Tuesday, January 11, 2011

California - the Fool's Gold

Much anticipated and dreaded new budget for California was put forth by the new governor Jerry Brown and all the fears were realized and then some.

Governor Brown presented us a rather honest budget, which needs to eliminate a budget gap of about $25 billion out of $86 billion budget.

He proposed cuts to some social services, lowered salaries for non-union state employees and a huge cut to the three-tiered university systems in California.  University of California, the jewel of the public universities in the nation, will get 25% less from the state and that translates into about 13% of the total budget, which includes funding from state, grants and students' fees.

University of California posted the image below to demonstrate the stress the University is facing:

In the past decades, California was justifiably called the Golden State, who led the nation in innovation.  That economic engine was largely the product of excellent public educational system this state used to have.  Things changed after tax-restructuring in 1970s (Proposition 13, 1978) and the funding for education became less and less adequate.  Finally, we are to see that students' fees are to surpass the funding from the state.

This budget is a bitter pill and we must swallow.  It was Californians' own undoing.  We are kill the goose that lays the golden eggs in order not to starve to death.  In the long run, if the tax situation did not change (Republicans are still opposing to any tax increase), we will have neither eggs nor goose.

The color of State of California is that of the fool's gold.

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