Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mr Freeze

Coupla stories, separated by only twelve hours, from the broke-ass state of California, where they're still printing IOUs to pay for city services.

As you probably know, the one-time golden state finally managed to put together a budget, one that rather severely scaled down social services ranging from education to AIDs funding to state parks. Well, it happens, you over-spend and under-tax, and before you know it, you hardly have enough scratch left to give Michael Jackson a decent send-off.

Yesterday: Once the budget hit his desk, Governor Schwarzenegger, in a dramatic gesture, used his line item veto super-powers to make $489 million in additional cuts. "This budget is kind of like the good, the bad and the ugly," he said, apparently with the most disadvantaged taking the Eli Wallach role. Among the new cuts, $80 million for workers aiding abused and neglected children; $50 million for healthcare to children in poor families; $50 million for developmentally delayed children under age 3; $16 million for domestic-violence programs; and $6.3 million from services for the elderly. Times is tough, and property tax is frozen.

Today: Schwarzenegger announced that "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 and Naked Gun 4 are among the first 25 movie and television programs to qualify for a state-funded production tax credit aimed at keeping entertainment industry dollars in California." Cost of program? $500 million.

Nice symbolism, Mr Freeze. Hope you get a nice political return on your investment.

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