So the state of California has until the end of July to stave off bankruptcy. They have a projected budget deficit of $24 billion!
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who ran for office with the intention of fixing the state’s fiscal woes, has presided over a 40% expansion of government spending. Oopsies!
At this juncture, Cali needs to look at some radical proposals to get solvent before the already-hurting Federal government has to come to the rescue of yet another collapsing entity. Luckily, I just happen to have some in mind.
Solution 1: Casino Free-for-All
Right now in California, only the Indians can run Casinos. There is also betting permitted at horse racing tracks like Santa Anita and, of course, a lottery. But I envision something much bolder for California. The model for a state-wide gambling free-for-all would be the town of Hill Valley in Back to the Future II. In the film, the character Biff accidentally gets his hands on a copy of future sporting event scores and becomes a tycoon from betting on these events as they happen.
The town around him is transformed into a mecca of gambling and other types of vices, but beggars can’t be choosers and gaming revenue from CA residents could shift from Nevada back home (causing Las Vegas to go bankrupt). The Governator should put this movie in his Netflix cue for inspiration.
Solution 2: Mandatory Hollywood Tourism Participation
Hollywood generates a lot of jobs and revenue for the state of California, and in return, California has been very kind to the industry with tax breaks and an informal agreement not to prosecute stars for minor offenses like drunk-driving and wife-murdering.
It’s time to take this close relationship to a whole nubba level. California could agree to ban the papparazzi in exchange for A List movie stars offering their time to incoming tourist groups from around the world. Imagine the money pouring in to the state’s coffers for such programs as the Backlot Tour with Bruce Willis, the TV Studio Tour with Patrick Dempsey…or even the Eaters Guide to LA Restaurants with Kirstie Alley. This seems like a win-win and would probably triple the state’s tourism revenue within the first year.
Solution 3: Sell Select Counties to China
There are several counties around the state of California that are currently saddled with unemployment rates of double the national average. Real estate values in these areas have plummeted to such a point that the residents of these municipalities could probably use a change of ownership. I say bring in the Chinese and let ’em buy in.
The residents would be put to work immediately as there is no such thing as “unemployment” in China (those without jobs are sent to a collective farm or executed, everybody works). The revenue from selling the land to China combined with the decreasing drag of unemployment and welfare would go a long way toward plugging the deficit statewide.
Other Solutions: Ideas to Explore
- State-Owned Topless Beaches (or bottomless for the San Francisco/ Bay area)
- Legalize Marijuana (wait, they did that already but were too stupid to cut the state in on the revenues)
- Piercing/ Lower-Back Tattoo Tax (if retroactive, could clear up the National Debt, never mind CA)
- Bullet-Train to DisneyLand (whoops, Obama already included this in the “stimulus plan”, if you could call it that)
- Privatize Everything (Like the LAPD would be any worse if ran by mercenaries as a for-profit agency)
- State Life Insurance (Take out a term life policy for the entire state and then make it disappear like The Island on Lost)
I’m just spitballin’ here, but if anyone from the California State Legislature wants to take a whack at any of these proposals, I am more than happy to discuss over lunch at In-N-Out Burger (which is one of the most redeeming features of the entire state).
Holler if you need me!