California State of the State - Short But Missing The Point

Real Estate Agent with 1st Action Real Estate

I imagine you were all glued to the tube this morning or, like me, linked in via webcast to hear our Governor deliver his 'State of the State' speech. No? Am I the only one with no life here and a jones for politics?

Well, you didn't miss much. Really. It was over and done in about 10 minutes. At a time when our state faces some of the gravest challenges to our economy, jobs, HOUSING, etc., the Governator spoke for just over 10 minutes. Didn't have much to say anyway.

After spending the first couple minutes sucking up to President-elect Obama, Arnold proceeded to let us know what we were in for:

 I will not give the traditional State of the State address today, because the reality is that our state is incapacitated until we resolve the budget crisis. The truth is that California is in a state of emergency. Addressing this emergency is the first and greatest thing we must do for the people. The 42 billion dollar deficit is a rock upon our chest and we cannot breathe until we get it off. It doesn't make any sense to talk about education, infrastructure, water, health care reform and all these things when we have this huge budget deficit.

Hmmm, well can't disagree with him there except that IMHO he missed a golden opportunity to put some pressure on the people who are standing between our state and a functional resolution - namely the Democratic lackeys to the states major unions. It's no mystery how we got here, why our budget growth has outstripped our revenue growth by tenfold during the past 5 years and why we can't address the core issues. Both houses of our legislature have been controlled by Democrats for more than 2 decades and the excess spending that occurred during our last two housing booms and our boom has become institutionalized with most Democrats owing their careers to the unions that bought their seats.

Here's what the Governor did address:

Our citizens do not believe that we in government are in touch with their needs. These needs are not unreasonable. At the end of the day, most people do not require a great deal from their government.

They expect the fundamentals.

They want to live in safety.

They want a good education for their children.

They want jobs.

They want to breathe clean air.

They want water when they turn on the faucet and electricity when they turn on the switch.

And they want these things delivered efficiently and economically.

That's all true, isn't it? MOST people do not require a great deal. However SOME people do. And given the rampant race to socialize and the bail-out mentality at the federal level, MORE people are demanding MORE. And at our state level, maybe most people don't REQUIRE a great deal, but that hasn't stopped our legislature from GIVING them more. The culture of entitlement is alive and well in Sacramento and their largesse is well appreciated in certain circles.

But let's look at his comments more closely - they want to live in safety. Hmmm - isn't most public safety provided by our LOCAL police forces? Aside from the CHP and the massive amount of money funneled into the states most lucrative union the Prison Guards, what is the cost to the state for safety?

A good education? Absolutely. But as a state we spend more on education alone that most states spend on their entire budget. The Teachers Union owns large voting blocks of our legislature. Yet our state consistently ranks in the lower 3rd on national test scores. The amount of money we are throwing at this problem doesn't seem to help much.

Jobs? Oh yes, please. We want jobs. But is it the states job to create jobs? I mean aside from creating more bureaus to oversee the committees who study the groups that work with the commissions - does the state actually create jobs? Howzabout reducing taxes so companies quit leaving California? How about eliminating red tape and whacked-out environmental requirements so companies can start-up here, or expand their operations? Private enterprise creates jobs - not government.

Clean air. Oh Brother. The government's in the clean air business? Along with keeping mylar balloons and plastic grocery sacks out of my hands - they enact legislation aimed at driving even more industries out of California to comply with some pipe dreams Jerry Brown has.

Water and electricity? I'm sorry. Aren't those services provided by private utilities? Again, isn't it the government whose actions have endangered the Sacramento Delta water shed, cut our water allocation 85% this year to preserve the Delta Smelt, prohibited off-shore oil exploration, prohibited cross-state transport of LNG, administratively eliminated development of nuclear energy while making it cost prohibitive to develop wind or solar energy even though they claim that's what they want?

So out of all the basic services he described this morning, the majority aren't even things provided by the state, should not be messed with by the state, or wherein the state is only giving us marginal bang for our bucks. Nothing there that would justify a $148 Billion dollar budget. NOTHING that should require you and I to pay more taxes to make up a $42 Billion shortfall caused not by us, but by the legislature. But we will have that dubious honor anyway unless I miss my guess. And I rarely miss guesses like this.

Anyway, if you would like to see the whole script of the Governors remarks this morning, here's a link. It's only about 4 double spaced paged so it's a short read with no pictures:

Gene Wunderlich - Selling Southwest California Homes including Temecula, Murrieta & The Southern California Wine Country
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' California State of the State - Short but Missing The Point'
The opinions in this commentary are strictly Gene Wunderlich's personal opinions. While any reasonable and/or rational indivdual should agree wholeheartedly, the opinons reflected herein may not necessarily be those of SRCAR/GADBLOG, ActiveRain, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, The Valley Business Journal or any local or state government or other mental institution. 

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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

It's really sad that a state with so much beauty and abundance should be such a basket case.  Is there an industry in the country that the unions have not yet destroyed??  Of course, California has other forces that dissipated it's forward progress in the name of this movement or that.  It's sad.

Jan 15, 2009 09:30 AM #1
John Walters
Frank Rubi Real Estate - Slidell, LA
Licensed in Louisiana

42 billion man.  And the only answer is to raise taxes.  What happens when the taxed decide to give it up also?

Jan 15, 2009 11:20 AM #2
Broker Nick
South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc. - Pembroke Pines, FL
Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service

Gene ~ I am afraid Barak Obama will take the California way to try to get the economy on the way to recovery. He believes as do the democrats in California that only government can save America.

How educated men and women can't realize that if you spend more than you take in, the debt ratio will eventually crush even the strongest of governments.

Hence California. Hence the future of America.

Jan 15, 2009 11:28 AM #3
Kevin Robinson
Twin Falls, ID
Fractional Developer


Don't hang on too long. The escape hatch is open. Get out while you can.

Jan 16, 2009 12:31 AM #4
Hugh Krone
Weichert Referral Associates - Hamburg, NJ
Realtor, Sussex County NJ

Seriously Gen, you are far too normal to continue living there

Jan 16, 2009 01:38 AM #5
Broker Nick
South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc. - Pembroke Pines, FL
Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service

Gene is a patriot. Apparently, he doesn't want to leave the state he has spent so many years and blood and sweat and tears trying to make it a better place for him and his family and countless others he has touched.

Jan 16, 2009 01:43 AM #6
Gene Wunderlich
1st Action Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
Realtor & Legislative Liaison

WOW - thanks Nicholas. Kind words but only partially true. The other part is it gives me great material to write about. I do love politics and this state, while extremely frustrating for its left-wingnut liberal policies, is great fodder. And it is California after all. I mean, I could be ranting about Gov Blagojevich but then I'd be living in Illinois, Hugh always has plenty of ammo about New Jersey - but it is New Jersey after all (no offense Hugh). Here I can sit and bitch but I am in my shorts and it will be close to 80 today and there's something to be said for that.

Having said that, an exit strategy is in place but I've got to wait until property vaues come back some. Right now my house is worth just slightly more than I paid for it 8 years ago and my wife's place is worth just over what she paid for it 17 years ago. Fortunately for us we never sucked all the equity out when they were worth 3 times that amount but I can't in good conscience leave all that potential equity sitting around for somebody else to scooop up in 3 or 4 years. But in about 5 years - vrooom. Summers at my place in Colorado and winters wherever Pete (pete's Maui blog) can find me a place in Maui or Richie can find me in Kauai.

But it is hard to watch the stupid decisions being made that really hurt this state and I do believe that Obama's policies are likely to do much the same to the rest of the country. The extent to which government has intruded itself into our daily lives is nothing short of frightening - and we'll never be able to achieve the freedoms again that we all took for granted when we were younger.  

Jan 16, 2009 03:38 AM #7
Broker Nick
South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc. - Pembroke Pines, FL
Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service

Well said Gene. Freedom that liberals were talking about Bush taking from us, actually will happen with the Harry Ried and Nancy Pelosi Congress and Obama as much as it is hard to even write it...president.

Jan 16, 2009 06:53 AM #8
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