Friday, November 21, 2008

A Lost Opportunity in California

As if the passage of Proposition 8 wasn't enough to piss me off with 52% of California voters (not to mention the Mormon Church), there's more to annoy me in the Golden State.

The stark contrast between this story and this one is startling.

Emphasis mine:
Reporting from Sacramento -- State lawmakers began moving toward a deal this week to close California's deficit with the help of steeper car fees that would cost many drivers hundreds of dollars annually, according to people involved in budget talks.

Under the plan, GOP lawmakers -- most of whom have signed anti-tax pledges -- would vote to triple the vehicle license fee that owners pay when they register their cars every year in exchange for a ballot measure that would impose rigid limits on future state spending. Motorists' annual license fees would rise from 0.65% of the value of their vehicles to 2%. For a car or truck valued at $25,000, the increase would be $336.

The higher fees would generate $6 billion annually, helping to fill a budget gap that is projected to reach nearly $28 billion over the next year and a half.

While California apparently has no recourse but to tax the hell out of the citizens in order to fill the gaping budget holes, at least they can be proud of another victory, one which obliterated an opportunity to plug 40% of that budget hole.
The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, a local and federal task force, closed out the marijuana growing season by announcing that it had destroyed 2,905,232 plants, a slight increase over last year. The street value of the plants is estimated at $11.6 billion. Outdoor crops are usually harvested in California in late September or early October.

Not only that, but the state will incur the expense of herding 143 people arrested in connection with this farming operation through the courts and perhaps, in some cases, the bloated prison system.

Sorry, California. I just lost all sympathy for your economic plight. And yes, I am aware the Feds have your hands tied in that regard, which is why I have little sympathy for the nation's economic turmoil.

Crossposted at B3

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