Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Calif. contemplating rewrite of social contract

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 11:03 AM
Original message
Calif. contemplating rewrite of social contract
(apologies if already posted)

Calif. contemplating rewrite of social contract
At stake are programs for the poor, elderly and frail
The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - With empty pockets and maxed-out credit, California is debating whether it can continue honoring all parts of its social contract with the state's most vulnerable residents. The state faces an unprecedented drop in tax revenue and a widening budget deficit amid the deepest recession in decades, prompting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to propose cost-cutting steps that once seemed unthinkable. At stake are programs for the poor, elderly and frail, placing millions of people in the nation's most populous state at risk of falling through a decades-old social safety net.

Ending the welfare-to-work program for mothers and their children would affect some 546,000 families, and health insurance could be eliminated for 1 million children from low-income families. Services for Alzheimer's patients, disabled and other frail recipients of in-home care also would be greatly reduced under the governor's latest budget proposal, leaving more than 400,000 people without such support.

(snip)

The state's projected $24.3 billion deficit for the fiscal year that begins in July amounts to a quarter of its general fund. Schwarzenegger and Republicans in the Legislature say they will not raise taxes again, after agreeing to $12.8 billion in sales, personal income and vehicle tax hikes earlier this year. That leaves lawmakers with few alternatives to severe spending cuts because, although Republicans are the minority party, they hold virtual veto power over the state budget by virtue of California's two-thirds vote requirement... California spent 5.4 percent of all its state and federal funding on public assistance in 2007, compared to a national average of 1.7 percent. That doesn't include Medicaid and other social service spending. Ironically, while many of the programs to assist the frail and needy have their roots in the Great Depression, they may be undone by another great economic downturn.

(snip)

There are few modern precedents to the level of social spending cuts being contemplated in California. In 1991, Michigan's Republican Gov. John Engler proposed ending general-assistance payments to single, able-bodied individuals with no dependents. His welfare reform plan was intended to encourage employment and eventually reduced the number of recipients, saving the state millions of dollars a year. Conservatives say states still have a long list of assistance programs and few people would be left without any help. Federally mandated programs such as food stamps, low-income housing and Medicaid the U.S. health program for low-income people, seniors and the disabled will continue, said Robert Rector, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation. Those programs received financial boosts under the federal recovery act.

(snip)



URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31154059 /

======

There was a report yesterday - don't remember which network - showing how different groups, and mayors, howling about their cuts. Everyone wants someone else to pay for the problem, while rejecting the proposals that were on the ballot a few weeks ago.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cant trust em Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
1. republicans in the state legislature are a pain in my ass
Way more so than republicans in congress. They have hijacked the entire legislative process.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
2. We need another special election, one with several alternative choices.
First, strip Republicans of their veto power.
Second, raise taxes on rich and corporations.
Third, strengthen prop 98 protecting education spending.
Fourth, abolish Prop 13 for non-residential properties and non-primary residences.

And then present the alternative:
Abolish all social services, close all state parks, raise classroom capacity to 45 students, empty the prisons of all non-violent offenders, etc., in the case there is a deficit.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. This is the problem with the ballot systems
It can be only a YES or NO question, and only one topic. Making laws involves debates, and compromises and this is why a legislative body is described as the greatest debating body.

But somehow the California legislators have abdicated their responsibilities - or, perhaps, they have to because of another screwy rule - and most ballot measures are based on yesterday's headlines, like Prop. 13 - that has gone many modifications - Thirds Strike, Prop. 8 and others.

When we lived in California, in the 90s, I would routinely vote NO on every measure... until I had to vote YES to reverse a stupid decision voted a few years earlier.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. True, it would have to be divided into many amendments.
Maybe as many as 20 or more. But it's possible. The legislature isn't abdicating, but there isn't a 2/3 majority for a certain solution. If I were in there I'd be voting against the proposed "censensus" items myself.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dgibby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. Wonder if this will eventually trigger a mass migration of Californians to other states.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
4. The "social contract" that is supposed to unite us all in this endeavor called life
has never been embraced by the pukes. Their credo has always been to praise the individual while denying any responsibility to other members of society.

They actually, if your really think about it, take an evolutionary view - survival of the fittest.

How ironic.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I know, and have observed this before on these pages
The reality, though, is that most people tend to think only on themselves, and then their close family and friends, then their tribe. One has to really think beyond these confined tendencies to realize that, yes, we have to worry about our society. This is the only positive thing I find about religion: the admonition to care about the poor, the sick and the elderly. And the question comes: who should care about them? Religious organizations or the state? I have heard people from India criticizing Mother Teresa that allowed the Indian government to abdicate its responsibilities for the poor.

And I wish that Obama had not embraced Bush's "faith based initiative."


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. I won't say that Californians brought this on themselves because those hurt will be the poor,
elderly, handicapped, and children--in other words the most vulnerable in our society just to make sure property taxes don't go up.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sun Nov 19th 2017, 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC