After reading the Desert Rat’s pithy and mordant post about the likelihood of having three antiquated and liberal repuglican geezers on the Fullerton City Council, I felt compelled to respond with my own message – a message of hope and good will to those who can only contemplate Ed Royce’s RINO triad with a sense of gorge-rising horror.
No, I will not dwell upon the morbid actuarial statistics for the American male. Rather I invite the Friends to contemplate, along with me, the New Reality. My grandfather Frank always admonished us to seek out the proverbial silver lining in bad news; and so we shall. The Economic Recession that has hit so many in the private sector, and that so far has barely affected the public sector at all, will, in 2011, deliver its overdue bill to government employees.
Can Obama keep cranking out money fast enough to preserve all the government jobs it has protected so far through the comically named American Recovery and Reinvestment Act? The answer to that is likely no. Not after the November election. And even if he could, California had received barely 10 billion through the end of the last fiscal year – not nearly enough to grease all the bureaucratic skids in our dysfunctional state at the various levels. The presses just can’t print that fast.
The chances of raising local taxes, like Don Bankhead did (and McKinley and Jones would have likely joined him) in 1993 seems dim. Nobody’s going to stand for it. Not even the ignoramuses who voted them in.
And this leaves us with the spectacle of the public employees fighting among themselves for their share of the diminishing fiscal pie. And to that I say: Amen! Competition is good. It causes us constantly to assess our priorities. It’s true that the cops and emergency service providers will have the advantage, standing, as they already do, at the head of the line. But will the public stand for library or park closures in order to fund these people? The RINO mantra of “public safety” can only take its chanters so far. Sooner or later reality demands a check.
And hovering in the back of the room, like the chorus in a Greek tragedy is the specter of municipal bankruptcy, Vallejo-style – the game changing possibility that all public administrators and employees should want to avoid like a plague. But the public may have reason to be more ambivalent about that prospect.
So cheer up!