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Marin, Sonoma County, CA June 8, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

The Budget

By Patrick WM Connally

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 6; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate
The Budget

Like a family, we need to invest in our values. Californians need to decide, are we just held together by making money or do we also focus on improving our quality of life. The strongest national economy today is Germany, which has some of the Worlds strongest social service programs and worker rights, which includes a comprehensive retirement programs and even six-week vacations. Worker' Councils objections to out-sourcing has kept jobs and wealth in Germany. The USA, fifty years ago founded Germany's worker councils as a balance to giant business concerns so Germany's business leaders would not support another Hitler. It has worked better than expected.

As your Assembly person I would deal with the budget-

1. The goal of business is to create wealth, not save money. First we have to ask ourselves who are we saving the money for in the current budget crisis? We are not saving money for students who need an education, people with significant disabilities who can't work, and elders who need assistance to stay in their homes.

2. Social costs. Former Governor Ronald Reagan is still costing California's taxpayers billions of dollars with his method of budget cutting. For example of classic Reaganomics his administration dumped on the streets people with psychiatric disabilities right from the institutions. Without any supports or help, most ended up in the criminal justice system. Over the years paying for folks through the prison system instead of preventive and on going community supports has been astronomical. No matter how much you punish people, it has not stopped crime and after the fact does not do much for the victims of crime. Long term solutions demand social costs be included.

3. Wall Street businesses do not have the same needs as small businesses or free lance/consulting businesses do. As a consultant, my ability to make money nor my issues like short term credit and temporary employees are not even on the radar, yet some of our most brilliant Californians are self employed. The same can be said for small businesses who may need a strong local infrastructure and the ability to hire educated and healthy workers. In contrast, a Wall Street business with many employees can deal with high turn-over, educate it's employees and create its own infrastructure. The people at the top can ride out massive budget cuts, most of us cannot. California's Republicans and many Democratic incumbents keep telling us that no new taxes will keep and attract new business. This has not worked as our movie industry shows, according to Harper's Index, before the neo conservative take over of California, two thirds of America's movies were made in our state, today less than a third.

4. Healthcare. I am 100 percent for the single payer healthcare system that wealthy societies have. Currently we are paying much more for healthcare because our emergency rooms, paramedics, along with our police have become a large part of our medical system.

5. State fines should be based on income of the convicted person or corporation. It is time for some real logic instead of the Victor Hugo model were it is illegal for both the rich and the poor to sleep under the bridge all night.

6. Tax California's largest cash crop - pot. Make it easier to get a prescription for its medical use, especially for out of state visitors. What a boost to California tourist industry. Alcohol sales should also pay for the social cost it creates. Most abuse is centered on alcohol with other drugs. I like a glass of California's wine, but people who abuse alcohol and drugs need to help pay for the damage.

7. Tax churches who specifically engage in politics. We regulate Union political activity and the same should be said for religious groups who try to elect politicians. We need to open up the political debate because many politicians are hiding behind tax exempt religious groups. Land which is used by religious groups own that is used for purely religious ceremonies, prayer, and reflection is not the issue. The real issue is - voters being bullied by religious leaders with no accountability and no debate.

8. It is classic Keynesian economics and it is classic because it works. In bad times government needs to lead the reinvestment effort; in good times it needs to hold back. California had years of prosperity because the state went into debt in the 60's and 70's to build our infrastructure and attract people who wanted quality in their lives. Now is the time to once again shoulder a debt for education and health for a prosperous future.

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