Terminator. Governator. Exterminator.

Posted: September 15, 2007 in Bureauacracy, Government, Homeless Shelters, Homelessness, Money

Everyone is tightening their belts when it comes to spending. They have to. The economy isn’t all that great. The Federal government however, is still spending money like there’s no tomorrow. I wouldn’t mind so much if they were spending taxpayer dollars on what they should be spending it on.

Even in my state of California, taxpayer dollars are being spent like Monopoly money. And for a good number of years money was going out faster than it was coming in. That put California into an extremely large deficit and almost bankrupted the state.  

Enter Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In order to try and reduce the deficit, he started making cuts to the State’s budget. That’s good. Corners need to be cut somewhere if we’re going to get back on track. Unfortunately the corners that are getting cut aren’t corners that should be cut and every state law maker went way out of their way to make sure that whatever pet projects they had didn’t lose funding. But cuts had to be made nonetheless.

Because the gap between those who have and those who don’t have grows larger with each passing year, the middle class is almost none existent. So in essence you have those who have a lot and those who have next to nothing.

With the cuts that are being made to California’s budget, those who have little or nothing are going to have even less and those who already have more than enough will probably end up accumulating even more. And, to my mind, there’s something wrong with that scenario.

Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying that those who have should be penalized for what they have, but at the same time, I don’t see that making budget cuts that help those who have and hurt those who don’t have makes any sense.

The cuts Governor Schwarzenegger has made will reduce the funding needed to help those who don’t have. In particular, those who are at or below the poverty line will feel the full impact of the cuts. Another group of individuals who will be hit by the cuts are those who are either already homeless or those who are dangerously close to becoming homeless.

According to a recent article in the San Luis Obispo Tribune, with the lead caption: "Loss of state money zaps local homeless program," one program that helps those homeless who have mental and/or emotional disabilities is defunct as of August 24th of this year.

The program ran under the guidelines of Proposition 63 – also known as the "Mental Health Services Act" – which was designed to help those chronically homeless who have mental disabilities. The irony is that Prop 63 was approved by California voters and with the wave of a pen, Governor Schwarzenegger has gone against what Californians had decided was good for the state.

The result is that nearly 100 people will be directly affected by these cuts. Some of them will probably end up back on the streets. And, when you consider that they are persons with disabilities that make it difficult for them to care for themselves, these individuals are at risk of being victimized by others.

I remember when Governor Schwarzenegger first put his bid in for the Governor’s office. He went way out of the way telling everyone how he loved the people of California and wanted to make the state strong again.

I can’t for the life of me figure out how he can make the state strong again by cutting programs that will lead to making more people homeless. It would seem that the goal should be to use tax dollars that would create programs that help take people off the streets and turn them back into productive members of the community. That would create more taxpayers. Subsequently there would be more tax dollars that could be used to help the fine people of this state.

So much for campaign promises.

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Comments
  1. Jose says:

    Excellant!!!!!!!
    jmlemus

  2. Jill says:

    Thanks for your articulate, first-hand perspective on this budget cut. It seems inconceivable that this effective program would be on the “short list” but I am certainly biased since I have seen the amazing work that’s been done. Like I said, thank you for giving this issue and homeless folks such an effective voice.

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