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Alan B'Stard MP

California Governor Plans To Completely Eliminate Welfare For Families

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first and foremost a lot of what the governor is doing is fearmongering in hopes of getting a bigger federal bailout.

secondly, that cancellations are only for the state sponsored benefits.

state benefits are a small portion of the benefits system.

most of the major programs are federal, and the last thing they would do is turn down federal monies.

it is very likely that when all the dust has settled, things aren't going to be much different in california, though there is a real risk of austerity if the federal gov doesn't stump up a pretty large amount of state assistance.

Edited by Mr Nice

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Interesting.

The main purpose of welfare/social security in a capitalist system is to prevent the people at the bottom of the food chain from getting uppitty and making life difficult for business.

Maybe Arnie thinks that TV and drugs will take care of that instead.

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Paul Krugman's semi apocalyptic take on california economy and politics from today's NYT

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/25/opinion/...agewanted=print

State of Paralysis

By PAUL KRUGMAN

California, it has long been claimed, is where the future happens first. But is that still true? If it is, God help America.

The recession has hit the Golden State hard. The housing bubble was bigger there than almost anywhere else, and the bust has been bigger too. California’s unemployment rate, at 11 percent, is the fifth-highest in the nation. And the state’s revenues have suffered accordingly.

What’s really alarming about California, however, is the political system’s inability to rise to the occasion.

Despite the economic slump, despite irresponsible policies that have doubled the state’s debt burden since Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor, California has immense human and financial resources. It should not be in fiscal crisis; it should not be on the verge of cutting essential public services and denying health coverage to almost a million children. But it is — and you have to wonder if California’s political paralysis foreshadows the future of the nation as a whole.

The seeds of California’s current crisis were planted more than 30 years ago, when voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 13, a ballot measure that placed the state’s budget in a straitjacket. Property tax rates were capped, and homeowners were shielded from increases in their tax assessments even as the value of their homes rose.

The result was a tax system that is both inequitable and unstable. It’s inequitable because older homeowners often pay far less property tax than their younger neighbors. It’s unstable because limits on property taxation have forced California to rely more heavily than other states on income taxes, which fall steeply during recessions.

Even more important, however, Proposition 13 made it extremely hard to raise taxes, even in emergencies: no state tax rate may be increased without a two-thirds majority in both houses of the State Legislature. And this provision has interacted disastrously with state political trends.

For California, where the Republicans began their transformation from the party of Eisenhower to the party of Reagan, is also the place where they began their next transformation, into the party of Rush Limbaugh. As the political tide has turned against California Republicans, the party’s remaining members have become ever more extreme, ever less interested in the actual business of governing.

And while the party’s growing extremism condemns it to seemingly permanent minority status — Mr. Schwarzenegger was and is sui generis — the Republican rump retains enough seats in the Legislature to block any responsible action in the face of the fiscal crisis.

Will the same thing happen to the nation as a whole?

Last week Bill Gross of Pimco, the giant bond fund, warned that the U.S. government may lose its AAA debt rating in a few years, thanks to the trillions it’s spending to rescue the economy and the banks. Is that a real possibility?

Well, in a rational world Mr. Gross’s warning would make no sense. America’s projected deficits may sound large, yet it would take only a modest tax increase to cover the expected rise in interest payments — and right now American taxes are well below those in most other wealthy countries. The fiscal consequences of the current crisis, in other words, should be manageable.

But that presumes that we’ll be able, as a political matter, to act responsibly. The example of California shows that this is by no means guaranteed. And the political problems that have plagued California for years are now increasingly apparent at a national level.

To be blunt: recent events suggest that the Republican Party has been driven mad by lack of power. The few remaining moderates have been defeated, have fled, or are being driven out. What’s left is a party whose national committee has just passed a resolution solemnly declaring that Democrats are “dedicated to restructuring American society along socialist ideals,” and released a video comparing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to Pussy Galore.

And that party still has 40 senators.

So will America follow California into ungovernability? Well, California has some special weaknesses that aren’t shared by the federal government. In particular, tax increases at the federal level don’t require a two-thirds majority, and can in some cases bypass the filibuster. So acting responsibly should be easier in Washington than in Sacramento.

But the California precedent still has me rattled. Who would have thought that America’s largest state, a state whose economy is larger than that of all but a few nations, could so easily become a banana republic?

On the other hand, the problems that plague California politics apply at the national level too.

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first and foremost a lot of what the governor is doing is fearmongering in hopes of getting a bigger federal bailout.

He is also threatening to openly discuss "leaglizing marijuana", although that tactic would have worked better under Bush.

California might do something crazy if they don't get some cash from somewhere.

http://news.google.com/news?um=1&ned=u...+Schwarzenegger

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He is also threatening to openly discuss "leaglizing marijuana", although that tactic would have worked better under Bush.

Ideology (or genuine health concerns) apart, it makes economic sense.

Illegal cannabis = illegal drug growers, importers and dealers charge a premium price to reflect the overheads of operating illegally.

Legal cannabis = government regulates it just as it does with fags and booze, charges a premium price to include the duty, and the taxpayer trousers the topslice rather than gangs of criminals.

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Guest มร หล&#3
What rent?

The buildings will be on fire.

Much of my family live in LA. Cousin lost his job about a year ago with a $650,000 mortgage. Don't know the situation now.

No welfare cheques. This is what will happen all over the Western world as well, basically . . . West meets East. Welcome to reality.

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In the Uk there are quite a few cut backs we could do which would casue limited pain..... cut off state pensions to those already receiving a private pension of say £30,000.... cut off child benefit to families earning say over £50k ..... cut off unemployment/incapacity benefits to anyone with savings ( its supposed to be a backstop after all) etc etc... everyone will have their own ideas of what could be cut, but the basic point is that the benefits system is far too generous and in a lot of cases its generous to those who are not in need of its generosity.... cut winter fuel allowance to all those in receipt of a pension of more than £25,000 etc etc.

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In the Uk there are quite a few cut backs we could do which would casue limited pain..... cut off state pensions to those already receiving a private pension of say £30,000....

I hope you would repay them all the NI they have have been ploughing into the system in order to accrue that pension.

...cut off child benefit to families earning say over £50k .....

Brown's obsession with means tested benefits has proven quite starkly that in most cases it's more expensive to carry out the means tests than it is to simply pay the benefit to everyone regardless.

cut off unemployment/incapacity benefits to anyone with savings ( its supposed to be a backstop after all) etc etc...

This effectively happens already: if you have significant savings you don't get housing benefit in the case of unemployment. Extending that to the dole as well would act as an even bigger disincentive to saving. Who would ever feel the need to save anything if they knew that it could all be lost within months of losing their job through no fault of their own?

everyone will have their own ideas of what could be cut, but the basic point is that the benefits system is far too generous and in a lot of cases its generous to those who are not in need of its generosity....

OK - how about the following.

1. Non-EU immigrants not entitled to any form of state benefits whatsoever until they've accrued at least ten years of P60s showing that they've paid at least the NI on the equivalent of the full-time minimum wage.

2. A criterion for benefit eligibility to be introduced - conceiving a child in the full knowledge that you won't be able to support its upbringing. It would be reasonably simple to judge - if neither the mother nor the father have a good job at the time they conceived the child, they qualify. The father instantly becomes ineligible for any state benefits for life, apart from emergency NHS treatment. The mother doesn't get a council flat, but a place in a 'firm but fair' hostel which will make sure that the child is brought up with a reasonable standard of education if she doesn't.

3. Your own GP is no longer eligible to sign you onto incapacity benefit. Evidence is assessed in paper form by an independent panel who don't know you and who will require you to attend a medical if they think the paper evidence doesn't tell the whole story.

I'm pretty sure that this would reduce the problem to manageable proportions.

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