Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"It absolutely will not stop until you are dead"

Arnold's feeling wonderful about the "great, great accomplishment" of a state budget that basically cuts education and social spending off at the thighs has passed in California.

Cuts, cuts, and more cuts -- and of course, no new taxes. Brilliant republican money policy that's worked so well in our country in the last decade!

A while back, I heard Arnold say that there was too much "fat" in their budget, and the legislators knew where it was. So let's look at the "fat" they cut:
Public education: $4.3 billion in direct cuts and another $1.7 billion in deferrals
Higher education: $3 billion in cuts
CalWorks: $528 million in cuts
Home health aides: $226 million in cuts
Medi-Cal: $1 billion in cuts
State workers: 13.8% total pay cut (in unpaid work furloughs)
Local-level governments: $4 billion in total cuts

According to the article cited above, "There are no new taxes here unless you count fee hikes to college students, pay cuts to state workers, and benefit cuts to millions who rely on state benefits new taxes. Rejected was a $1.50 per pack tax on cigarettes. Another item rejected was a $15 annual vehicle license fee hike. And the big one that has been rejected is the 9.9% tax on oil extraction that would have given around $1 billion to higher education and could have offset some of the cuts there."

Brilliant republican governance at work!
But hey, prisons went relatively unscathed! Good to know that they're investing in the future... just what that future might look like, however, is beginning to sound a little like a certain movie that starred the Governator -- in which a few rebels fought against killing machines....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Well, I just got word that I will not be able to start school at all in the 2009-2010 academic year. Thanks to the Governator's budget cuts, the entire California State University system (of which Sonoma State U is a part) can't accept any new students. I'd hoped for a special enrollment exception, but it didn't come through.

I heard the State-terminator on NPR a few weeks ago talking about how they have to cut the "fat" and the "waste" in their budget to survive the recession. Since when did education become fat and waste?

I'm really bummed about this; I'd hoped to be able to continue my quest for a criminalistics degree. I have outstanding grades and a very good GPA, I'm a hard worker with specific goals in mind, and I'm trying to transfer from a very good school (Penn State). But it doesn't matter, thanks to the miracle of the Bush Economy (thanks, Tengrain) and the thievery of Wall Street billionaires.

The only way a college can make money is to get more students, yet they can't accept any more students because they don't have the staff and money to open more classes. What a ridiculous situation. It's like the conundrum of not being able to get a job with experience, but not being able to get experience without a job. It's stupid. But the state school system has no choice.

Guess I'll try other schools in the area, and just take basics and stuff I need -- then try to transfer to Sonoma State (which is the only school in the area with the criminalistics degree) later. Matty tells me he's hearing it'll take years to close California's budget deficit. That's pretty depressing.