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The Saddened State Of California

Reading this article made me cry. Arnold Schwarzenegger is destroying my home state and as usual the elderly and very young will suffer the most. The

Reading this article made me cry. Arnold Schwarzenegger is destroying my home state and as usual the elderly and very young will suffer the most.

The latest budget plan from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would force 200,000 children off low-cost medical insurance, end in-home care for 350,000 infirm and elderly citizens and slash income assistance to hundreds of thousands more.

And that's the best-case scenario under Schwarzenegger's prescription for filling the state's $19.9 billion deficit.

Refusing to consider broad tax hikes, he is relying mostly on $8.5 billion in reduced expenditures including drastic cuts to health and social spending that has long made California one of the leading U.S. states in providing help to the needy.

Schwarzenegger also is counting on the U.S. government contributing nearly $7 billion that he says is due California because of various federal mandates.

If federal money fails to materialize, the governor's plan would trigger deeper cuts that would dismantle entire programs, including the state's welfare-to-work system, CalWorks.

Enactment of the Republican governor's proposal, with or without Washington's cooperation, is far from certain given that leaders of the Democratic-controlled state legislature immediately rebuffed it as too harsh.

Even representatives of Schwarzenegger's own government acknowledged the drastic scope of his proposed cuts, which the governor himself described as "draconian."

"They are major reductions in health and human services in California, whether we get the federal funds or not," said Amy Palmer, spokeswoman for the state agency overseeing many of the programs hardest hit. "If we don't get the federal funds, the reductions ... are devastating."

Critics say many such cuts ultimately would cost the state more money than they save, as when elderly patients forced out of adult day-care facilities end up in nursing homes.

This is the unthinkable, but we have a legislature that is crippled by the super majority rule and the Republicans in the minority can block anything they want. Maybe these scumbag bankers would be willing to give up some of their incredible bonus money that came off the backs of the American people and pitch in to help the great state of California. OK, I was just dreaming for a minute because, as Digby writes, we're not worthy of the greatness that beholds these Gods of High Finance.

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