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The “Amazing California Debt Meter!”

Ladies and gentlemen, step right up to view the Amazing California Debt Meter!

While California’s “happy-go-luckyState Legislators are enjoying their MONTH-LONG vacation (hey, they EARNED it! 😉 ), the budget impasse is costing the state of California about $52 million EACH DAY! Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has a meter that runs in the State Capitol building in Sacramento that totals the cost (just in case anybody CARES). :-)

(Meanwhile, State Controller John Chiang is pleading “old technology” in resisting the reduction of state workers pay to the minimum wage, mandated by the governor and OK’ed by the courts. As for me, I am skeptical! 😉 because Mr. Chiang had the same problem LAST YEAR, and I’ll bet that he could have predicted it for THIS YEAR. :-) In any case, they better hire a consultant soon, before all of the COBOL [just a hunch! :-) ] programmers die of OLD AGE! :-) ) (Note added August 13, 2010: I suggest that Mr. Chiang start learning COBOL [or whatever “ancient language” is in use]. By the time the legislature passes a budget, he won’t have enough money to HIRE a consultant. :-) )

The budget deficit that California is facing currently is $19.1 billion USD, which might amuse those of you in countries that do not have a TOTAL budget that big.

For those of you who are interested and cannot make the trip to Sacramento, one of the Sacramento TV stations has the Amazing California Debt Meter (they call it the “Budget Counter”) on its Web page! (Note added July 20, 2010: I JUST LOOKED and the Amazing California Debt Meter on that page now totals OVER A BILLION DOLLARS! :-) Woooooooo hoooooooo! [Sorry to “shout;” the word “billion” always excites me!] :-) Pretty soon [to paraphrase Everett Dirksen] we will be talking about REAL MONEY! :-) Way to go, California Legislature, if you are back from your vacation yet!)

(Note added August 13, 2010: I just looked at the “Amazing Debt Meter” again, and the total is OVER $2 billion dollars! I guess we ARE starting to talk about REAL MONEY! Foolishly, it looks like NONE of the legislators is worried about being “endangered” in the elections this fall! In California, a lot of legislators feel pretty secure because voters are often given a choice between a “far-left” Democrat and a “far-right” Republican, because the two parties put only extremists (who don’t know HOW to compromise) on the ballot. If any “moderates” could survive the primary elections, they might be in a good position to win.)

Along with other folks in California:

I may be going to hell in a bucket, but at least I’m enjoying the ride.” (YouTube video; “live” Dead) The Grateful Dead, “Hell in a Bucket

(Oh, last night’s TV news said that the state of California is now ranked “dead” :-) last in credit rating, of all 50 states.)

(Note added July 13, 2010: According to very recent data, California ranks 23rd of the 50 states and District of Columbia in per pupil spending in public education, below the national average, in contrast to New York, which ranks first.)

-Bill at

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