Should feds bail out California (or Atlanta)?

California has a one-year budget deficit that exceeds the cost of operating the entire State of Georgia.   California’s deficit is $24 billion; Georgia’s 2010 budget, which goes into effect on Wednesday, is $18.6 billion. California’s population is 38.6 million;  Georgia’s is 9.6.

The question is:  Should the federal government ride to the rescue, as it did with the financial sector, including banks, and with the automobile industry?

California officials say they’ll make additional budget cuts, but want federal taxpayers to guarantee a portion their borrowings, which would bring lower interest rates.  California, like Atlanta, has been represented by  big-spenders whose short-sightedness has brought financial peril.  Politicians think in four-year cycles and what must be done by way of spending to give incumbents or the incumbent party election advantage.

Atlanta City Council did vote 8-7 on Monday to raise property taxes by about $240 per year for the average homeowner to cover a $56 million gap in the proposed budget.  In Atlanta, where payroll-padding has been a way of political life, it’s never clear to politicians whether the greater risk to their job security comes from alienating property owners or alienating city workers — hence, the 8-7 vote to raise taxes.  All 15 seats on Atlanta City Council and the mayor and council president are up for election this November.

The California debate is essentially contained in the comments of two California Congressmen, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Los Angeles) and U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersville).

“It’s not that California got itself into trouble and wants the federal government to bail it out,” Sherman told the Associated Press.  “California wants the federal government to do for a fee that which Wall Street would do for a fee if Wall Street wasn’t broken.”

Said McCarthy:  “You’ve got many states throughout this country, you’ve got many cities that are in tough financial problems, so they will all come for help.”

Washington is owned by Democrats.  California is owned by Democrats.  San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the U.S. House, which is owned by Democrats.   Expect a bailout.

The answer is “no, taxpayers shouldn’t start bailing out failed cities and states.”  But we will.

119 comments Add your comment

Get Real

June 30th, 2009
8:59 am

Wooten needs a proofreader, and is late on this topic. The administration already said last week bailing California out is a no go. Just more political posturing from the old man. How about you retire already, you’re well past your born on date.

1984

June 30th, 2009
9:05 am

No and no. Why should we bail out stupid people that have wasted billions of dollars? Atlanta has been run by race baiting blacks like Bill Campbell(racist who hates whitey) and Shirley Franklin(who also hates whitey) for years. These idiots are the same type of people who ran Clayton County into the ground. Not only are these people stupid, they are also racists. California was doomed years ago and it is a good thing that they are going to go bankrupt. Not only will government programs be cut but a lot of people, especially illegal aliens, will have to return to Mexico. Oh well.

Jackie

June 30th, 2009
9:32 am

@1984

You should hope that government funding of programs to help the mentally is not cut as that would severely impact your treatments.

Gordon

June 30th, 2009
9:32 am

Get Real, hasn’t the administration said several things that didn’t turn out to be true? No one making less than $250,000 was supposed to pay any additional taxes, but the administration has not taken taxing medical benefits off the table. I’m not saying they will bail out California, but the fact that they have said they won’t doesn’t mean much.

Peadawg

June 30th, 2009
9:32 am

No and no. Very simple answer.

@@

June 30th, 2009
9:40 am

What’s interesting to me, Jim, is that California’s democrats recently said “NO” to a tax increase. I wonder though, would those same dem voters be O.K. with putting the cost burden onto the rest of America?

Cut the umbilical cord to Washington — call it a late-term abortion — a partial birth for the nation.

No! and No!

spectator

June 30th, 2009
9:57 am

What a complete mess Shirley Franklin and the incompetent boobs on the city council have made when it comes to “managing” Atlanta. The entire council should be thrown out of office. Shirley Franklin should go back to being a secretary or waitress or whatever the heck she was before being elected mayor by the idiot voters of Atlanta. Oh wait, these same idiot voters will just elect replacements who are equally incompetent…seems we can’t win.

oldtimer

June 30th, 2009
9:58 am

Purple

June 30th, 2009
10:05 am

Don’t bail out California or Atlanta. Do bail out northwest Georgia with its 13-percent unemployment.

deegee

June 30th, 2009
10:11 am

I guess JW hasn’t noticed that California has a republican governor. So how can we expect him to notice that California is asking the government to guarantee debt, not lend the money. The comments made by the California congressmen; one republican, one democrat, astutely address the fact that Wall Street used to underwrite debt thereby lowering the interest rate that the borrower would pay on a bond issue. Anyone can buy the bonds. As long as California doesn’t default on the bonds, then the taxpayers are safe. Let’s hope JW isn’t managing his own retirement account. If so, he will be back at work real soon.

booger

June 30th, 2009
10:20 am

Get Real,

Who finds what this admin. says as credible any more? Obama’s famous “I’ll veto any spending bill with earmarks” is a prime example. I will not hire lobbyest another. No tax increases on anyone earning over $250,000 and so on.

I think if you want to see what the country will look like in the future, look at California and double it. At least California has budjet restraints, the country has none, and is spending like a drunken sailor [no offense to the Navy]. The government of California has been told over and over through tax proposals which were voted down that the people preferred fewer services to higher taxes. The government kept spending anyway and now here thy are. Does this sound familiar at the national level.

booger

June 30th, 2009
10:26 am

Deegee,

As long as California doesn’t default on the bonds……

Gm and Chrysler had bond holders too. They also had a well established set of rules which put them ahead of unsecured debt. Look where that got them.

Munch

June 30th, 2009
10:27 am

News from INdiana:

But on Monday, as lawmakers raced to hammer out an agreement over school funding, state agencies began preparing 31,000 workers to be temporarily out of a job. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels has warned residents that most of the state’s services — including its parks, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and state-regulated casinos — would be shuttered unless a budget is passed today.

Indiana is one of five states — along with Arizona, California, Mississippi and Pennsylvania — bracing for possible shutdowns this week as time runs out for lawmakers to close billion-dollar gaps in their fiscal 2010 budgets.

Should we just let ‘em all hang?

Do the Math

June 30th, 2009
10:47 am

No, and no. The feds should make long term investments like infrastructure and energy independence and leave budget shortfalls to the local governments that have within their means to fix them.

Yes, the Feds should have helped with the $3B sewer rehab in Atlanta becuase it was a regional problem caused by 60 years of neglect, but a $56M budget shortfall or $98M pension accouting error or missing toilet paper from the bathrooms? Please………………

deegee

June 30th, 2009
10:49 am

The bondholders of GM and Chrysler debt were offered a deal they didn’t want to cut after it became clear that the companies were not going to be able to pull themselves out of the hole they dug.

Churchill's MOM

June 30th, 2009
10:49 am

Mark Sanford only looks washed up. True, as governor of South Carolina, he recently walked off his job to secretly visit his mistress in Argentina. And, true, he was forced to admit his affair in a news conference that made him look stressed out at best and unbalanced at worst.

And, true, at first glance, this appears to have cost him any chance of getting the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. But only at first glance. In reality, there are at least four things Sanford has going for him:

1. He knows how to use people. Before you can lead people, you have to know how to exploit them. When Sanford first ran for Congress in 1994, it was his wife, according to The Washington Post, who actually ran the campaign, even though she “had a 15-month-old and a newborn to care for.” And, as the years went by, she “oversaw his staff, drafted his speeches, set policy and raised money.”

And how did Sanford repay her? By betraying and humiliating her, of course. But that is OK, because now he is really, really sorry and he is asking for God’s forgiveness and her forgiveness and the public’s forgiveness, which is really no more than he deserves.

And he deserves it, he says, because his plight is just like the plight of King David. “David failed, literally, and yet he reconstructed his life, put it back together and became a guy who was after God’s spirit,” Sanford recently told reporters. “So I would say I’m on the larger voyage.”

Why do I get the impression, by the way, that Sanford’s image of King David is drawn not from the Bible so much as from the 1951 Darryl Zanuck epic “David and Bathsheba,” in which Gregory Peck sins but still ends up with Susan Hayward?

No matter. Sanford knows how to use people and religion. He now seeks forgiveness without real atonement. So is this guy a player or what?

2. He already has embarrassed himself as much as he can. It takes some politicians years to get to where Sanford is now.

First, the entire world knows that he wrote the following e-mail to his mistress: “The erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of night’s light.”

Whoa! Slap some parental controls on this guy’s e-mail account!

But, hey, it can’t get any worse, right? Well, maybe. A number of South Carolinians are angry that Sanford apparently used tax dollars to visit his mistress last summer and disappeared from his job this summer to canoodle with her while law enforcement agencies were spending tax dollars to find out whether he was dead, kidnapped, etc. Sanford says he will pay some of the money back, but that may not end his problems. If you embezzle funds, for instance, get caught and then offer to give the money back, you can still end up wearing prison orange.

But assuming Sanford is not actually doing time during the 2012 primary season, he will have a strong selling point. He will be able to say: “You already know everything that is wrong with me. With the other guys, you are just guessing.”

3. He knows how to fool all of the press some of the time and some of the press all of the time. On June 24, the morning that Sanford held a news conference to announce he was having an affair, The Washington Post ran an article that stated: “The governor, it should be noted, is quite happily married.”

Whoops. Rewind. But that can happen. We journalists are limited in our abilities to know what is going on behind closed doors. What is most interesting, however — and most encouraging for Sanford’s future political career — is that some journalists don’t care about his lies and betrayal of public trust even after they learn of them.

A recent article in The New Republic addressed those who find fault with Sanford by saying: “Give it a rest. The man didn’t commit murder here. He’s in love.” (How the writer knows that Sanford is in love and not in lust — a condition far more common in middle-aged men bored with their marriages — she does not say.)

She gives another reason, however, to “give it a rest” when it comes to criticizing Sanford: “The woman involved, Maria, was not offensively younger than he.”

Sanford is 49 and Maria Belen Chapur, his mistress, is 41. But what if she were 31? Would that change anything? And who gets to decide what “offensively younger” is? How about Sanford’s wife, Jenny, who is 46? Not that we need to care about her feelings, after all. Or do we? Which leads us to our next point.

4. If he can get the missus in line, he is home free. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says so. Appearing on “Meet the Press With David Gregory” on Sunday, Graham said the people of South Carolina are “very disappointed in what he did as Mark the individual and his malfeasance at, at times, but they can reconcile the two only if, if Jenny and Mark can get back together. I think the people of South Carolina will give him a second chance.”

So it is very important that his wife forgive him. But will she? “He was told in no uncertain terms not to see her,” Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press recently, speaking of her husband and his mistress. “It’s tragic.”

Jenny Sanford said she discovered her husband’s affair when she came across a letter he had written to his mistress. She said she was “shocked and obviously deeply hurt.”

“I didn’t think he had it in him,” she said.

Which is another thing Mark Sanford has going for him: People are always underestimating him

booger

June 30th, 2009
10:52 am

Munch,

We don’t have a choice but to let them hang. There will be so many state and city hands out that there is no way to cover them all. This is where a state governments grit is tested. Its easy to spend money, managing a downturn is a whole different thing.

booger

June 30th, 2009
10:57 am

deegee,

They were offered a pitiful settlement and felt they would do better through bankruptsy court. They were not aware that Obama would make the unprecedented move of putting unsecured debt ahead of secured debt thereby bypassing the Judiciary, who should have made these calls.

Get Real

June 30th, 2009
11:02 am

Gordon @ 9:32, you have a point, but he won’t change his position on this because the California congressional delegation (republicans and democrats) are opposed to it. They would rather the state gets its finances in order so this won’t be an annual problem.

Jackie

June 30th, 2009
11:05 am

I don’t think the Feds can let California go without a bailout.
Prior to the Enron rape of the state, California was the 8th largest economy in the world and was the driver of US economic engine.

If California goes down, it seems, we would ALL suffer mightly.

Davo

June 30th, 2009
11:31 am

I’m always excited to bailout millionaires who live on eroding shorelines, or fire-prone sierra, or fault lines, or volcanos….

This is it…it’s here. Welfare nation.

booger

June 30th, 2009
11:35 am

Jackie,

Enron was based in Texas, and Texas recieved the biggest impact from their demise, not California. If you have’nt noticed, Texas has not asked anyone for anything.

California brought on its own problems simply by politicians overspending. Voters more than once voted down tax increases as a signal to the government to slow down, but they expanded spending anyway. I only hope the current admin. in Washington is paying attention.

1984

June 30th, 2009
11:39 am

Jackie, you should really learn how to proof read your sentences before hitting the post button. The mentally “what?” Retarded, challenged? Your complete stupidity and race baiting ways are comical.

Oh, and Jackie, Enron did not do much damage to the ENTIRE state of California. Boy, you’re about as intelligent as a carrot.

1984

June 30th, 2009
11:40 am

Jackie, last time I checked, Enron was based out of Texas. Now, I don’t know about you, but as I recall, Texas is no where near the state of California. Might want to check a US map sometime, retard.

Get Real

June 30th, 2009
11:43 am

Were you really born in 1984? If so than you should be old enough to remember the rolling brownouts in California and the high utility rates Enron and its subsidiaries were charging Cali residents. Pick up a book, not a map.

1984

June 30th, 2009
11:44 am

Jackie, also, I find it interesting that you basically call me retarded yet you have not pointed out any falsehoods in my first post. Seems to me that you love it when black people play the victim card.

1984

June 30th, 2009
11:47 am

Get Real, nope, the 70s. And no, one company is not responsible for the downfall of California. Deny it all you want but the California government has bankrupted itself. Thanks for playing.

1984

June 30th, 2009
11:48 am

Get Real, also, it’s interesting that you pointed my comment out yet ignored other posts about Enron and Texas.

Jefferson

June 30th, 2009
12:21 pm

Georgia ALREADY got bailed out by the feds this year. So what’s so great about our state leadership that it makes it Atlanta’s look so bad.

Pay cuts or tax increases? Or did you actually want schools, roads, cops, firemen and services.

Who wants a pay cut? Or are you just thankful to have a job?

Sooner or later you have to pay the ones who actually do the work and quit paying the ones who don’t. Or raise taxes.

What’s Georgia gonna do next year?

Elephant Whip

June 30th, 2009
12:25 pm

Seems I saw a documentary where Enron was secretly cutting power to portions of California (including hospitals) to drive up their mythical energy futures. As a result of such future-value gaming, California experienced an economic crisis due to fake value in energy prices and has not recovered since. California was already in the hole due to the Enron crap and then, low and behold, all their investments went bad due to another Texan’s financial market policy.

As far as bailing anyone out: I am no economist, but I think that someone ought to do the math and figure out whether a steep fall followed by a quicker recovery would cost more or less than a gliding fall followed by a delayed recovery. Someone help me out here.

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 30th, 2009
12:27 pm

There should never have been and should never be bailouts–from a progressive Dem. They are absurd money hemmorrhages like the moronic fiasco in Iraq now counting 3 million displaced fatherless women who can’t get work permits in any Arab countries and sure as hell can’t get into the fookedup US. We have let less than 1000 Iranians in after displacing them. The dre are about 10 explosions per week, 4 trillion dollars pissed away by morons who think its the JawJaw-Florida game.

AmVet

June 30th, 2009
12:36 pm

JW, good article until this amazing, major league blunder in the ninth, even by your less than lofty standards:

“Washington is owned by Democrats.”

???????????????????????????????

They Dems have a tiny political margin. For the first time EVER, as in EVER (you faithful do understand the term EVER, correct?) a Democratic candidate for POTUS outraised his GOP rivals in corporate contributions.

The Republican Party is and has been for 75 years synonymous with BIG business. As in the BIG businesses that truly own Washington.

Quit the inane hyper-partisanship and outright lies to keep your dwindling followers amused, Mr Wooten. It is unbecoming…

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 30th, 2009
12:41 pm

“Washington is owned by democrats” is a full bore delusional observation pathanomonic of an old man who has never had a 7 year old’s grasp of the political spectrum or a freshman college student’s ability to write.

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 30th, 2009
12:42 pm

The Wootens and the Rushes of the world are why we win nearly every election except in the ignorant cracker South and we’re winning more fo them. Saxby can get nothing done. We’ll veto him and we have 60 and growing.

1984

June 30th, 2009
12:48 pm

Pubtards Continue to Lose, you win nearly every election? Really? That’s news to us dim wit conservatives.

Let’s have a looksy shall we: Republican presidents in the last 30 years: Reagan, Reagan, Bush, Bush 43, Bush 43

Democrats: Jimmy Carter, Clinton, Clinton, Obama

5/4 Republican edge.

You guys lost 1994 congressional edge all the way up to 2006.

1984

June 30th, 2009
12:50 pm

Pubtards Continue to Lose, are you white or black? Just curious.

1984

June 30th, 2009
12:51 pm

Elephant Whip

June 30th, 2009
1:15 pm

1984:

Ever heard of current trends? Or did you choose to be ignorant so you could soap box for GOP? GOP was (somewhat) credible before Bush II (or should I say Cheney?), Iraq, and the Financial Market meltdown. The GOP should go back to the drawing board rather than resting on its laurels or it will become obsolete.

1984

June 30th, 2009
1:17 pm

Elephant Whip, ever heard of Reagan. That’s what they should get back to. By the way, the “trends” as you put it, is what Obama Hussein follows. Nothing but Jimmy Carter Part Deux!

AmVet

June 30th, 2009
1:30 pm

Whip, what is most encouraging about the two past elections is the magnitude of the GOP slaughter.

In 2006 they failed to take even ONE contested US congressional seat! And lost 37!

A FIRST in 230 years of American history. An epic floor mopping to say the least.

Then in 2008 they rallied and only lost 22 more seats.

Oh and they lost the White House and six out of six governorships in that time.

A jaw dropping winning percentage of………wait for it…………6%.

OW. I don’t care how “faithful” you are, that’s gotta sting.

It would seem that they are staring straight into the eyes of a second forty year stint as the minority party…

1984

June 30th, 2009
1:36 pm

AmVet, and what you don’t seem to realize is the fact that the Democrat party is divided on most issues. You have conservative blue dog democrats who can’t stand hard core liberals and the Pelosis who have overreached. It only took 6 months for Obama Hussein to take us from 8% unemployment to nearly 11%. I don’t care what party you are in, 11% unemployment is unacceptable. While you and others trash the republicans, the democrats sink us even further. What a great party you belong to. I may belong to the so-called “white mans” party but at least I am not the party of felons, dead people and illegal aliens.

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 30th, 2009
1:37 pm

Jaw Jaw has become the concrete collapse center of the world. Congrats to Sumo Wrestler Perdue and his building inspctors. You got cars or people, we can kill ‘em fast.

Cfongrats to soon to be gone bufoon Mark Sanfg ord who admits to seven trysts with his nookie and stealing from S.C. taxpayers for all of them. We are trying to help Sanfordne get into prison and get in touch with his feminine side ASAP. That Cubby Culbertson bible phony imbecile seems to be the nookie pimp for the pubtard office holders. Yeah its da biblle da bible the pubtard cookbook for serving up their nookie. Lt. Gov Bauer has hired the swiftboat pimps to get Sanford out of office. Ah does so hate it when the pubtards battle to destroy each other.

Congrats to pubtards who think its a great thing for insurance companies to make billions, using rigged data bases which screw physicians and patients and accounted for no less than 25,000 recisions–the ending of policies when insured actually become significantly sick and the gougings of small businesses by them outlined here:

Big 3 Insurers Cancel 20,000 Policies in 5 years Pubtards want to continue atrocious medical care

30 people had their bodies blown to bits in Iraq today as the US draws down from 130,000 to uh uh um 130,000.

Civil war strife could not be worse in Iraq
Iraq’s army and security is a fooked up mess
The Shiites have not found jobs for the 100,000 Suni Awakening Members
Malikai is a recipe for disaster
Sunis vs Kurds in the North is about to boil over
Millions of refugees with no homes, money or food

from

The First Deadline

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 30th, 2009
1:50 pm

Barack Hussein Obama’s numbers are crushing every pubtard exponentially. Always have and always will. It’s to be expected that the bell shaped curbe of stupid people think that after Bush and Greenspan and the Pubtard Senate Finance Controlled by Phil Graham wrecked the economy that Obama can wave a wand and turn it around in months. Employment will continue to worsen before it betters, particularly in the poorly educated ignorant South like Jaw Jaw.

We will soon seat Senator Franken and conirm Dawn Johnsen who has left IU and moved to DC with her family. We will get 2 more S. Ct. seats after Sotomayor considerably brighter than her and more liberal–hopefully either Stanford’s Kathleen Sulivan or Pamela Karlan or possibly Dawn Johnsen who would make a great Justice. We will shut down Alito, Roberts, Scalia, and the ignorant scum Thomas.

In every poll the GOP could not be in worse shape, having defaulted to the Sumo Wrestler drug addict Rush Limpballs for their “leader.”

Jackie

June 30th, 2009
1:53 pm

@1984

You are correct in that I omitted the fact that you ARE mentally ill. Sorry for the oversight.

Now, for you response to the Enron debacle, either you are without the ability to think, or, you do not want to accept facts.

Everyone knows that California and Texas are two different states and not geographically connected. Do you know that Texas is the home state of the Enron Corp. that decimated the economy of California.

It appears to me that you do not read and depend on the spoken word. That leads me to believe that you do not have the ability to comprehend anything past your ears. Subjects that do not fit easily into your 30 second sound bites confuses you!

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 30th, 2009
1:53 pm

Raegan who is sainted by the stupid pubtards was one of the worst Presidents and he was deep in the throes of end stage Alzheimer’s during several years in the West Wing. He, Gingrich, Greenspan, and Graham wrecked the economy along with Bush and Paulson. They had help from Bob Rubin at Citi.

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 30th, 2009
1:54 pm

Amen to Amvet. There need to be more thoughtful commenters like him.

Peter

June 30th, 2009
1:56 pm

Hey Jim should American’s or Voters Bail out the lying Mark Sanford ?

What are we or anyone suppose to believe from this guy ?

Jackie

June 30th, 2009
1:58 pm

@1984

With you posting, blacks DO NOT HAVE TO play the so-called “victim card.”
You and your logic only solidifies anyone belief that stupidity is not color blind!

Care to give more retorts to anything anyone has posted?

1984

June 30th, 2009
1:59 pm

Jackie, can you read? Guess not, because you’d have already read where I said Enron was a Texas company. You have absolutely NO proof that Enron sunk California. I bet you believe that 911 was an inside job. As for mentally challenged, no Jackie, that’s your department. Have fun at the panther meeting today.

Pubtards Continue to Lose, if Reagan was one of the worst then how do you explain his historical record? Why do many democrats bring him up while campaigning. Hell, Obama Hussein brought up his name more than 30 times while campaigning.

1984

June 30th, 2009
2:02 pm

Jackie, if you were literate you’d have read my entire comment about how blacks like to play the victim card over and over again. Your Uncle Jesse and Al Sharpton wrote the book on race baiting and playing the victim. Too bad you can’t come up with a coherent answer before blindly spewing garbage. How’s the deep fryer working today?