California can avoid financial “Armageddon”

The State of California faces a massive $28 billion dollar budget deficit, according to Bloomberg.  “We are heading toward a financial Armageddon,” Schwarzenegger said. “The problem gets worse every day,” he said. He said the deficit estimate for the $100 billion general fund has grown from $11.2 billion to $14.8 billion,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

Could legalized gambling help solve part of this problem?  The State of Nevada legalized gambling during the Great Depression.  At the time they had a large underground gambling economy.  “Today, more than 43 percent of the state general fund is fed by gambling tax revenue and more than 34 percent of the state’s general fund is pumped into public education, according to Reuters.

Today the State of Nevada runs ads here in California that tout their lower taxes and pro-business attitude (see graphic above) as they try to convince California businesses to relocate to Nevada.  Well, perhaps it is time for California to offer gaming so we can enjoy lower taxes too!

Gambling revenue is way off today, in Nevada, due to the global Bush depression, however Nevada is still averaging a billion dollars a month in gaming revenue, according to the State of Nevada.  Why should California concede any of that revenue to Nevada?  Can you imagine what sort of business casinos would do in Hollywood, San Francisco and maybe even Santa Ana?  And near other tourist attractions, such as Disneyland, Universal Studios, and San Diego’s Sea World?

What about Indian gaming?  Indian casinos in California netted over $7 billion in revenue in 2007, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.  The gambling tribes do little for our state.  Why concede them the revenue?

California could be looking at an annual $20 billion in gaming revenue!  And think of all the construction and casino jobs that legalized gaming would create in the Golden State?

But why stop at gambling?  Why not revise our Three Strikes law too?  If all three strikes had to be violent crimes a lot less people would end up in prison for life.

“Under a new state law, California will spend $7.4 billion to build 40,000 new prison beds, and that is over and above the current annual operating budget of more than $10 billion. Interest payments alone on the billions of dollars of bonds that will be sold to finance the new construction will amount to $330 million a year by 2011 — all money that will not be available for higher education or other state priorities,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

We can recapture some of the money being blown on prisons and prison guards not only be revising our Three Strikes law, but also by enforcing Prop. 215, the medical marijuana initiative – or decriminalizing marijuana altogether.

We also could save untold millions by getting rid of the death penalty.  Let’s face it.  These criminals never do get put to death.  Instead they file one appeal after another, tying up our courts.  Just sentence them to life in prison, no parole.  That may be worse than death! 

We could also save millions of dollars by giong to a part-time State Legislature.  And by changing the way we pay retired legislators when they are tabbed to serve on state commissions. 

Just look at what former State Senator Carole Migden just lucked into.  “Migden, 60, will earn more than $132,000 a year as a member of the California Integrated Waste Management Board, $16,000 a year more than she earned as a senator, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.  Does anyone else think that is nuts!

Honestly, do we really need a full-time state legislature?  Our state legislators have proven to be a bunch of useless gas-bags, so why not cut their hours and their pay?  While we are at it we ought to also take away the legislator’s car allowance and per diems.  If they want to serve the public, then let them do it at their own expense!

California can get out of the budget hole we are in.  But to do so we are going to have to make some tough decisions – and we are going to have to start thinking like Libertarians.  Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have any answers, so why not let freedom lead the way?

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.