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Budget / Public Option

Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2009 3:55 AM

The deadline for legislators to complete the state budget here in California has come and gone again.

So, a mere four months after a six-month stalemate over last year's budget, there's absolutely no progress and no sense of priorities or leadership to be found, except for dunderheaded ideas like cutting funds for schools.

The budget should be simple and straightforward - focused on preserving the state's infrastructure while promoting those elements that contribute to stable, long-term growth. It can't be so horribly complicated that our elected representatives are repeatedly reduced to glaring at each other from across the aisle.

If you can't arrive at a budget through sensible cutbacks or compromises, then you need to find additional sources of revenue, which includes raising taxes.

Perhaps we need to subtract $1000 from legislators' salaries per day that they fail to arrive at a budget.

And what's with the equally boneheaded nonsense out of Congress dissing a public healthcare option?

What part of 'promote the general welfare' don't y'all get?

If the much-ballyhooed private market - the same people who brought us the current economic depression - can't provide sensible, affordable healthcare, government must provide alternatives, through regulation or operation of its own insurance/healthcare system.

And why isn't anyone in the media asking how much healthcare the TARP funds that underwrote such dire needs as office remodels and multimillion dollar bonuses for corporate executives would have provided? Why is bailing out corporate criminals more important than assuring that Americans have access to healthcare?

You'd think that in the face of the H1N1 pandemic - and the likelihood of a severe flu season at year's end - we'd have our priorities a little straighter than this.

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