When will our legislators just throw up their hands and start over? This system does not work. This state does not function. To anyone who has lived anyone else, this is clear, and yet with Californians there is often this beady-eyed sense of normalicy as the foundation crumbles. The beast needs to be gutted.
Twice-monthly furloughs are the latest turn as the state’s economic situation spirals out of control. Construction projects around California stopped last month, the state controller postponed tax refunds earlier this week and California will run out of cash in the next few weeks unless the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger agree on a plan to fix the state’s $42 billion deficit.
DMV closures, along with the shutting of 28 state office buildings around California, are the most public manifestation yet of the state’s financial woes. The furloughs, which affect up to 238,000 employees the first and third Fridays each month until June 2010, are expected to save the state $1.4 billion.
One interesting byproduct of this looming disaster, which is eerily ignored on a massive scale, is that an actual reckoning will be forced upon us and real changes won’t be an abstraction touted in elections but something that must and will be borne after this long and wicked labour.