Monday, February 01, 2010

California Default Watch

The grind continues. Never mind the headlines and reports of recovering consumption. Here's the truth:

Betty T. Yee, Chairwoman of the Board of Equalization [pdf] (BOE), today released California gasoline and diesel consumption figures for October 2009. The demand for gasoline decreased 0.4 percent and diesel declined 11.1 percent compared to the same month last year.
“Following a long period of much volatility in gas prices and consumption, both were fairly stable last fall,” said Chairwoman Yee. “However, diesel consumption continued to decline, reflecting continued weakness in economic activity.”
Through October 2009 California gasoline consumption had declined 1.3 percent compared to January through October of 2008.

This is why the State is facing a $21b deficit. Now observe the follow on effects:
LA County officials consider spending freeze
Jan. 26, 2010 | KPCC Wire Services | KPCC

Los Angeles County officials said today they may face a $600 million deficit next year and are considering a non-emergency spending freeze on fixed assets, services and supplies.

The Board of Supervisors gave staffers 14 days to develop recommendations for implementing the freeze and ensure that salary savings from the hiring freeze are not spent on other items.

"Every computer and every desk we hold off on buying today means the impact will be less tomorrow,'' said Supervisor Don Knabe, who proposed the freeze to the board.

Even churches:
Economics are forcing Southern California's Crystal Cathedral to suspend its "Glory of Easter" pageant, sell property and lay off workers, officials say.

A 27 percent decline in revenue in 2009 has prompted the megachurch founded by Robert H. Schuller to cut its televangelist "Hour of Power" programs as part of a series of "tough decisions" made by the cathedral's International Board of Trustees, The Orange County Register reported Sunday.

Sheila Schuller Coleman, who was appointed leader of the Crystal Cathedral by her father, Robert Schuller, said the economic crisis forced this year's suspension of the Easter pageant, which features angels suspended on wires and a parade of animals, but the extravaganza would be back by 2011 or 2012.

The church also plans to shut down its 20-acre retreat in Rancho Capistrano, leaving 50 employees out of work.


Unknown said...

While I'm as patriotic as the next person, I find it strange to see a gigantic national flag in the middle of the sanctuary, overtaking the entire church.

Strange; must have been some sort of special holiday, I'd assume.

Sweet Cashback said...

Bah, that leaves me with a MURST.

I just can't get used to the excessive patriotism. These type of pictures make me think of some historic Nuernberg pictures.

Bob said...

In case you were wondering how the administration was going to bail out broke-ass states, municipalities, and public benefit corporations, here you go:

Bonds away!

Rob Dawg said...

"Big Church" worries me and I'm Catholic.
Still this is also another case of shrinking civility.

Pleather Murse said...

I'm tending to take on the attitude of some of my more radical friends (so "right" they're "left") that worse is better. Let the beast bleed itself to death, goes this idea. Certainly anything that reduces the entrenched L.A. bureaucracy (for example) can't be all bad. Maybe split the city into several more manageable small cities, but that's another topic for later down the road.

And Churchianity as represented by the likes of Schuller and his ilk is the antithesis of real religion anyway (read your Kierkegaard folks), so the less of it the better. Granted, Schuller has never been the worst of these snake-oil salesmen (I'd give that dubious award to the piggish, zionist-worshipping slob John Hagee of San Antonio) but he has still been part of the problem, willingly riding the wave of peoples' gullibility to stuff their own pockets.

TJandTheBear said...

Don't believe a word the LA County supervisors say until they forgo their individual multi-million dollar slush funds.

Lost Cause said...

Don't forget to mention that the Orange County fairgrounds are being sold to a mall developer for $56. That's about 1/2 million per acre, or a 50% discount from market rate.

Lost Cause said...

The problem, Pleather, is that LA has fragmented political power, and splitting up the city would make the situation worse. LA is a mine for tax dollars, consumer cash etc. The problem is that all of this money is being taken out of the city, and nothing is being invested back. That is why you see all of the problems that LA has.

Finally, you have got to realize that the government built the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hoover Dam. The government put a man on the moon. Destroying the government through bankruptcy is destroying a resource nonetheless, as certain as taking down a building. It is so much easier to destroy than it is to build a useful system. The system belongs to you.