I don’t know why I torture myself by watching the news in the morning. Today, for example, I had to see and hear Republican members of the state legislature crowing about what a bang-up job they did protecting the people of California – this after a budget was finally passed – by holding the line against any new taxes. This is a budget that slashes funding for health care and education; a budget shaped by Governor Schwarzenegger’s pledge to veto any budget that included any tax increase – because the last thing the state needs now is any enhancement to its revenue stream… And these fuckers – who’ve thrown a wrench into every compromise, who’ve refused to negotiate, who’ve acted like six-year-olds, unwilling to share their toys – are the same fuckers who start screaming about “the will of the people” when it comes to same-sex marriage. “How dare the courts try to countermand the WILL OF THE PEOPLE!” Well, you know what? Your crackpot ideas on taxation do not represent the will of the people, so how about you step aside?
And let’s not forget, this is same governor who just recently implemented a state sales tax increase… But that tax increase doesn’t count, apparently, since it is borne disproportionately by the poor and middle class. Of course, the Republicans never met a regressive tax they didn’t like – as long as people with the greatest ability to pay taxes aren’t required to do so, then their job is done.
Not that the Democrats are doing much better. “We did not eliminate or completely shred the safety net in the state,” says Assembly Speaker Karen Bass. God love ya – really looking out for us little people, aren’t you? How about calling the governor on his unwillingness to negotiate in good faith? How about addressing this problem as if your constituents weren’t complete dullards – you know, explaining to them that the governor’s untenable “no taxes” position is the crux of the problem? How about simply growing a pair? You have majorities in both houses and you still allow a couple of Republicans to hold the entire state hostage. Why not go after them – make examples of them, get on the news, paint them as the scoundrels they are? And can we please get started on convening a constitutional convention?
I’m so sick and tired of the omnipresent myopia that seems to affect everyone with a finger in this shit pie. When will people finally connect the dots? Shitty schools means more people with shittier jobs – which means they’re paying less in taxes. Taking away access to routine health care means no preventive care – so the uninsured wait until they’re really ill and show up in emergency room. Instead of treating a minor illness with a handful of antibiotics, we see someone seriously ill, requiring thousands of dollars worth of care. We pay now or we pay later – but we pay in either case. There’s no free ride – though certainly the proactive “pay now” ride is a helluva lot cheaper than “pay later”.
I grew up here, getting a fantastic education in the San Francisco public school system and going on to graduate from the University of California. And I remember when our state was a beacon – the state that blazed the path for the nation, beckoning all with its limitless opportunities, great public school system and robust infrastructure. Then Prop 13 was passed – and so began the state’s slow but inexorable slide into insolvency and ungovernability.
At any rate, I have to stop – steam is literally (and by “literally” I mean “figuratively” as is the fashion these days) shooting out of my ears. Though I will finish up by pointing out what really set me off this morning. It was while one of those sanctimonious Republican fucktards was blithering that I saw the news crawl across the bottom of my TV: “California Given OK to Crack Down On Nude Beaches.” Because that clearly is the real problem facing our once-great state: nude beaches. Priorities, people! It’s all about priorities…