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January 28, 2009     The Julian News
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January 28, 2009
 

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January 28, 2009 California Commentary What Budget Crisis? by Jon Coupal Humans have been around for tens of thousands of years. And yet, as recently as a thousand years ago, there was a broad consensus -- even among the most highly educated -- that the world was flat. The problem with "consensus" is that it becomes groupthink. If an idea has no challengers, it becomes difficult to disprove and those who speak against the established orthodoxy are always marginalized. There seems to be a consensus in California that we have a "Budget Crisis." But if "crisis" is defined as a situation where impending disaster is a probable outcome -- think Cuban Missile Crisis -- then the notion that California is in the midst of crisis needs to be challenged. In support of the crisis mentality for California's predicament is the contention that California is "going to run out of money" by February. This is inaccurate for two reasons. First, even with significant reductions in tax revenues to the state and local governments, California remains a tax producing behemoth. Because of its $1.6 trillion economy, California will generate tens of billions of dollars more than next-ranked Texas. The distinct nature of California's economy reveals the second inaccuracy. It is not California that is running out of money, it is California government that, more accurately, has a cash flow-problem. And government is going to run out of money only if one assumes a continuation of the rate of spending based on previous years. But why should we be forced to make this assumption? It is not a "crisis" if you are merely driving down the freeway. It is a crisis if you fail to slow down when you get to your exit. Reducing government expenditures when revenues decrease should be as natural as slowing down a car when approaching an off ramp ---and we can do it without invoking the "C" word. You want a real crisis? Talk to the folks at Circuit City and Mervyns. Except for inventory liquidations, there is no more revenue coming in the door. Could those corporations and thousands of other small and large businesses going through bankruptcy have avoided this fate with a ten or fifteen percent reduction in revenue? Probably. Although the vast majority of Californians have indeed been convinced that government is in the midst of a budget crisis, our political leaders have another problem on their hands: Not everyone cares. As recently reported in the Sacramento Bee, citizens are more concerned with their own issues than with the threat of a government shutdown. It is not that they want failure, it is simply that they don't see a direct impact on .them. For that reason, and motivated to ensure that the voting public will resign itself to a tax increase, our political leadership has taken steps in an effort to engage -- or frighten -- the public. Sure, if asked, the taxpaying public would prefer that California governments' books be balanced, but the majority of citizens do not rely directly on government for their livelihoods. The first scare tactic -- and one targeted specifically at the productive segment of our population -- is the threat to pay tax refunds with IOUs. But is this really necessary? We have our doubts. It turns out that there exist in the vaults of governments billions of dollars of unused funds. Whether it is redevelopment money, excess revenue from the tobacco tax or millionaires' tax, the account balances of dozens of funds under the control of the state do not reflect the level of poverty we are being told. What is sorely needed now is a healthy dose of skepticism about the threats now being issued by our State Controller, State Treasurer and Director of Finance. Just one question illustrates this concern. We have been told that, without a resolution of the budget deficit, California would be shut out of the bond market. If that is true, then how did California just recently manage to sell almost $350. million in Department of Water Resource Bonds? Obviously, someone still recognizes that debt issuances by California are a worthy investment. All this is not to say everything is coming up roses in the Golden State..To the contrary, government's rampant overspending continues and we indeed have a cash flow problem. But let's not accept without critical analysis a "cure" for a problem that now appears to be significantly overstated. Jon Coupal is President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association -- California's largest taxpayer organization -- which is dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and promoting taxpayers' rights. W ekly SUDOKU by Linda Thistle 1 6 2 7 8 7 5 1 9 8 5 4 7 9 6 . 1 TT 2 3 4 t 1 2 8 9 1 7 6 2 "6 5 1 7 3 4 2 5 Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each small 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. DIFFIC;ULTY THIS WEEK: * * Moderate ** Challenging ** * HO0 BOY! @2009 King Features Synd. Inc, fill ir i F i ii i The Julian News 13 Change Has Come! Now What? Lucky T. Pettersen JHS.Junior January 20Th, a day that will be remember for eons to come. Despite a slight flub by the Supreme Court's Chief Justice, President Barack Obama took the executive oath to finalize what has been three months of hard work and antici pation. Perhaps this "transition to power" has been the smoothest witnessed in decades; surprisingly to some, the Bush administration passed the torch seamlessly to the star-studded Obama team. Despite minor hindrances within the new cabinet, such as tax evasion or etc., it would seem as if the many promises are sure to ensue. With exception to the countless balls, parades, and waltz's following the inauguration, Obama's first few days in office have certainly been busy. Rather than a haphazard settling in process, there has been a confident, swagger-like approach to solving our great nation's countless dilemmas. For a younger high school generation, this is the first time an election has taken place that has been understood and debatable. Many students were divided in their beliefs due to very diverse motifs; but regardless of ones choice it has certainly been amazing to.see such intelligence shared amongst peers. In relation to this, it has undoubtedly been an unforgettable election for all who have witnessed it. Regardless of age, ethnicity, cultural/personal beliefs, or even geographical location this campaign will Undoubtedly alter history. .Perhaps these reasons truly exemplify one of the superb outcomes of this election, global unity. For many years America has been frowned upon by much of the world. However, at this juncture faith has been restored in the United States among many countries, regardless of power. To some, hope has not only come to America, but to Earth. At this crucial exigency in American history it is crucial that we as citizens support our Commander in Chief. Many voted for either Senator McCain orfor Senator Obama, but regardless of whether or not you won or lost we must support our President. To some, his choices and beliefs may be questioned and too extreme. Yet, if we truly wish to lift ourselves out of this 16.5 ACRE BEAUTY High Meadow Ranch $299,000 $1000/Month, Whispering Pines, 1 br, I ba, furnished or not hot tub and optional guest cottage, hole we've dug, we must unify. The United States of America is a republic and the people have chosen, despite party or belief we as a nation must rally behind the populace's choice and support our democracy and what it stands fbr. As stated by Rudyard Kipling, "For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack". New Listing $399,900 Harrison Park 3 br, 2 1/2 ba. plus 1,200 sq, fl, guest house over garage on 5 acres. 2 horse barns, outbuildings and small fruit orchard. FJug Crossword .83 ACRE, PALOMAR VIEWS Owner Will Carry $59,900 ACROSS T'- ~ 5---] ~-- 1 Bake sale .... org. 12 4 TV reality .... series 15 8 Venomousvipers 21122. _~~. 1= 30l, 12 Lummox 13 Destroy ,Ca ea !, dele 34 -- 15 Flattery 17 Uncompli- cated 18 Passbook 4I 5I 5I abbr. [49 19 Orator's place ~ -- 21 Redeemable item of yore ~-- 24 Trench 6-6-" -- 25 Swiss canton 26 Oktobeffest souvenir 56 Approach 7 Sleep 35 Roscoe 28 Jabbers? 57 Privy to 8 Germ-free 38 Bill's partner 32 Give . 58 Previous 9 Attempt temporarily night 10 Mexican 34 "Married ... 59 "No its, --, or money With buts" 11 Charon's Children" 60 Slave to river mother crosswords? 16 .Potent stick 36 Eats 61 Morning 20 "-- 37 Reason moisture Wieder- 39 -- Mahal sehen" 41 Khan title DOWN 21 Nonsense" 42 Tibetan 1 Neg. opp. 22 Sandwich gazelle 2 Chinese path cookie 44 Big cheese 3 Developing 23 Young seal 46 "Confoun- an- 27 Obtain dedF attachment? 29 Kept tabs on 50 Zodiac cat 4 Usage 30 Takeout 51 Wheelbase 5 Lennon's request terminus lady 31 Booty 52 Never to 6 Techno-date 33 Some go for return books the gold $1300/Month, Harrison Park 2br, 2ba, Like new with large dining room and kitchen, All appliances included, 2009 King Features Synd., Inc. As Heard On The Streets Of Julian by Eric Stamets Clinton Returns Computer Keys To Obama An 8 year old mystery about whether or not Presidents Clinton's staff jokingly removed all the "W" keys from the White House computers when George W. Bush moved in was solved when President Obama's staff occupied the offices. On the first day, new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented President Obama with a plastic freezer bag full of "W" keys for various keyboards and said that "Bill sent them." Up to now it had not been known if this had been true or just was one of those silly things people make up on the internet. Only now can we appreciate the severity that little practical jokes can inadvertently cause. The typists that were responsible for typing critical and classified re ports for the Bush administration found their typing speed diminished because of the missing key and some keyboards had a little metal pin that protruded up and hurt their left I"Y- I-T- ring finger so much, that they had to wear a sewing thimble while typing. The most im portant report that was slowed down was'the one analyzing Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" and the invasion was launched before the report could be finished. In fact the rush draft that was requested was hastily entitled "eapons of Mass Destruction" and had the whole place in a tizzy and set the place back days while they tried to figure out what "eapons" were. In the interest of fostering newfound bi-partisan cooperation, President Bush proudly pointed out that his staff had not removed the "B" keys or the 'S"timulus keys or even the "$" keys from the keyboards. He said, "It'll take them at least a month to find out what we did." R.ED. by Mike MartaJ}d ~f ~,~A,w~ ,'r~r,~ I~i~~~ llPAR'r~ou'r~--4~ / ANDCI4tL~9:~LL~SL,~4/~~"~I[~ ~I4EN I 40 1974 Dolly Parton hit 43 Rolling Stones classic 45 Shell-game need 46 Carvey or Delany 47 The yoke's on them 48 Pleased 49 A long time 53 "Smoking or __?" 54 Rd. 55 Evergreen type Weekly SUDOKU Answer 6 L 8 g ~ L l~ Z 8 1~ L 9 6 ~ ~ 1~ 9 L 6 L 8 6 8 ~ L 1~ L 9 1~ 9 L g 8 L 6 ~ S L ~ 9 t~ 6 8 L 9 1~ L 9 ~ L 6 g 6 L 9 8 t~ 8 L 6 ~ t~ 9 -- King Crossword - Answers Solution time: 25 mins. N~ a ola Nlslalsle N V a A a 1N 0 N 1 lulv a N ,~ v:M~ x v Igllg ?l]131NIol~lC E'E v[~ v I ] M!o HiOlglalalalNla "1 AIS v s J. ia J_lslolalNInl~lv o Sla slvlslalololvl a