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IOUs provoke new concerns, anger among Californians

With the announcement that the state was preparing to issue 28,742 IOUs worth $53.3 million this afternoon, some Californians said the gesture was a little too late.

“It's candy for a hungry man,” said Richard Blitz. “Banks will accept it for a week or two, but what will happen after that?”

The 73-year-old Westside resident said he believes the state’s financial crisis could have been avoided if there was better leadership, and he thinks things will only get worse.

“In ‘92 they had people that compromised,” said Blitz, recalling the last time the state issued IOUs to residents. “Not now, [legislators] don’t care. Maybe they want the state to go bankrupt.”

Blitz, the owner of a downtown variety store said raising taxes won’t help either. “If you have to raise taxes, raise taxes but do it right,” said Blitz, owner of Farmacia Million Dollar on Broadway. “Don’t go to the bottom line, people who are living hand to mouth.”

Paula Joliette, said she relies on her Social Security payments to live, but she thinks people taking advantage of the state is beginning to catch up financially.

“To tell you the truth, California is overrun by people in certain areas. This state pays more money [for disability],” said the West Adams resident in her late 60s. “Everyone is on the California bandwagon to get their money. You have some people saying they are mentally ill when they aren’t. They can live good off of that money.”

Joliette said she is concerned for her son who teaches in Fresno because he’s gotten IOUs for an entire month’s salary on multiple occasions.

While Joliette said the funds she receives from the state have been only minimally reduced, the issuance of IOUs is a relief to some, such as Tannis Carr, who said her reserves have become smaller and smaller. For her the damage is done.

“My SSI has been cut to hell and back,” said the 65-year-old retired postal worker. “This month it was $20 less, the same the month before that. It makes me feel like I don’t have anything.” Carr, like Blitz and Joliette, said she doesn’t think the IOUs will mean anything to people because they might have written the state off the same way she has.

She said she worries for her children because they rely on welfare and those benefits could be cut by the state. “It makes me very disappointed. [Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger] seems like he went after anything that poor people needed. This is not going to get any better. I just don’t believe it. I’m thinking one day I may have to leave here.”

--Gerrick Kennedy

Comments () | Archives (36)

This is what you get when you have one party dominate both state chambers compounded by the fact that benefit recipients & public employees essentially command members of the state senate & assembly on public policy. We are a magnet for welfare & public employment. WHat about the private sector?

I will vote down any tax increase. I am not going to pay for illegals to be here. Any article that doesn't mention the drain on the economy by the illegals is a lie.
There are things CA can do to discourage illegals, like stop giving free health care etc.. to send them back to their own countries. They can forget "immigration reform/amnesty", start using the ICE net , instead of allowing them to use the safety net.
And roll back union pay and perks. Tighten the rules that allow someone like Partks to retire, collect his former salary, and go back to work for the city and earn a paycheck too.

why are her kids on welfare? Why is she on SSI? If she's a retired postal worker, shouldn't she have a pension (assuming "retired" really means "retired")? She's worried about her kids on welfare? How about her helping her kids get a job? What a novel concept. Given that they are on welfare, I doubt they are highly skilled, and low skill jobs abound, even in this economy. When will CA do it's budget right so that no one is "entitled" to anything? Welcome to the third world. We've arrived.

Unbelievable ... someone with her hand out complaining about too many people with their hands out!!!!!

People should be angry. Businesses and poor people are being punished while state workers, backed by the ridiculously powerful SEIU union, continue to bleed the state coffers dry. Where are their damn IOUs. And the CHP just voted themselves in INCREASE in the middle of all of this - again.

It is high time Californians wake up to the reality that public employee unions are in control of Sacramento and are choking the State, and us, to death. We need a proposition to abolish them, or at least to permanently and absolutely prohibit them from making political contributions. Why are unions necessary for a PUBLIC employer?

The lawmakers in Sacramento and their staffs should be paid in IOUs until they pass a budget.

This is for the guy who made the comment about the retired postal worker beng on welfare.You should not be so quick to judge.You dont know this lady ,or other circumstances in her life.Until you have walked a mile in a mans shoes.you have no right to judge.Because Im sure yoiu have your own skeletons in the closet.Plus nobody cares about your opinion anyways .thats life.

As a general rule we give way too much for too many. Its time to fix the revenue problem and stop spending. We have a major issue with tax and spend. Our lovely Democraticly held house loves to take and give (thinking they're RobinHood...unfortunutly their just a bunch of hoods). When over 50% of the State is taking and not giving into the system we have a Major problem.....

Poor people are killing the state.

Cost to the California taxpayer for the Iraq and Afghanistan war.

One hundred and seventeen BILLION and climbing 2002 to current.spending 2009.

Its not welfare moms you have to worry about its the defence department.

What about the children?

Hmmm. This example suggests some cuts may be in order.
I am a lilberal and certainly agree that some people need disability, but this example raises questions. CA employee benefit structure is also out of control. Chopping is in
order there also. I took the budget balancing challenge and had little trouble balancing the budget. It was easy

We need the Governor and the Legislators to step up and show some leadership or we may soon be known as the WEST TOAST.

The last part of the story says it all. A postal worker on SSI complaining her kids aren't making enough on welfare?!? How about an article featuring all us poor responsible buggers who go to work ever day, paying taxes instead of defrauding the system, braving the overcrowded highways - all to provide for illegal gang bangers, freeloaders, losers, mental midgets, derelicts, criminals, failing schools, playboy mayors, idiot state senators, and pregnant 14 year old dropouts. Responsible American citizens have had enough and are leaving in droves....especially with the sales tax in LA County at almost 10% - who in private business can survive? Taxes are going up as businesses pass on their increased costs to us consumers. No, I'm taking my money and moving. California has lost its luster, and is now colon-blow...swirling faster in the toilet bowl as it approaches the bottom. Liberals and political have bankrupted this state for years and the bill has finally arrived! Enjoy what's left...a Tijuana megatropolis!!!!

Hmm . . . I don't hear anyone talking about the elephant in the room . . . Arnold Schwarzenegger! I have a funny feeling this paper likes the man's policies.

According to the Franchise Tax Board records, the top 4% of income earners pay 63% of all income taxes collected. The bottom 50% pay no tax (and this only counts people working "above" the table). You can't have a state rely on so few people to support and subsidize so many. It's time for ALL Californians to pick themselves up and support themselves.

You voted for an I_diot you got I-diot results.

What's up with this State - where's the leadership? It seems like we've been going through this forever, with our legislature. If I operated like this, I would be fired instantly. For some reason, it's acceptable to have our elected officials operate in this manner....?!


Why does CA have to take care of everyone? It seems to me like CA is just enabling the poor to stay poor. If the poor doesn't want to be poor, then build a life like the wealthy have. The only reason we have wealthy is because they made a life for themselves. They should be congratulated, not used as an ATM machine for the people who choose not to change their situation. Only when you lose the security net will you truly dig in, find your true potential and build a better life for yourself. Kill the welfare, increase student aid and let the poor go back to school on a school loan to learn how not to be poor. That way we have more contributing to society instead of bilking it.

She has the right idea ... she might and SHOULD move. This state is filled with the indigent ... while states like the Dakotas have hundreds of low-skill jobs waiting for people just like this woman. If we want to help people and reduce the pressures on the state budget, we should subsidize moving these people to areas of the country where housing is affordable and jobs are available. This is the free market doing exactly what it should -- motivating people to move away from economically untenable situations.

I will vote down any taxes too. People are worried about their kids who are on welfare ?!. Why don't the kids have a job. This is what happens when California tries to tax , provide welfare checks and pay 100k + for fire fighters. Talk about the salaries of state employees, police and fire fighters .. the state problems will worsen if everyone feel this enttiled. No amount of tax is going to be enough.

California has 12% of the country's population, but 32% of the nation's welfare recipients. Do the math. Of course we're going bankrupt.

Grover Norquist is a god! Just ask the previous 3 posters and, apparently, the L.A. Times. Who cares about an oath of office when you have a pledge to Grover Norquist the god?

I'm sure glad I don't live in California. Texas also has a large illegal population. We have no State Income Tax,many prisons and alot of welfare... and... a 9 Billion dollar surplus. Know why? DRILL BABY DRILL.... gas and oil...lots of it.... we have it and so does California.

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