Ann "Babe" Huggett
Ten cost-cutting suggestions for California
By Ann "Babe" Huggett
July 2, 2009

Poor Kal-ee-for-nee-ah Governor Ahnold Schwarzenkennedy! He may have an "R" after his name politically but he's been running California like a liberal for years now. However, it is finally catching up with him; as of July 1st California went from a state of great weather and fabulous scenery to one of fiscal emergency. Facing a $24.3 billion shortfall in the state's budget, Governor Schwarzenegger called a special session of the state legislature on June 30th to close the gap but the state's Republicans held firm against the frantic demands of the tax-tax-tax, spend-spend-spend and spend some more Democrats.

Now California's vendors and local agencies will be getting IOUs instead of state checks We can also expect needed services and providers like police, firemen and health care workers to get the axe while Sacramento fat cats on six-figure salaries bloviate about the need to cut corners "somewhere."

Governor Schwarzenegger put a brave face on things when he said "Though the legislature failed to solve our budget problem yesterday, rest assured that solving the entire deficit remains my first and only priority, and I will not rest until we get it done. I will not be a part of pushing this crisis down the road — the road stops here."

Well, bully for you, Governator, but talk is about the only thing that is cheap here in California. Before you can solve anything, you and the California state legislature have got to come to grips with a very basic concept: you can not spend more than you take in. Your once high state tax revenues are tanking thanks to 11% unemployment, businesses & workers moving to friendlier states and a complete slow-down in market activity. Yet nowhere was there ever any corresponding lowering of state spending to compensate. Accepting Obamunist bail-out money from DC would be a complete surrender of state sovereignty. Talk about strings attached! Just ask the former CEOs of General Motors and Chrysler if you don't believe me. Considering just how heavily taxed Californians are already, upping taxes is political suicide. Schwarzenegger knows enough not to do those things even if the Democrats refuse to understand the realities of the situation.

Right now, our state income tax top rate is at 9.3%. Depending upon which county we live in, we also pay anywhere from 8.25% to 9.75% sales tax! Californians also pay nearly $0.64 in taxes out of every dollar spent at the gas pumps. $.87 comes out of a California smoker's pocket in taxes before he can light up his first cig from a 20 cigarette pack. Property taxes are through the roof, Proposition 8 or no. Without Prop 8, my aged parents would be driven out of the home where they have lived since 1968. Yet what they are paying now will be upped an additional $24,900.00 a year the split second the house is finally sold to new owners.

Fees are just another name for taxes and California car license tag renewal fees increased 100% this year. That means my old clunker will now cost me $150.00 to get the tags renewed rather than the $75.00 I shelled out last year. Only this time I'm not paying it because in less than two weeks my husband and I are moving out-of-state for good.

Yes, pumpkins, we have had it with this state. It is time for us to go to somewhere where we won't feel hemmed in, over-regulated and over-taxed. It's been real, it's been fun, but it hasn't been real fun. But, before we go, I'd like to offer Governor Schwarzenegger just ten simple little cost cutting things he can do to get the California state budget under control. Think of it as my gift to the state and/or parting shot:

  1. Freeze the welfare rolls then go through them with a fine tooth comb looking for double/triple/quadruple dippers and the still-being-paid deceased.

  2. Resurrect Proposition 187, which banned illegals from getting onto welfare. The voters passed it and the usual liberal, racist goo-goos screamed, hollered, ranted, raved then shopped it around in the courts until they found a liberal judge to declare a constitutionally valid, voter approved state proposition "unconstitutional."

  3. Enforce illegal immigration laws and don't give me that garbage about it being a "federal issue." Listen: if an illegal is on California soil, it is a California issue. The flood of illegals here is destroying our health care and school system not to mention the stress they are putting on municipal services and housing.

  4. Stop printing up everything in multi-lingual versions. Catering to a polyglot society is expensive, time-consuming, frustrating, and divisive. All it does is reinforce the soft-bigotry of low expectations by its implication that new arrivals are too stupid to learn English.

  5. Get rid of the California Teachers' Association and let the schools reflect their communities the way they used to. Once upon a time California was the top state for education and now it's at the very bottom thanks to our politically correct, ignorance factory, public schools. There is also no reason why counselors and psychologists should be on that CTA gravy train either since most of the time they do more harm than good.

  6. Freeze state government hiring especially in the upper echelons. Does California really need another $240K a year Investment Director, California State Teachers' Retirement System?

  7. Gut the Health and Human Services sub-departments. What are we doing with a Department of Aging? Or a Commission on Aging? And what the heck is a State-Local realignment Department? These are chair-warmer jobs.

  8. Stop giving the Environmental Protection Department free rein to destroy property rights under the guise of saving the environment. One reason why housing prices are so artificially inflated in California is that it is nearly impossible to get new housing built and we wouldn't be having an energy crisis if we could get new power stations erected. But we can't and all because some dumb jerk of an enviro-weenie thinks a snail darter is more important than our health and well being.

  9. Stop with all the arts grants. Endowments for the Arts are why God invented philanthropists. Besides, whoever is currently commissioning public works of art has bad taste. Fire them too and not only will you save their salary for the taxpayers but you will save all our collective eyesight while you are at it.

  10. Let libraries be libraries where people go to enjoy books, magazines and newspapers instead of being unfair, government subsidized competition to video rental and music stores. Why are taxpayers' dollars going to stock local libraries with rap cds, violent video games and Japanese anime? Why do we need a state-funded Science Fiction library collection in Riverside?

© Ann "Babe" Huggett


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Ann "Babe" Huggett

Ann "Babe" Huggett is a San Francisco Bay Area freelance writer and the Associate Editor and Publisher of She is the co-owner and moderator of Free, a conservative British-American site dedicated to events affecting the Anglosphere... (more)

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