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Actual photograph of California's budget crisis.Huzzah for the Golden State, where crazed prisoners will soon wander freely and the poor will wrestle for rat crumbs and all the parks will be closed and all the counties will be robbed of various monies and the GOP threatens to wreck even this rotten deal, because there is still a chance to make things even worse. Feeling smug out there, rest of America? Don’t. You’re next.

California is famously First In Everything — except “first in flight,” because that’s North Carolina. The first Reaganites? Yep. What about the first goths? Probably! The first gay people? Of course. All American trends, good or bad, come from California’s hundreds of miles of sad-ass stucco suburbs. And one of the craziest California fads, the bizarre Prop. 13 cap on property taxes which is completely to blame for, among other things, the pathetic collapse of the state’s once-grand public schools, is mostly to blame for the state’s chronic inability to pay for shit.

Anyway, the awful new budget compromise is exactly the kind of fun trend you can expect to hit most every other state in the union, soon!

The bottom is not in sight. Nationwide, general revenues entering state coffers were expected to drop 2.2 percent this fiscal year, the first decrease since the 1983 recession, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. So far, 42 states have responded by paring about $31 billion from budgets, the group said.

How the books were balanced — tax and fee hikes, cuts to schools and services, or a painfully calculated blend of both — varied from legislature to legislature ….

“California always stands out just because of its sheer size. Other states do kind of look over there to see what California’s actually doing.”

Impact of California’s Proposed Budget Fix May Be Felt at All Levels [Washington Post]

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97 COMMENTS

  1. The plushies and the furries in the background are all broken up over whatever is on that stretcher. There will be sad scritching tonight. I mean 2nite.

  2. Why did Gray Davis do this to us for so long? WHEN CAN WE START BLAMING DAVIS. Personally, if there is a God in heaven, his less than-some-guy-Arnold-who-may-be-elected-soon budget stand-off will last longer than that Davis stand-off. That is why we will recall the bastard, right?
    I, personally and only, have an exciting prediction that our budget stand-offs can be even LONGER, which what California will need, in 2004. Elect CHANGE for California.

    And if we maybe are lucky enough to receive it, Karl Rove will design an excellent strategy for said recall. Get ready a for a great 5 years, California! We deserve it.

  3. The bunnies. The dwarves. The wigs. The ass-belly carted off to an unknown fate. I tear up every time.

    Wait until they straight up move Hollywood to Vancouver. That will truly suck.

  4. [re=367536]Cicada[/re]: Taxes, also. And those much needed budget cuts to our educational socialist institutions that mandate our kids to go to school everyday. Somebody will do that too, we can hope— and that great man will make our education system among the worst in the country.

    TAX. CUTS.

  5. ANOTHER second-rate actor/Republican governor is working to starve our state and make California suck.

    At least this one can’t be elected President.

  6. Ah, California — from energy deregulation to prop 13 to prop 8 to the recall to this nonsense — it seems to be an Eden of bad governmental ideas. I’ve often been intrigued by the idea that there should be a test for suffrage. Not biased, but just something that showed, like a driving test, that you could be trusted with the ability given to you. For instance, name three Supreme Court Justices. What is a veto? What are the five freedoms in the First Amendment? If there are ten apples on a table, and seven people standing around the table, and you tell them they can each have three apples, what do you think is going to happen?

    Yes, it’s probably unfeasible because there are so many ways it can be abused. I guess we’ll just have to teach more critical thinking skills in our public schools.

    Oh shit — we’re doomed.

  7. Why does Ken hate us so?
    First he bans everyone…then, he inflicts this picture upon our eyeballs.
    I think someone needs a hug. Or a drink.

  8. But California is also where the sun sets on US America.

    Except for Hawaii.

    And Alaska.

    And Samoa if you count territories.

    Oh, just forget it.

  9. And yet….as I stare out my apartment window and see the tips of the Golden Gate Bridge (or from what I can see of them through the fog), I still have to say it’s a rather nice place to live. Sigh

  10. [re=367550]hockeymom[/re]: Ken is a Californian and these are enraging times in our fair state. Also there’s a heat wave in So Cal right now and out where he is in the Mojave the temps are probably approaching quadruple digits. I think we should all just let him lie on the couch with a damp towel on his forehead and make as little noise as possible while he gets some rest.

  11. Why not just divide the state into California, the northern half, and Schizofornia, the southern half where crazy people roam the streets, OC housewives buy their daughters boob implants, and pornography is the principle industry. Then Schizofornia can rightfully claim the mantle of “least progressive state.”

  12. Just look at the other states’ budget deficits, adjust for population or percent of budget, and California doesn’t stand out much.

    In Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty is leaving behind a $7 billion deficit after he leaves office to run for prez. Adjusted for population, that’s $48 billion, almost double California’s $26 billion hole.

    Oh, and Pawlenty’s likely campaign theme against Obama? Deficits! (and gayz)

  13. [re=367556]Hooray For Anything[/re]: That’s the most frustrating part of this whole kerfuffle, isn’t it? Economically the state is crashing down around our ears but physically speaking, it’s still California.

  14. We all gonna die,hooray Jebus!
    I’m going to live with the Dagons, land of 10,000 lakes+ one that is not land locked, thanks Saint Lawrence River! also

  15. [re=367558]lizard scum[/re]: I know the girl in the picture, her name’s Katie and she’s from Orange County. She was exactly 15 years old when this photo was taken, so be nice. Those aren’t furries in the background, they’re party worker costumes for her blowout birthday bash. Sadly, she collapsed from the weight of her mom’s birthday present to her, the oversize breast implants.

  16. The Governator turns out to be a kind of girly man when it comes to budgets, and *things of this natuuuure*.

    Legalize & tax pot…. California will be the golddigger state once again.

    Wake up & smell the THC.

  17. [re=367567]imissopus[/re]: It’s the California dilemma– at what point does the ever-increasing suckiness of the state overwhelm the general beauty and openness of the state? Having grown up in the East Coast, I’m fully aware of what makes this state so special.

  18. [re=367566]martinette[/re]: TPaw can’t actually leave a deficit behind – MN has to have a “balanced budget.” Does that mean he’s not lighting the whole state’s infrastructure on fire as his grand finale/exit to GOP famewhoring? Nope. He’s torching the place.

  19. We’re seriously fucked. Now that there’s no money to spend on food, we’re all going to look like butt-gut. The only hope is that Arnold will make a sequel to “Junior,” with all the funds going to the state budget.

  20. at what point does the ever-increasing suckiness of the state overwhelm the general beauty and openness of the state?

    Depends on where you live. If you’re in the blood-red Imperial Valley, it’s already there. However, I’m perched on the side of Twin Peaks in San Francisco with a view of the Bay that would knock your socks off (when the fog isn’t blocking it, that is.) Life is still good.

    Ironically, it’s the red-state wannabe, “we don’t want to pay no effing taxes” towns that are sucking up the majority of the infrastructure resources, welfare payments and free medical assistance. Then they’ll tell you how the government should stay out of their lives.

    Delusional I tell ya…..

  21. [re=367581]saralovesyou[/re]: Pawlenty’s $7 billion hole happens in the next biennium. He “balanced” the budget in this biennium by shifting school funding until the next cycle, and the psych meds that the Timmahs! of the state won’t get anymore won’t cause them to start filling up the prisons until after 2011.

  22. Sarah Palin had a “butt-gut” for awhile when she was doing “double sodomy” films. Still not as gross as her lipstick tattoo, though. Thanx wonkette for that exclusive scoop, but I think you should send Riley to AK to prove it somehow, perhaps by cameraphone taping an assault with a solvent soaked rag or something.

  23. [re=367558]lizard scum[/re]: So, the mathematical formula you propose is:

    New Hampshire
    California = ____________

    Alabama

    To avoid confusion, Southern California will be renamed Reaganistan.

  24. [re=367597]memzilla[/re]: The OC, as capital of Reaganistan, shall henceforth be known as “Gipperville”.
    Their airport is named after John Wayne, ’nuff said.

  25. The last Austrian ex-patriot to run a country the size of California realized the solution was to expand Eastward. The Governator should remember this, it’s called Lebensraum.

    California should promptly annex Arizona and New Mexico and ruthlessly invade Nevada of course Utah where they could demand that all Mormans become Californian surfer dudes..

  26. [re=367573]Go Figure[/re]: A to the MEN

    [re=367593]lizard scum[/re]: There’s has to be some kind of fetish market in porn for white trash, over-the-hill, balding QGILFs.

  27. I can just see some post-apocalyptic scenario where a Californian wingut walks out on his driveway to see the entire valley on fire, the roads cracked and overgrown, the schools closed and a dead animal on his front lawn that has been there for the past week. He looks it all over and thinks…
    “Well, at least someone else other than myself got to save money by not paying taxes on their mansions! All HAIL RON PAUL!!!”

  28. [re=367600]memzilla[/re]: California = Vermont + Texas – liposuction fat x the GDP of France + Jefferson Airplane / the San Andreas Fault Line & Jesus and into the sea and drowned forever, with any luck.

  29. Guntacular: The Return of FUPA or How California Died, One Furry at a Time

    Yeah, Ken, maybe we non-Californians are next, with state budgets destroying all that is good in the world, or at least public schools, parks and roads. But I won’t miss out on this tremendous opportunity for schadenfreude as Prop 13’s chickens…are coming home to roost, as Rev. Wright might’ve put it. I look forward to chaos in the streets, unguarded parks squatted in by retread hippies and the year 2030 when almost all Californians will be toothless hillbillies with 2nd grade-equivalent educations eating govt cheese, scratching their asses & masturbating openly in the street. In other words, an Alabama paradise.

  30. California: Making Michigan feel better about itself since 2009. :)

    Seriously, though, we’re fucked up here in The Peninsulas. You’ve got state government that doesn’t work; we have a state economy that doesn’t and hasn’t work for decades. lol That said, we both have governors that were contestants on The Dating Game with the difference being that we actually have a hot governor if you’re into the naughty librarian types.

  31. Oh, and, my God, Britney has a adult man’s ass growing out of her stomach, poor thing. Leave Britney alone, adult man’s ass.

  32. [re=367579]Hooray For Anything[/re]: Yeah, I’m an East Coast native too but I’ve been in LA for years. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no breaking point for me; even with all the state’s problems, if I ever decide to leave it’s just going to be a difficult, difficult decision.

  33. Funny thing is that giving money to the state’s to help with their finances was in that stimulus bill from way back when. You know, the one a bunch of Governors all said was socialistic and one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse (like Tim Pawlenty & Mr. Argentina). The very same one that had a lot more money going to the state’s but had significant parts of that money lopped off in the name of bipartisanship, moderation, and fiscal responsibility.

    I’m not sure where I’m going with this other than to say I fucking hate Republicans and their cowardly Blue Dog syncophants.

  34. [re=367625]imissopus[/re]: I’ve driven through it on the way to the Coast. It’s ironic that all those mansions that will be spared the extra tax may not be spared the next fire season because there is no more money to pay firefighters to save said mansions.

  35. [re=367643]Suds McKenzie[/re]: $32? For a pack or carton? I pay close to $50/carton. Until recently it was in the upper $30s. They’re probably still 25 cents in North Carolina.

  36. You know, before they take the rather drastic step of closing all their prisons, or selling them to TV channels for reality shows, maybe they could just let all the stoners out?

    Really, they’re not going to commit any violent crimes, the state would save a bit of money, they would be very happy, and nobody would be angry, except for the angry 29%, who are going to be angry no matter what because they are angry at everybody, all the time, especially black people who don’t carry their U.S. American birth certificate around in a ziploc bag, at all times. Also.

  37. “Other states do kind of look over there to see what California‚Äôs actually doing.”

    Except… you know… we don’t (generally) boil down nuanced tax and revenue issues to a yes or no question and let the unwashed mob vote on them.

    Generally.

  38. [re=367602]Johnny Zhivago[/re]: Nevada, Utah, and Arizona for sure. Please leave NM off your proposal. We are a lone blue stain on an otherwise red tableau. We are constantly dealing with Texans and Arizonians raping our resort towns, for money, which keeps us alive. Despite Bill Richardson’s limp handshake, and the Roswell crazies (who are mainly Texans, anyway), we have a pretty good thing going.

  39. [re=367706]King of Pants[/re]: You need 50 percent plus one vote to revoke Prop. 13, same as it takes to strip away the civil rights of any group you happen to be annoyed with.

    Let’s recap: A measure that requires a 2/3 vote to increase taxes can be repealed with a majority vote. A measure that defines marriage as one non-Mormon man and one non-Mormon woman requires a majority vote. A measure that changes the state Constitution to allow Japanese to be thrown back into camps in the desert requires a majority vote.

    I don’t know why we bother to have a legislature out here as the people can fuck things up all by themselves and don’t need to pay those bozos and their staffs.

  40. Say what you want about California, at least we can all buy yachts and private jets without having to pay sales tax. That’s the key to our survival, we just need to attract more wealthy people here, because as everyone knows, no wealthy person would ever live anywhere in California. We need to offer them more tax breaks, and build them mansions that they can live in without paying any property taxes. That will solve all of our problems!

  41. Sorry but according to Mark Twain, the first gay people were French. Something about wearing a flower in your lapel irked the scribe of Hannibal-Elmira-Blah Blah Blah.

    Actually California is first in state and local government pensions, which is the problem. Specifically it is not clear that teaching, arresting and jailing Messicans for 20 years is a sound financial basis for paying future pension obligations for the remaining 50 or so years of joint survival.

  42. [re=367560]JoeMac[/re]: I’m glad I live in the third world of Michigan…We’ve been living on rat feces for years, U.S. economic implosion should be no problemo.

    And Ken? Didn’t need to see that first thing in the A.M. Thank you. Also.

  43. We are drinking coffee, while admiring a meadow of wildflowers. Our backyard here in the Sierras. We being my unemployed self and unemployed wife. Still have a $6000 property tax bill looming for an unremarkable home in a remarkable setting. The kids are getting ready for work. Seriously. God I love that photo.

  44. Requiring a 2/3rds majority to pass a budget has let a handful of state senators from places like Murrieta and Yuba City hold the rest of the state hostage until they get their unreasonable demands met. Every time we need to close a budget deficit, programs have to be cut. Every time we have a surplus (not for a while now) taxes have to be cut. So California has basically had an ever plummeting revenue source since this idiotic rule was enacted.

    It doesn’t take a genius to tell you that doesn’t work for very long.

  45. We don’t need a north/south divide. San Diego and San Francisco get along quite well these days. We need to let the central valley fucktards go. Screw it if they have all the food. We’ll grow victory gardens.

  46. [re=367547]SayItWithWookies[/re]: “If there are ten apples on a table, and seven people standing around the table, and you tell them they can each have three apples, what do you think is going to happen?”

    That is an outstanding metaphor for western US water policy. Ken, Shorts, et al are going to be very thirsty soon.

  47. [re=367614]LoweredPeninsula[/re]: On the other hand, we’re constitutionally forbidden to carry debt, so we’re broke like a homeless guy who has no money. California is broke like a fast-food worker with $100K in credit-card debt.

    [re=367771]Crazybroad[/re]: Welcome to the economic collapse, everybody, we’ve been waiting for you!

  48. My favorite part of this budget is the opening up of drilling on the Santa Barbara coastline. That worked out so well for the wildlife back in 1969. Or at least the legislation that came out of the tragic oil spill protected species and the coast a little bit for the last 40 years.

    drill, baby, drill. Also.

  49. We batsnot crazy buts we got hot chicks.
    We throw evva thang ‘gainst the wall,
    see if it sticks.
    If it falls, well, damn damn damn.
    We batsnot crazy, yes ma’am. Yes ma’am!

  50. I’m late to this thread, but I just had to chime in as that has to be my favorite picture ever used on Wonkette.

    More importantly, I’m pretty sure the first gays were not from California. Have you ever seen a movie about the Revolution (and, no, not the rEVOLution)? Clearly the first gays were from North Carolina. With their wigs and frills, they made the cavaliers look muy macho.

  51. The OBVIOUS answer to this fiscal crisis is to have the San Diego Comic-Con year-round…all over the state. That should really bring in the tax revenues along with geeks from all over he world. Since I was at Comic-Con last night I can say authoritatively that there is no shortage of sweaty misanthropes with a great deal of discretionary income. I guess you save quite a bit of money on rent when you live in mom’s basement.

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