates that 20,000 pink slips have already gone out.

The state and local governments could receive $10 billion over the next two fiscal years for Medicaid, known as Medi-Cal in California, to provide health insurance for the poor. The state also could get $5.4 billion to extend and increase unemployment benefits by $25 per week.

California expects to receive $2.6 billion for highways and roads from the transportation component of the stimulus plan. The state also could get an extra $1 billion for bus and rail systems.

State officials already are receiving suggestions about how to spend the money. In the wake of last year's Metrolink train crash that killed 25, the California Public Interest Research Group has recommended spending $22 million on a global-position device to prevent Los Angeles-area commuter trains from running into each other.

Schwarzenegger welcomed the federal government's help as the state economy continues to struggle and unemployment hits double digits.

Last month, Schwarzenegger signed a two-year budget package intended to close a $42 billion shortfall through June 30, 2010. The plan included a mix of spending cuts, tax hikes and borrowing, some of which will need voter approval in May.

"We always made it very clear that we have to solve this budget by ourselves and then any money that comes in from the federal government will be a great, kind of, like icing on the cake," Schwarzenegger told reporters Tuesday during an impromptu news conference at the Capitol.

Calculating California's share of the stimulus spending is important for taxpayers because the amount will determine the fate of a higher personal income tax. Lawmakers temporarily raised the personal income tax by 0.25 percent in the recently enacted budget package.

If California receives at least $10 billion for its general fund, the income tax increase will be reduced to .125 percent. The state also would avoid $1 billion in cuts.

When asked whether California would indeed receive the $10 billion for its general fund, Schwarzenegger said he didn't know.

"I mean, you know, there's mass confusion still at this stage," he said, noting that California will receive money for schools, universities, health care and infrastructure. "But it's not yet sorted out " first of all, how we get this."

A preliminary review by his staff and the Legislative Analyst's Office project the state will fall $2 billion short of the goal. A public hearing has been scheduled for March 17 to help the treasurer and finance director make that determination.

Health care and welfare advocates want the state to put more of the stimulus money toward the general fund so it can avoid cutting senior assistance programs and dental care for poor adults.

The competitive grant program will provide money for water quality and other environmental programs, energy efficiency, health training and scientific research, among other efforts.

Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/03/10/financial/f134209D94.DTL&type=politics

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okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 11:46 pm
@A Lone Voice,
Lone Voice, haven't you heard, you stimulate the economy and create jobs by extending unemployment benefits. Got that?

And you may have forgotten, Obama is not into just creating jobs, he is now "saving" jobs. For all you know, if you have a job, he may have saved yours already, and might save it several times. How he counts saved jobs, now that bit of math, I would like to see!
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Mar, 2009 11:54 am
@okie,
So goes CA, so goes the nation...

What I love about the liberals here at A2K is how they only pick the low hanging fruit.

They bury their heads in the sand when faced with the realities - and the unintended consequences - of their actions, preferring to revel in the cult of Obama.

I've said it before: you won't find a more close minded group of individuals than 'progressives'...

More good news from the Golden State:

Quote:

Report: California faces another $8B budget gap

By JUDY LIN,Associated Press Writer AP - Saturday, March 14

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Legislature's budget analyst says the recession has created another $8 billion hole in the state's budget just weeks after the end of a bruising fight to close a $42 billion gap through June 2010.

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor says in the report released Friday that California's 10.1 percent unemployment rate, further declines in the stock market and lower tax collections have led to lower revenue projections. He expects the new $8 billion budget gap in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

State Controller John Chiang also said this week that February revenues were nearly $1 billion below previous projections.

Taylor says the deficit will grow even larger unless lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger take action.

Link: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/ap/20090314/twl-california-budget-1be00ca.html


The dems solution? Raise taxes...
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Mar, 2009 01:47 pm
@A Lone Voice,
A Lone Voice wrote:

The dems solution? Raise taxes...

So that more wealthy Californians move out of state, thus reducing tax revenues even more. Then what?
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Mar, 2009 03:18 pm
@A Lone Voice,
A Lone Voice wrote:

Job growth, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, we heard a lot of promises from Obama and the dems about the $785 billion stimulus bill.

meanwhile, all we have heard from rush and the pubbies is bitterness, misrepresentations and not one single new idea.

welll, several have said that they hope the president of the united states fails. that's new, even for them.


Just received the news about California obtaining $50 billion from the bill.

actually the article said $31b. still, out of $785 ? pretty good slice.

8 percent is going towards funding transportation projects. 8 percent!

$4 billion is quite a lot of money. that will get a lot of construction workers and materials and hardware companies back to work, won't it?

The rest?

Education, health care, unemployment, housing, welfare...

kids need to be taught, so that we can compete with people from other countries that have a much higher opinion of an educated mind. education requires teachers and administrators. i don't work for free. i doubt that you do, either. why should they ? health care is a growing industry, and will probably only get bigger, now that scientists have had the blinders and shackles taken off.

what's wrong with unemployment funding? part of the money comes out your check when you do work, right ?

here's what i don't understand about the right wing pov... there seems to be not a shred of compassion for the misfortune of others. but, when a right winger takes a hit, it's like, "well, where's mine??". how does that work ?

there's a perception that every single person on unemployment, section 8 and welfare is a no good, lazy mooch. but here's a tip; some people are useless slobs and take advantage. but, on the other hand, most just a need a little short term help getting it together. and some just aren't very good at life and some are just not smart enough.

it happens. so what is the right wing answer to these problems ? "cut taxes". that's it ? "cut taxes" ?

has occured to you guys that it may be possible to thin out the roles of these social services a bit, or even a lot, by better educating people. by making sure that a woman delivers a healthy baby by making sure that decent pre-natal care is available and that the child can get proper care in the important growing years; ya know, in the event that the parents aren't one of the self made millionaires that republicans seem to believe roam the nation like the ginormous bison herds of 200 years ago.

it's kind of an important question since the republican party is the party that has decided that small government is better; except when it comes to telling a woman that she will have that unwanted baby, whether or not she wants it, or can even afford it.


Is this how you grow 2.5 million jobs, as Obama has been fond of saying?

all of those things require humans to be not fired or hired.

and btw, another way to reduce social services costs would be to put an end to the wholesale export of jobs to other countries because it makes a better bottom line for the effin' multinational corporations that have had the american worker's balls in a vice for over 20 years.

so i reckon there's a bit of blame that goes to the freemarket happy, regulatory hating, tax stingy right wingers in business, don't ya think ?


Granted, California is going down the tubes. Mostly because our state legislature has been controlled by the dem party for decades, and they have empowered state employee unions with extravagant pay, retirement, and benefits, allowed environmentalists veto power over most business, and allowed excessive social spending until the state has run out of money.

apparently, the majority of californians like the democratic led legislatures. they just increased their seats last fall. jerry brown was the governor when i moved here in the '70s. since then it's been deukmejian (r), wilson (r), gray davis (d) and ahnoldt (r). in fact, except for davis, brown, brown's dad and olson, nearly every other cali guber has been a republican.

but it seems to me that the down turn in cali's fortunes has more to do with the end of the cold war, underfunding of aerospace, production high taling it to canada and it's film tax credits.


So the stimulus, er, spending bill will bail out the state.

pardon me... but could you tell me how you would stimulate the economy with out spending anything ? but bear in mind that a tax break is equal to spending.

This year.

and without it, there won't be a next year...

We're doomed, people...

yeah! that's the spirit!! if we all wish real, real hard, maybe obama will fail! and then we can all rest easy. in our cardboard boxes down by the river.

DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Mar, 2009 03:22 pm
@okie,
okie wrote:

A Lone Voice wrote:

The dems solution? Raise taxes...

So that more wealthy Californians move out of state, thus reducing tax revenues even more. Then what?


wealthy californians don't have to move out of state. those with less cash do.

at the same time, at least in southern california; most of the people i have ever encountered here are from somewhere else. maybe a little less that way these days.

my point is, if a person comes to cali only for work or adventure, there's a good chance that they could wind up not liking living in a big city and move back home.
0 Replies
 
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Mar, 2009 08:20 pm
@DontTreadOnMe,
Hey, glad to hear from you DTOM.

Quote:

$4 billion is quite a lot of money. that will get a lot of construction workers and materials and hardware companies back to work, won't it?


The problem I have with the stimulus, um, spending bill is this: It was sold to the American public as a jobs bill. In fact, it is still being referred to as the stimulus bill that will spur employment.

It isn't, and won't. I wish the left would just be honest, and quit playing the people for fools. Call it what it is, simply a spending, entitlement bill.

Quote:

kids need to be taught, so that we can compete with people from other countries that have a much higher opinion of an educated mind. education requires teachers and administrators. i don't work for free. i doubt that you do, either. why should they ? health care is a growing industry, and will probably only get bigger, now that scientists have had the blinders and shackles taken off.

what's wrong with unemployment funding? part of the money comes out your check when you do work, right ?


In CA, we have a local school dist, with a school board, admin, all the bells and whistles to teach that one student sitting in a desk. Then, we have a county office of education in every county, that is a huge bureaucracy that 'oversees' each local school district. (Still for that one kid in a desk.) Then, we have a state dept. of education, an immense bureaucracy of state workers, that, as you can guess, is still there for that one kid in that one seat.

The amount of gov workers in CA is killing us, especially at the state level. Their pay and benefits, as well as retirement, is pretty excessive, but with the dems controlling the legislature, public employee unions rule.

This is why we are facing the budget deficits we're facing.

Unemployment? Nothing wrong with it. But wouldn't you agree it needs to be fixed with jobs?

Gov provides work. Private business provides jobs. Think about it.


Quote:

has occured to you guys that it may be possible to thin out the roles of these social services a bit, or even a lot, by better educating people. by making sure that a woman delivers a healthy baby by making sure that decent pre-natal care is available and that the child can get proper care in the important growing years; ya know, in the event that the parents aren't one of the self made millionaires that republicans seem to believe roam the nation like the ginormous bison herds of 200 years ago.

it's kind of an important question since the republican party is the party that has decided that small government is better; except when it comes to telling a woman that she will have that unwanted baby, whether or not she wants it, or can even afford it.



I agree with you here. Prenatal care, good education, every person should have the right to reach their full potential.

But with our education system bogged down by bureaucratic costs as it currently is, with teacher's unions putting their interests in front of children’s, the system is broken.

What do you think of vouchers, DTOM?

And, you know where I stand on abortion, so we agree here.

Quote:

and btw, another way to reduce social services costs would be to put an end to the wholesale export of jobs to other countries because it makes a better bottom line for the effin' multinational corporations that have had the american worker's balls in a vice for over 20 years.

so i reckon there's a bit of blame that goes to the freemarket happy, regulatory hating, tax stingy right wingers in business, don't ya think ?



More than just about anything, I think Bush will go to hell for NAFTA and other trade agreements that dismantled our ability to clothe, feed, and make goods for ourselves. We agree here.

Quote:

apparently, the majority of californians like the democratic led legislatures. they just increased their seats last fall. jerry brown was the governor when i moved here in the '70s. since then it's been deukmejian (r), wilson (r), gray davis (d) and ahnoldt (r). in fact, except for davis, brown, brown's dad and olson, nearly every other cali guber has been a republican.

but it seems to me that the down turn in cali's fortunes has more to do with the end of the cold war, underfunding of aerospace, production high taling it to canada and it's film tax credits.


The legislature has been in dem hands for decades. Willie Brown, as the speaker, was more powerful in Sac than any governor, wouldn't you agree?

Base closings, aerospace, all have had their effects. But state, county, and local governments have grown outrageously in the past decade. CALPERS, the state retirement system, has allowed earlier and larger retirements. Most cities pay their employees high five figure to mid six figure salaries. State pay has gone off the charts.

And government has grown.

Now, with businesses cutting back, pay being cut, layoffs happening all over, the state is going to raise taxes, yet not cut its workforce?

And you didn't address the environmental issues that have caused business to flee the state. Or not open to begin with. It's happening, DTOM. All the time.

Businesses, high earners, and the educated middle class are leaving CA. Yet the state is growing, mostly with those who will require gov assistance in one form or another. Which means the state will raise taxes on remaining business and taxpayers, which will cause more productive people to leave...

Sucks, doesn't it?

I don't see the dems with any long term solutions. You can print all the money you want to address today's problems. But eventually, someone is going to have to pay the bill.

Unfortunately, I believe that bill is coming in the form of massive inflation. Or worse.
0 Replies
 
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 11:24 am
More proof of the mismanagement of the former Golden State. California is the most 'Europeanized' of all the US states, and if the left wing of the Dem party and Obama has their way, the future of our country.

As goes California, so goes the USA...

Quote:

California's state work force grew despite budget woes and cut promises
By Jon Ortiz and Phillip Reese
[email protected]

Published: Monday, Mar. 16, 2009 - 12:00 am | Page 16A

California state government's full-time work force continues to grow despite Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's order to freeze hiring amid a historic budget shortfall.

From June 2008 to February 2009, most state agencies either increased or kept the same number of full-time employees, according to a Bee analysis of personnel data. The state also failed to lay off as many part-time employees during the crisis as promised by the governor.

While legislators and Schwarzenegger debated how to close a $40 billion budget deficit, 66 state agencies saw a net gain of full-time employees, 35 kept the same number of employees and 55 lost employees, data from the state controller's office show.

The overall number of full-time state employees increased by roughly 2,000, or 1 percent, excluding the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, which always shrinks sharply outside of fire season, the figures show.

While the increase is modest compared with other years, it clashes with the belief that the state work force must shrink to meet the current economic downturn and resulting drop in state revenue.

Last month, the two leading Republican candidates for governor criticized the budget deal because it relied, in part, on tax increases and not on substantially reducing the state work force.

Ted Costa of People's Advocate, a government watchdog group, said slowing bureaucratic growth isn't good enough.

"Government needs to be cut, squeezed and streamlined. It needs to get smaller," Costa said. "Instead, the governor is doing stylistic things, like getting rid of lower-paid part-time help, instead of doing something substantial."

But Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said the trend shows the governor successfully tamped down government growth, especially since the recession has increased demand for services such as unemployment assistance and state-sponsored health care.

The Employment Development Department, which handles unemployment claims, added 101 full-time employees, a 1.3 percent increase, during the eight months analyzed by The Bee. Its part-time pool shrank 12 percent, down 110 positions, the data show.

"The fact that we've been able to maintain the overall size of state government while demand on state services has increased, demonstrates that the governor has been able to make cuts where we can," McLear said.

Some of those cuts came last summer after Schwarzenegger ordered layoffs of what were then estimated to be 10,000 part-time and temporary employees to ease the state's general fund budget woes. In fact, the net loss of part-time employees during the crisis was 6,300 " less than two-thirds the amount predicted by the governor.

And increases in full-time state employment " again, excluding Cal Fire " progressed steadily throughout the budget crisis. Most months between June and February saw net gains of a few hundred employees.

At any given time, roughly 1 percent of the state's work force is on leave. That number fluctuates only slightly from month to month or year to year, according to a Bee analysis of several years' worth of data from the controller's office.

Some individual agency employment figures may be affected slightly by transfers. Over the course of a year, about 5 percent of the state's work force transfers from one department to another, the Bee's analysis found.

It's hard to shrink government bureaucracies quickly, so it's no surprise that California's full-time work force continued to grow slightly during rough times, said Guy Peters professor of American government at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of "The Politics of Bureaucracy."

"One person's fat is another person's program," said Peters, adding that most state workers are tied to particular services, so policymakers often can't shrink payroll without reducing programs.

Some government services are mandated, Peters said, making them especially tough to cut. Also, Peters noted, state worker unions in California are strong and crossing them isn't easy.

The California Highway Patrol added roughly 275 full-time employees between June and February, state figures show. That's a growth rate of roughly 3 percent.

CHP officials had long ago obtained funding for new officers, and three new officer academy classes graduated during that period.

"We hadn't seen an increase in staffing in 30-plus years," said CHP spokeswoman Jaime Coffee. "California has grown. There are more registered vehicles, so we were understaffed on patrol."

"The bigger the (CHP) presence out there, people tend to slow down," she added.

Another CHP officer academy class will graduate in May, Coffee said, predicting further growth in the CHP's ranks. Most of the CHP's budget comes from vehicle registration and driver's license fees, instead of the general fund.

Cal Fire dropped more than 2,400 employees from June through January, but just a couple hundred of those job cuts were related to the budget, fire officials said.

"We have approximately 2,200 seasonal firefighters," said Daniel Berlant, a Cal Fire spokesman, adding that the department's ranks will likely increase again during the summer wildfire season.

Link: http://www.sacbee.com/topstories/story/1702192.html?mi_rss=Top%20Stories
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 09:21 am
@A Lone Voice,
A Lone Voice wrote:
The rest?

Education, health care, unemployment, housing, welfare...

Is this how you grow 2.5 million jobs, as Obama has been fond of saying?

Extra money to health care creates jobs.
Extra money to housing creates jobs.

<shrugs>
okie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 09:56 pm
@nimh,
Yes, we all know the government is the source of all jobs. Change you can believe in, right?
0 Replies
 
 

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