By Dick Lyles
In this space nine months ago I assessed the results of the 2012 elections with a somewhat cynical eye. At the time I worried just a bit that I may have been too cynical and that my words might come back to haunt me. As it has turned out, I wasn’t nearly cynical enough. Reality has turned out to be even worse than my dire predictions.
Let’s start with the Bob Filner debacle. I said, “The last thing the City of San Diego needs at this moment is a pro-union hack with no administrative experience or competence. But that’s exactly what they got by choosing Bob Filner to be mayor. Everyone in the region except public sector union members will suffer because of the mismanagement Filner will inflict on San Diego.” No more comments are needed.
At the state level, among other things I said, “We don’t need an earthquake for the state of California to collapse into the ocean ... the new union-led, Democrat super majority in the Legislature will take care of that for us.” It is almost as though my predictions were based on a sneak preview of the script. Let’s be clear about what is happening here.
Right after the elections, the Democrats said there would be a budget surplus. The major media bought off on the idea. The Democrats rode the media wave and immediately passed pay raises for state government employees. Then three months later came the news that we will have another budget deficit this year because “Californians haven’t been spending enough” to generate the predicted sales tax revenues.
My assessment that “Governor Brown’s appeal for prudence will prove to be as effective as asking an alcoholic to stop drinking after the second drink,” has proven itself. California is further in debt than a year ago, with debt in the hundreds of billions of dollars rather than the 20 billion dollar range claimed by the Democrats. The federal government is not about to bail us out. Today we need to change course more than ever.
I also predicted that Scott Peters would not become the fiscal conservative he promised in his campaign. His energy in Washington has been focused primarily on social issues other than a few symbolic votes that have made no difference whatsoever on our nation’s financial well-being or in overturning Obamacare. Meantime, the national debt continues to increase and federal government spending is still out of control.
The only bright spot in our region tends to be as always, the City of Poway. It continues to be well run and fiscally responsible. As roads in neighboring Rancho Bernardo continue to deteriorate, Poway’s continue to be upgraded. Penny Riley quietly and effectively leads the city in a fiscally responsible manner under the leadership of a City Council that appreciates the sound fiscal legacy it inherited. Even though Jim Cunningham would like to see more labor union influence, it appears the rest of the council is committed to staying the course.
So what is the most important question we ask ourselves today? It is whether or not we are going to stand by and let the region, the state and the country continue this decline into financial ruin.
It is time that we stand up to the unions, who have a choke hold on many of the most critical components of our government and our economy before it is too late. This means starting now to get involved and make your voice heard in the 2014 elections.
Lyles, a Poway resident, is a business/management consultant and best-selling author. Reader comments, through letters to the editor or below, are encouraged.