No matter who you listen to or what you read, it is painfully obvious that the nation and the state of California are experiencing financial difficulties.Â There does not seem to be any disparity between the various news agencies about this.Â For once they are almost all in agreement about it.
What bothers me, however, is not the media’s take on this, though they are not all doing anything to set the record straight, many times, but the fact that the various government agencies seem to be treating this like we, the tax-payers, are somehow to blame for the problems we are seeing.Â The steps that are being taken, here in California for example, are being done in such a way that makes one feel as though the tax-payers themselves are being punished for the state of the State.
In reality, this is not our fault, unless you count the fact that we voted for many of these people.Â This is the fault of mismanagement on the part of the state and local governments.Â That is not to say that they are all to blame, not all of the the leaders are as inept as, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jerry Brown.Â There are those that really seem to be making a real effort to make things right.
This morning, for example, I read a list of the various state projects that are being closed down.Â These are programs that benefit people and give us things to do through the course of the summer.Â Programs that benefit more than harm.Â I am curious why we are taking the money from these programs when there are other things we can take it from.
I have often wondered why we, California, could not make more use of what appears to be one of this state’s biggest natural resources… prison inmates.
What can we not take this people, the low to medium risk offenders and put them to work replacing many of the road crews and road maintenance tasks that are assigned to CalTrans?Â Why not the same for the Parks system or the various other public works projects.Â These are people that are supposed to be “paying their debt” to society, yet many of them languish in cells, watching television, excersizing and getting an education, all at the tax-payers expense, yet in many cases doing nothing to truly contribute.
Why not make all state-elected officials take a 50% (or more) pay cut until the financial crisis is over with and we are back on track?Â Why not eliminate the “Per Diem” that California legislators receive completely.Â Let them travel to and from work on their own dime, like most of us have to, instead of you and I paying not only for our own travel to and from work, but also theirs as well?Â All this instead of forcing correctional officers and other state employees to take furloughs and cuts in pay.Â Why take the money away for the people that earn it and let ones that are responsible for the budget not pay for their actions?
It is apparent to me that the people that should be running the state and local governments are not the ones that we are electing.Â We need people that are successful business men and women.Â People that have a proven history of financial responsibility and success.Â Not actors or career politicians.Â Not people that are in bed with special interest groups whose election is thanks to a well purchased victory and not because they knew what the hell they were doing.
Yes… I voted for Arnold… At the time, he was better than another term with someone that wanted to fill in where Gray Davis left off.Â There for a while, Arnie did alright… then he fell into the same routine most others did.
This is also the problem with the national goverments as well.Â There are too many that are in it for their own benefit and not the betterment of the nation.Â That is not to say they are all bad, but the ones that are bad tarnish the reputation of those that are trying.Â This, in turn, makes them all appear to be a corrupt band of “back-patters”, whose only goal is to make themselves look good and get rich doing it.
I will be the first to tell you that I love this Nation and could not think of anyplace better to live… but I will also be the first to tell you that there is a lot of changing to be made.Â Starting with all the members of the house and senate being fired or otherwise ousted.Â Put rules in place to make it so that anyone attempting to run for the offices has to take some kind of aptitude test to show that they have some idea what is best for the people and not themselves.
Altruism… that is what government is missing.Â The understanding that their position should be self-sacrificing and not meant for personal gain.Â They are there at our will… the will of the people.Â They should fear for their jobs because of us.Â We should not fear what happens to us because of them.
As I have quoted many times before.Â “People should not be afraid of their government, the government should be afraid of their people.” That is not to say I support violence, that is to say that I believe that we have the right to stand up and show our disapproval with the only strong, legal action we have available to us.Â Our voice… either by voting or by publicly, peaceably, speaking out.
I am sorry… this was meant to be a commentary on the mismanagement of the State government and I have turned it into something more.
As always, I thank you for reading and I urge your to share your commentary with me and the others that read this Blog.