Monday, November 09, 2009

No More Deep Pockets

San Diego faces a $179 million shortfall in the coming fiscal year. That's against a budget of $736 million, so that is not a trivial problem. I make that something like a 24% shortfall.

Will privatization solve that problem; or even help? Notwithstanding my snark at our City Council last week, I doubt it. I don’t really favor privatization, and was merely being critical of the City Council’s spurious arguments against it. In reality, it has not worked out very well here.

After the fires of 2007 the City hired private contractors to clean up the debris from some of the homes that were burned in Rancho Bernardo. Not only did cleanup by the private contractors cost up to five times what cleanup by city contractors cost, the private contractors made no serious effort to conceal the fraud that they were engaging in to run up the costs.

The NIMBY’ism that San Diego people are indulging in is certainly not going to solve the problem. Teachers are holding marches to protest larger class sizes, students are holding rallies to protest reductions in student programs and fewer classes, government employees are holding marches to protest layoffs… Everyone has the same viewpoint, “Yes, cut spending, but don’t cut my program. Cut something else.”

Reality bites, people. When funds are reduced by one-fourth, everything has to be cut. The entire population of this city, like every city in this country has to suck it up together and work as one people to get through this. There is no more letting somebody else pay the price; the price has risen too far for that.

No more deep pockets; they are all the same depth now.

1 comment:

bruce said...

people don;t realize that governments run on the same principle that households do - $$in >= $$out or there is a problem. Money dosn't grow on trees or magically appear. And in a recession, it is worse that normal becase you have decreased income (ie, taxes) and increased demand for assistance.

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