Putting a Face on California Furloughs

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To Governor “Terminator” and the rest of the morons running California:

I thought I would take some time to personally tell you just how much you’ve screwed up the State of California. I imagine my story is much like the other citizens of this state, especially those of us who have been furloughed or worse, the unemployed. I work for the CSU system and have had my pay cut 10%. I suppose that’s better than those who’ve had to take a 15% pay cut or who can’t find a job at all. But your governing decisions have still made my life quite a living hell. Before the furlough, I could barely get by supporting a family of four. Now, it’s pretty much impossible. And because my partner is trying to become a teacher, our prospects in the next year probably won’t change all that much because you continue to cut education funding. Sure, you say higher education won’t get cut again, but we all know that’s a big load of crap. Right now, I have to worry about whether or not my furlough will continue or if I could get laid off later this year. I don’t doubt that it can be difficult to manage spending and income when the economy of the entire country sucks. But let’s be honest. This state was screwed up long before the US economy tanked. Have you actually been able to put out a decent budget since you took office? Personally, I think the recall of Gray Davis was the start of this problem. But the fact remains that California has gone down the toilet since you took over as governor. I’ve heard your spokesman argue that saving that 10-15% in pay from state workers really does help. But it only helps you and the legislature work some budget “magic” by making it look like things are ok. Did anyone stop to think that cutting the pay of hundreds of thousands of people would mean that they couldn’t put that money back into the economy? Did anyone stop to think that people who couldn’t make ends meet before the furlough would be forced to give up their homes or cars? I don’t think any of you thought about those things seriously enough. You want to know one of the reasons the economy in this state hasn’t recovered? Because a lot of us don’t have any money left over at the end of the month after taking care of basic necessities.

Perhaps I’m a little bitter because this month I’m forced to choose between paying utilities and buying groceries. But I know I’m probably not alone in that. What’s sad is that I have two college degrees and a job that under normal circumstances would be considered good and stable. But that’s not a comfort to me when my ulcer flares up or when I can’t sleep at night because I’m so stressed out. And when I see on the news that the state has spent $44 MILLION on new cars and trucks, $30 MILLION on new office furniture, and $2 MILLION on conference room rentals, I become enraged:


How can any of you charged with running this state look in the mirror each morning knowing what kind of wasteful spending is going on while citizens like me can barely take care of their families? How many of you have taken a 10 or 15% pay cut AND not received a raise because of budget cuts? Do you think it’s ok to take your daily stipend when you are getting paid a six-figure salary to begin with? Frankly, you all make me sick. So by all means, go enjoy a nice lunch paid for by taxpayers like me while I flip a coin to decide which bills to pay this month. And while you’re at lunch, choke on it.

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