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Sacramento vampires draining California economy of its life
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It's wearing thin. Real thin.

California has been in deficit spending so long that the state's official color should be changed to red.

The latest revelation that the deficit is even bigger than anticipated is a broken record of the past six years and counting. The deficit was projected at $9.2 billion for July 1 back in January. Now it is at $15.7 billion and growing.

It is clear there is no plan except to do the same thing that has failed to do the trick in past years.

It's time for something more radical.

• Reduce the Department of Education staffing by at least 50 percent.

When retailers or manufactures are up against it and need to shed costs and stay nibble, they streamline the bureaucracy running the company and shift resources to the line operations where the action takes place. The action is in the class room, not in a series of big boxes on Capital Mall in Sacramento.

• Streamline water policy and oversight into one department instead of between nine agencies.

There is a reason General Motors dropped Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Saturn. They were diluting the bottom line and making the company unfocused. Instead of rolling out a new agency or a new policy to address water needs, get back to the core business.

• Bar all state retirees from working as consultants or part-time for the state effective July 1.

There are literally thousands of retired state workers double dipping. Give their jobs to others which in turn will open up jobs elsewhere and get people back to work. It will reduce unemployment and in turn reduce pressure on the state budget. As far as the retirees being the most experienced, of course there are. But nobody is going to get the experience as long as the state keeps hiring retirees back.

• Overhaul state agencies by streamlining their operations.

This is difficult to do especially since the California Legislature has created an environment where everyone in Sacramento appears to believe government is first an employment agency and a provider of services second. No one should be sacred when it comes to keeping California afloat. It's that way it is in the private sector when a business faces the same challenges.

Give a simple directive: Have every agency rethink how they conduct the people's business with the caveat they must implant a 10 percent cost savings within a year. Since labor is the biggest part of the budget it will mean jobs will be lost. So be it. The end result in the private sector usually is the implementing of more cost effective ways to deliver products so they can stay afloat.

• State leaders have got to stop acting like they are taking the Titanic out on its maiden voyage.

The state is not unsinkable. There are limits to how much you can regulate and tax before you send California plunging to a financial grave.

Instead of emulating the federal government or the "too big to fail" corporations Uncle Sam propped up, the state should take their cue from Ford Motor Co.

You can't simply cut your way out of a financial sinkhole nor can you borrow your way out. You need to come up with a new way of doing business that takes advantage of the cuts and generates new income so you can pay back loans and become profitable.

If Ford did business the way they did 10 years ago, they'd have joined American Motors in the Detroit junk heap.

There is no plan in Sacramento to grow the economy that generates jobs and in turn increase economic activity and taxes flowing into state coffers.

Instead, those who allegedly are governing in Sacramento are bound and determined to turn California's once vibrant economy into a zombie zone.

This column is the opinion of Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Courier or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.