From Washington to Sacramento to the seats of power in L.A. city and county government, poltiicians suddenly have awakened to the fact that these are hard times — $700 billion to bail out bankers will do that to you.
Of course, ordinary citizens already knew how bad things are because they go to the grocery story, pay for their own gas and have been scrambling to pay the mortgage for a long time.
But don’t worry. Nearly three months late, the governor signed a record $145 billion state budget, nixing $1 billion out of spending for the elderly poor and the poor with children — a budget his own money man
Mike Genest called “not nearly adequate” and Democratic State Controller John Chiang, a Democrat said “was out of balance the
moment it was signed.”
At the county, Chief Executive Officer Bill Fujioka put a
hold on new spending, including projects already approved, in
anticipation of his final budget presentation in a couple of weeks.
“If I can use an analogy of sorts, we need to start storing
our nuts because it’s going to be a very cold winter,” Fujioka said.
At City Hall, the mayor and his colleagues indicated they intended to store theirs to protect the city’s pension funds, debt portfolios, possible future bond expenditures and the impact on capital projects — and crush yours.
“If this continues in the way it has over the last few weeks, then it’s
inevitable that the department’s going to have to look at our water and
power rates,” Councilman Tony Cardenas is quoted as saying in the last graph of the Times story.
A fount of wisdom, Cardenas also puts the finishing touch in the Daily News story: “We should not be using public tax dollars to reward bad behavior.”
The mayor himself took a similar tack: “It’s absolutely ludicrous that anybody would propose a $700-billion
bailout that could go to more than a trillion dollars . . . without
regulation, without accountability.”
It’s enough to make you laugh — or cry, depending on your mood.
Here these people — everyone one of them — has squandered the public’s wealth while achieving precious little for the public benefit.
And now they’re giving the pointed finger to Washington and Wall Street 3,000 miles away and talking about “accountability” and “rewarding bad behavior” and the problems they face borrowing money to cover up the phony budgets they approved.
And they even have the nerve to talk raising water and power rates yet again? For what? to give DWP workers another 6 percent raise next year? Oh, I almost forgot they’ve already written that into contract.