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Where Is Gov. Moonbeam When You Need Him?

Back in the day when he was Gov. Moonbeam, you couldn’t help but love Jerry Brown as the embodiment of everything kooky, adventurous and free-spirited about California where so many believed in impossible dreams.

Today, he seems less about moonbeams lighting our hopes than a tired old man-in- the-moon who double-talks like every other politicians of every stripe.

One moment he is the tough guy, promising to rein in public workers’ pensions and salaries, balance the budget without gimmicks by slashing spending and do whatever is necessary to get California back on track.

The next minute he’s crying about people losing their jobs and moms losing their child care while he inflate revenue numbers, defers costs into the future and raids every fund the state has, like the settlement from banks that was supposed to help the people ripped off on home loans and one-time windfall like Facebook going public.

He’s still relying on “triggers” that never seem to get pulled even when the budget deficit doubles to $16 billion so he wants to soak the rich with massive tax hikes while mortgaging everyone else’s future to build a bullet train that only the rich could afford to ride.

What he really needs to do is pull the trigger and put a bullet into the nonsense that the problem is the recession rather than his own and the legislature’s gutless incompetence.

This is  a weak economic recovery. This is the recovery. It’s as good as it gets.

Rather than canoeing a little left and a little right as he used to say back in the day, he now seems timid as he takes two steps after each tentative step forward.

The last great American newspaper columnist Mike Royko popularized the Gov. Moonbeam label in 1979, calling California  “the world’s largest outdoor mental asylum … If it babbles and its eyeballs are glazed, it probably comes from California.”

Everyone got a laugh out of making fun of the state, even Californians but it really isn’t so apt any longer. It isn’t California that’s crazy; it’s the whole world that’s gone crazy.

We are in a state of perpetual warfare and global tension even as the 200-year boom that created the vast middle class populations in America and Europe is over. The First World countries are becoming nations of rich and power with shrinking middle classes while giant Third World countries like China, India and Brazil are booming.

Since the truth of our condition exploded in our faces in October 2008, our leaders have tried to buy time by cooking the books and political posturing.

Time has run out. The party is over. Consumer demand is not going to drive the economy. We need to face reality and get to work remaking our society.

Jerry Brown knows better than what he’s done. His proposal to give state workers the four-day, 38-hour week with a 5 percent pay cut shows he know we have to redefine work rules and income expectations.

We have to create a society that values happiness and freedom — not personal wealth and legalistic controls.

We need to create a sustainable society that serves the broad populace — not a phony “green” society that makes elitists feel good about themselves as if their Prius doesn’t pollute the air.

Jerry Brown knows better. So do all kinds of people in high and low places. Yet we keep on fighting for petty little advantages and keep on hoping everything will get better if we just put a smiley face on it and pretend we solved what’s wrong.

Time is not on our side. But I can’t help but wonder if people like Jerry Brown (and Barack Obama for that matter) and all the others who know what has to be done but won’t do it, what hope is there?

This entry was posted in 2012 Election, 2013 Election, 2013 LA Elections, Hot Topics. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Where Is Gov. Moonbeam When You Need Him?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Send our Mayor & City Council to “balance” the state budget. They are able to present a balanced budget each year. They don’t even have to lay-off employees.

  2. Sierra says:

    The one great thing Gov. Brown did (with some help from the CA Supreme Court) was to abolish Redevevlopment Agencies.

    Whatever the motive, no other Governor has even thought about it and the CA Republican party abandoned their party platform and voted to save Redevelopment, Private beneficiary Eminent Domain, Borrowing without voter approval, and Corporate welfare.

    Because of that, the City of LA has an extra $53 million added to this year’s budget which may slightly offset the taxpayer funds of $52 million bestowed on Billionaire Eli Broad.

  3. Teddy says:

    “Jerry Brown knows better. So do all kinds of people in high and low places. Yet we keep on fighting for petty little advantages and keep on hoping everything will get better if we just put a smiley face on it and pretend we solved what’s wrong.

    Time is not on our side. But I can’t help but wonder if people like Jerry Brown (and Barack Obama for that matter) and all the others who know what has to be done but won’t do it, what hope is there?”

    This says it all. Thank you. June 5 is election day here in Ca., VOTE your
    own ideas not what you think the pols want. This is OUR HOME.

    • ex valley says:

      Just remember if it’s an incumbent they should run on their record. Whether its achievements or lack of. And if the record is poor, would it make sense to replace these incumbents with new people?

      But then of course you voted for jerry Brown. Enough said. Whitman wasn’t the best candidate but come on, maybe she wouldn’t go from 9 something bil budget shortfall to 16 bil in a few months.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Everyone is caught in this vicious whirlpool and we’d rather drown than swim to safety. Unions need more employees to augment their taxfree treasury, politicians need that money to get elected and so round and round we go with no solutions. Brown did one great thing –abolished the CRAs, but it is not enough. He needs to demolish the public unions. There aren’t enough wealthy to tax. They are too smart to pay the higher taxes. The co-founder of Facebook left the country as one example. The burden will be borne by the middle class, if not in taxes then in deteriorating infrastructure. Brown can achieve greatness by doing the right thing or go down in the history books as the political whores like Villargoisa and all the City Councilmembers.

    • ex valley says:

      Brown will not demolish the public unions because they gave him money to get elected. They spent how much? Probably 50-60 mil to get him there and they want to be paid back.

      • MissAnthrope says:

        Of course, Ole Jer won’t do the right thing and crush the unions.
        What was the 1st thing he did after being elected? He capitulated to the prison guards and gave the bums big fat raises!

        It’s ironic how frugal Brown is with his own money while he loves to spend ours on foolishness like bullet trains and prison guards who could go without raises for five years and still be making too much money.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well, he can keep the public unions & he won’t get the tax increases. It is the public pensions that will bring California down to its knees.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Too many people are in jails for frivolous crimes. Amend that. Reduce the prison guard numbers & the jail population. We need structural changes in every aspect of governance. Jerry can’t afford to kick the can–he’ll be dead like most of us by then.

  7. Wayne Subbing in for Ron says:

    My Post was deleted by “One Eye Ron” thus he’s returned to protecting his Left Wing friends. So, rather than do anything constructive, I’ll post some pro-Liberal crap:
    Obama: Gooooooood!!!!!! Romney: SATAN, EVIL REAGAN REPUBLICAN!!!!!!!
    Oh Boy, Feinstein is getting 6 more years, she’s such a great asset for California Public Safety!!!
    Republicans: Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaddddd!!!!
    Democrats: Gooooooooooooddddd!!!!!
    Why can’t more Democrats win elected office? They’re doing such a great job creating all those new jobs, lowering the unemployment rate, and turning this housing depression around, aren’t they?

  8. Joshua says:

    Whatever happened to California’s Balance of Payments with the Federal Treasury that the California Institute used to have a report on?

    Last data I can find only goes to fiscal 2003:

    “For every [federal] tax dollar paid by Californians in 2003, the federal government spent 79 cents for grants, wages, contracts, retirement benefits, etc. It was California’s 18th year in a row as a net donor state.”

    In fiscal 2003, the Federal Tax deficit was $50 billion dollars.

    Has anything changed since 2003? Or is this data just too politically inconvenient?

    That fiscal black hole the State has with the federal government would more than fix any California state fiscal shortfall.

    California is just too reliably a Democrat state. Nobody cares or is concerned. Anybody think Mormon Mitt is going to win the State in the Presidential election? Doesn’t matter if California is turning into an economic black hole, Obama sealed up the state for himself in November when he came out in support for same sex marriage.

    No California politician has any national stature or poses any threat on the national political stage. Both Senators and the Governor are all in their seventies. Political geriatrics. Mayor Villar a national political figure? Too funny to even think about.

  9. Teddy says:

    Wayne: Are you high on something?

  10. Vote blindly, then complain says:

    Let’s be honest. The real problem is Geithner’s pre-Hooverian economic policy that the only thing that matters is keeping Wall Street “confident.” That means the buck stops with Obama, but it turns out Obama also is an economic ignoramus. Thus, he won’t fire Geithner. In January 2009 it was clear that Geithner was grossly incompetent — a Rumsfeld of domestic policy. By summer 2009, it was clear that Geithner would destroy this Administration and he has achieved that goal.

    As the nation’s largest and most productive state, California had to suffer more than others. For decades, we also had the multi-billion dollar tax drain of the CRA’s, but Gov Brown stopped that. (Gov Arnie had paved the way by vetoing AB 2531.)

    As long as the twin idiots of Geithner and Obama pursue this insane Austerity Agenda, we will never recover. No, we are not in a recovery. We are barely staying alive and almost everyone is actually slipping backwards. The wealthy are not job creators nor are any businessmen job creators.

    Since 1936, we have know the identify of the Job Creator in economic downturns. It is the Federal Government. Only by massive deficit spending can the feds get enough cash into the hands of the consumers so that they BUY stuff, and that is the sole and only reason any businessman ever hires an employee — because demand for his product or services has increased, and the only way he can make more money is to hire someone or buy a new machine forcing the machine manufacturer to hire people.

    When we have a recession, there is only one entity with the size and ability to put money into the pockets of the people who do not have it — yes, the evil Federal Government. Only an absolutely economic moron would give one cent to Wall Street. That category includes the entire GOP and most Dems.

    Wall Street had not lent out the trillions because there is no consumer demand and businessmen have stockpiles of cash — which they do not invest in employees or equipment because there is no demand. They refuse to re-fi homes because Geithner set up programs for banks which rewards them for foreclosures and penalties them for re-fi’s. It’s worst that Alice Through the Looking Glass.

    The problem is not the Gov; it is certainly not the unions. The problem is extremely gross and morally unforgivable economic ignorance of this Administration and of course the GOP.

    Here’s the real danger. If we continue on this insane austerity path much longer, we will reach the point where the Deficit is a problem. It certainly is not a problem now except for the fools that understand nothing about fiscal policy, The danger point with the Deficit comes when we cannot borrow enough money to stuff cash into the pockets of the consumers to jump start the economy. That results in widespread poverty and political revolution.

    If Gov Brown could deficit spend, he might be able to pull California out of this recession which is moving towards a deep depression.

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