California's budget deficit has swelled to a projected $16 billion — much larger than had been predicted just months ago — and will force severe cuts to schools and public safety if voters fail to approve tax increases in November, Gov. Jerry Brown said Saturday.
Naturally, when there's a deficit, elected officials' first inclination is to threaten the children of the state and the public safety. They say, "Give us more of your money in the form of increased taxes, or people will die."
Their first thought is never in the area of cutting out the deadwood from the mindless bureaucracies that flood the state with surliness in DMV and unemployment offices. They never think of cutting the legislature's staff by, say, one clerk per State Assemblyman or State Senator. Maybe it's more accurate to simply say they never think.
It hasn't occurred to our government that the reason for much of the shortfall is that people and businesses are leaving the state because the taxes are already too high. Enough businesses have already either left or folded that people can't find work. Without work, those people have no taxes to pay. And the businesses that aren't here anymore aren't paying taxes either.
In my Bible study group of about 18 - 20 people, two have already left the state. One went to Tennessee and the other to Texas because they weren't able find enough work here to keep a roof over their heads. A third is returning home to Wisconsin this month after finishing cooking school. She hasn't been able to find a job as the pastry chef she was trained to be (and she's good!), and Wal-Mart doesn't pay enough to keep her here.
That's three people whose tax money won't be available to make up California's deficit, and if the state raises tax rates, even more people will be taking their money elsewhere.
But Governor Moonbeam and the Democrat-controlled legislature haven't got a clue. Lord, help those of us who have to stay!