Broke as a shoeless drunk on skid row, California has begun furloughing its civil service employees two days a month. This amounts to roughly a nine percent wage cut.
The “furlough” became official after the state’s employee unions challenged this "governator"-mandated slap in the face in court and lost. The Los Angeles Times reported:
"This state is in a huge mess . . . the scope of which is unprecedented," Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette said in a courtroom packed with government workers. His ruling called the governor's order "reasonable and necessary under the circumstances."According to the Los Angeles Times, the screwing of public servants applies to:
He acknowledged that his decision could have "devastating" financial consequences for some workers, but said state law and union contracts provide the governor with the authority to cut the payroll during an emergency.
“Engineers, scientists, nurses, Department of Motor Vehicles clerks, pharmacists, Caltrans maintenance workers, dietitians, psychologists, social workers, computer programmers, unemployment caseworkers, full-time state commissioners and attorneys not working for the state attorney general...”Ironically, the pay-cut-by-furlough does not apply to the state’s legislators, who could solve the problem by increasing the taxes on upper income earners. You know, bankers, movie producers, and other fat cats who contributed to legislative and gubernatorial campaigns.
Fat chance you’ll see that tax increase happen! Better to whack a struggling $40,000 a year civil servant with a nine percent pay cut than to make a billionaire cut back on his personal use of private jets.
Governor “Ahhnold” Schwarzenegger might have stood up to the big money interests and defended the little guys who work for him. But it turns out that when you get down to where the rubber hits the road, he’s just another girly-man.
California taxpayers are getting a raw deal, too. They voted for Republicans to get their taxes lowered. Now they’re not even getting their tax refunds back. Instead, taxpayers who are due refunds are getting “IOUs” from the state. Live long enough, you might even see the money.
A source in California informs me that he has the solution to this mess: “Put a proposition on the ballot that says when civil service workers get their pay cut, the legislators and governor’s staff get the same percentage cut. That’ll fix the problem fast.”
I agree. But I fear you’ll wait until Judgment Day to see that happen. The proposition will meet a wall of opposition from rich Republicans, who are perfectly happy to hear the change in their pockets jingle all the way, while California collapses around them.
Thanks to failed Republican gubernatorial administration and leadership, and to bad legislative judgment, California’s macho mood has stopped pumping iron and started sucking air.
Vote for a Republican and End of Days is what you get.