stonebender: (Default)
[personal profile] stonebender

I just thought I'd drop a note and let everyone know I'm still alive. I have been particularly depressed the last few weeks. I'm coping and what energy I do have has been going into fighting California Gov. Schwarzenegger's proposed . In the name of balancing the budget, he seemes determined to destroy whatever safety net we have. He has proposed cutting coverage of many healthcare services for those on Medi-Cal (what's called Medicaid in most other states. Basically the public healthcare system.) Dropping dentistry, chiropractic, psychiatric, optometric care for adults. (I think there's a couple others I can't remember.) SSI, SSDI (basic assistance for people with disabilities) Isn't getting a COLA and they are cutting an additional percentage. IHSS has already had their wages cut from $12.50 an hour to $10 an hour and now the governor is proposing another cut to $8 an hour. He is also suggesting that IHSS recipients with a functional index of 4 or less (The IHSS program classifies all its recipients using a five-point scale 1 is roughly the least disabled and 5 is the most. I'm a five.) Be completely cut out of the program. This turns out to be about 90% of the people on IHSS!

Of course other worthy and necessary programs are also being cut and I don't know how this will all end but it won't be good. In my opinion part of why we are here. California's requirement of a 2/3's vote to pass any budget pretty much puts the minority party in power during the budget process. After all, they don't have to come up with any solutions all they have to do is vote no. Then the majority party is compelled to make all kinds of concessions in order to pass a budget every year. What sense this makes is beyond me. Of course the requirement benefits those who believe in "small government". Never mind the California electorate has again and again voted in an almost overwhelming majority of Democrats into the state legislature.

I have no idea how we'll do it but we also need to modify or eliminate Prop 13. So far the only taxes that even a small number of Democrats who consider are sales tax and increasing fees. Sales tax disproportionately impacts the poor. Programs that allow poor depend on are being cut and all they need is for their expenses to go too. Somehow we need to bring in more money and I think large corporations and the rich should pay more in property taxes than they do.

As an aside, I also think that California's proposition system has ultimately been a failure. It was sold to us (at least why I originally supported the system) as a way for ordinary people to affect policy directly. It has turned out to be a way for legislators to sidestep their responsibility by putting more controversial measures like tax increases on the ballot rather than vote how they believe and let the electorate evaluate their performance. Now if you have enough money you can get just about anything on the ballot. When we vote on a proposition often sounds like a good idea. Of coarse we want to maintain our education system so we vote in favor then we find out that without looking at the budget as a whole we are hamstringing the legislature to the point our elected officials have very little control over most of the budget. Various propositions ever wired either certain levels of funding or required the existence of a program with no identified funding.

The system is broken in many ways and I don't see any of the real problems being addressed. Those in favor of small budget have managed to set up a system that will largely this mantle our social services safety network.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-06-10 06:49 pm (UTC)
waywardcats: (Default)
From: [personal profile] waywardcats
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you in your advocacy. You are right, our system here in California is badly broken. I hope that we can find ways to fix it before it gets worse.



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