Is Los Angeles The Next Greece?

Posted: Apr 05, 2010 8:33 AM
LA has to make some tough choices, namely, the tough choices everyone has to make during an economic downturn. Unfortunately, there's no one playing hardball with LA, like Germany was during Greece's recent crisis. There's no one to reinforce the fact that budget restraints have to be made. So costs of running the city have run wild, with no one reining social services, utilities, and especially, labor.

Here's Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa talking to the Los Angeles Times:
It's a crisis of spending and it's also a revenue crisis. It's a crisis of both... I take responsibility. It predates my administration, but there's no question that it also occurred during my administration.
Sounds like he's owning up. But it's easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission, and that's exactly what Villaraigosa is doing here. Just two years ago, he approved monsterous pension plans for city workers, at a cost to the city of $723 million per year. That's just the pension contribution. Meanwhile, the budget shortfall is $212 million.

Teachers unions should take a lot of the fall. The bellicose United Teachers of Los Angeles are opposing Villaraigosa for his push to cut the school year by 5 days, but even in the absence of that measure, their record of obstruction is sickening.
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