Government Services vs. Government Pensions

When Governor Schwarzenegger released the updated proposed 10-11 State budget last Friday, replete with major program cuts designed to lead to a balanced budget, two programs dear to the hearts of Democrats were on the chopping block – CalWORKs and the In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program.

Comments were soon made by the Governor’s staff that the money saved by eliminating these programs was around $ 6 billion, just about what is in the proposed State budget to fund the State Employee pension benefit for the year.

So, the stage has been set for the application of logic that goes like this – Democrats, if only you would agree to sweeping changes to the State pension system there would be enough money from that to save these two programs that you like.

One of the many dilemmas in this logic is that both the IHSS workers and the State employees are represented by powerful labor unions. Is it logical that one union will take a whipping in order that the jobs and benefits of the members of the other union will be saved?

It seems plausible that the Republicans are pleased that the table has finally been set for an either or dilemma like this one. Time will tell if the special interests will sit at this table and partake of the sparse offerings, or if they will just tip the table over leaving the mess that is usually what is called the annual budget of the State of California.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.