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Fixing California: Illegal immigrants, mountain dwellers and Prop. 13

Budget balancer

Fixing california Taxing people who live in brush fire zones. Targeting illegal immigrants. Adding a 1% income tax. We asked you how to fix California, and readers have offered many different ideas. Below is a sampling of responses to Times columnist Michael Hiltzik's call for budget solutions (Michael will have some more thoughts on the subject soon). In the meantime, The Times has a new way to look at California's budget crisis. It's an interactive tool that allows users to balance the budget in a few key strokes. Cut spending, raise taxes and/or borrow to get the state out of the red. For each choice -- drawn from proposals from across the political spectrum -- we’ve tried to give some sense of the effects. As you craft your proposal, the Deficit Meter will show your progress. Check out The Times' Budget Balancer here. 

Taxing people who use more services: "There are thousands of people who want to live in the forest and then call for fire protection, tax them! People who cause traffic accidents which clearly are caused by their ignoring driving conditions and laws, tax them! The time has come when bad people -- aka  irresponsible and plain thought to all other people around -- should be charged for their bad behavior. The time has when good people should stand up and say enough is enough, we no longer want to foot the bill." -- Thomas

Repeal Proposition 13: "It subsidizes people who have owned property for a long time at the expense of newer/often younger property owners, distorts commercial and residential land uses (i.e. crummy commercial uses on nice streets that sit there forever), and most of all starves the state of much needed cash." -- Stefan

Focus on illegal Immigrants: "I think that we need to take a real close look at illegals who may be accessing social service programs with fraudulent documentation verifying their citizenship. I think the number, especially in cities like L.A., is potentially huge. It's like peeling away layers of an onion. You start with the easiest and outermost layer first." -- Praetorian

Cut spending: "Absolutely a spending problem. Economic downturns bring lower revenue for governments, I am surprised our elected officials seem to miss these basic facts. Tax increases never net increased revenue in times like this. Duh. We have done this before, how quickly we forget?" -- Joe

1% tax: "Here's a solution: tax everyone in CA 1% of their worth. The state would be out of this jam in a jiffy. And still have a lot of money to spend, spend, spend...." -- Richard

Read more responses here. And what do you think? We want to hear from you.

-- Shelby Grad

Here are recent articles about California's budget problems:

California has a golden opportunity to return to local control (June 4, 2009)

If it's good for baseball, maybe it's good for the budget debate (June 1, 2009)

Wanted: Profiles in Courage (June 1, 2009)

California's problem is spending? That's a myth (May 28, 2009)

A state trapped by fiscal inertia (May 24, 2009)

Schwarzenegger missed his golden opportunity to give Californians the truth (May 21, 2009)

Opinion: State of denial (March 3, 2009)

Comments () | Archives (132)

I dont care how much money conventional wisdom saves California, if the government continues to do business as it has over the past three decades, its never going to change, just move from one generation to the other.

I dont know what is wrong with the people in California, but if the hype is true, its simply living beyond its means. workers paychecks are spent before they even get it.

Kids driving cars worth 500.00 dollars with rims and tires worth 5,000.00.

California has sanctuary cities at the same time it has a growing homeless population, cheap illegal labor, and 10% unemployment.

Prisons full of lifers that pose no real threat to the community.

A church, gas station, liquor store, and beauty shop on every corner, but limited libraries, parks, computer labs to give its citizens a notion that life is bigger than their general neighborhood.

Californians problem is two fold, you dont have elected officials representing you, and your living champagne lifestyles with a malt liquor budget.

My budget added new taxes from every catagory. You see I could care less! I'm leaving, after living here all my life. It has been fun surfing the So. Cal. coast. SoCal use to be a great place to live, work, and play. But it has all gone to h*ll. Close the State Parks! Drop dead! Many folks recognize the problems, but no one wants to make the sacrifices. That goes for me too! After all, I'm part of the " me generation" Bye.....................

Increase the gas tax by at least $1.00 per gallon and restore the vehicle license fee to at least 2%. Neither option appears in the deficit cutter webpage.

It's time to start taxing churches, marijuana, raising gas, cigarette and sales tax (I smoke butts, too-everyone needs to sacrifice)-all things that should have been done long ago. I hate to say it, but state employees perhaps should take a furlough once a month, maybe curb social services to natural born citizens only. Lowering the prison time for non violent offenders would help a lot, too. California can no longer demand quality services without paying their share. Where do voters think the money comes from? The pot at the end of the rainbow? Wake up, people, the government doesn't run for free!

Cut all programs and balance the budget. Then, and only then, start spending money on programs that are a must. Pretend it's your personal check book that must be balanced! If you can't, then you go to jail! That will also save money in wages and benefits!

frist remove all illligals from the wellfare and health care rollsand deport them. we the American citizen are reciving nothing inreturn for their injustice to America. remove all enployable parents from the wellfare rolls. deport all criminals home. stop the criminals use of the electrict in our jails. Have longer school days at two hours a day.Electrict weel chairs to be licence and insuard. Electrict free day in all state Buildings.start a program to collect solor power in all parking areas.

All who say clean up the immigration problem, I fully 110% agree with you all.
I live in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Mexicans and Guatemalans have taken ALL construction jobs and restaurant jobs here. The clinics in the well-to-do areas are flooded with immigrants. They are putting an enormous burden on our hospitals, schools and employment from Americans. The Department of Immigration, I believe cannot handle this problem.
Our boarders need to be National Guarded an/or military. We need to get these people out of our homeland and keep them out.

Businesses that are hiring these people should get a hefty
fine. This has gotten so out-of-control. Telling Americans to speak their language?!?!?!

I say, first and foremost, deport all of them. They are ruining, and destroying our home.

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