Meg Whitman: Maths Iz Hard: UPDATE Arnold Enjoyes Meg Math
UPDATED at the top, as the Governor lays off 5,000 state workers, the perfect thing to get California working again. He's basically borrowing from the Whitman playbook here. See below for why that's crazy.
It's a long way until the 2010 Governor's race, but I think Calitics needs to do our part in pointing out that Meg Whitman is frequently full of crap. She's seized on this idea that California's problems can merely be solved by firing all the state employees. Now, first of all, California has the second-lowest rate of state employees per capita in the entire nation, a conveniently forgotten fact by eMeg and the rest of the swinging corporate raiders in the Yacht Party. Next, as Josh Richman explains:
“We haven’t looked hard enough at where we can cut. We can lay off 20,000 to 30,000 state employees while prioritizing public safety and teachers,” Whitman told the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. “We shouldn’t have to lay off teachers, we need to lay off bureaucrats.”
Fact is, “cut the bloated bureaucracy” has been a GOP rallying cry for decades, and yet whenever the study, the audit or the blue-ribbon commission report comes back, we’re suddently talking about far less “waste, fraud and abuse” than they’d implied. Is there some fat to cut? Sure. Should we? Probably. Will it fix this deficit? Not even close.
The budget deficit now looks to be about $21.3 billion; it would be about $15 billion if voters approved Propositions 1C, 1D and 1E next week, but that almost certainly ain’t gonna happen. And $21 billion isn’t 30,000 jobs, as George Skelton so eloquently put it back in February:According to the state budget document, there is the equivalent of 205,000 full-time jobs controlled by the governor. There actually are more workers than that because some are part-time. Do the math based on 16 months, since that’s now the time frame of the projected deficit, assuming a balanced-budget package could be implemented by March 1.
You could lay off all those state workers — rid yourself of their pay and benefits — and save only $24.4 billion.
Meanwhile, you would have dumped 160,000 convicted felons onto the streets because all the prisons were closed after the guards and wardens were fired. There’d be no Highway Patrol because all the officers were canned. State parks would be closed because there were no fee-collectors or rangers.
Truth is the savings wouldn’t even add up to $24.4 billion because some of those employees are paid out of small special funds that are self-sustaining.
If these people were in an empty trash bin, they'd still clamor to "cut the waste."
Let me again commend Chris Kelly's Meg Whitman week on the Huffington Post, he's doing an oppo research job that should practically ensure him a spot on any number of campaign staffs. I particularly like the part detailing the $1.78 million she stole from Goldman Sachs, which for all I know might make her a folk hero.
Next year oughta be fun.
...by the way, I'm not letting other Yacht Party gubernatorial hopefuls off the hook either, like Tom Campbell. He predictably dissembles about California's low per-pupil spending on K-12 education, making the same debunked "hey, the schools have plenty of money" claim that Dan Walters likes to peddle. Allow me to introduce them both to Julia Rosen circa April 2008, which by the way is before the even deeper cuts to schools made in the February budget agreement.