Liberal Fortress of Los Angeles is (Surprise!) Broke

Posted: Apr 08, 2010 12:25 PM
Moody's Investors Service has officially downgraded the city of Los Angeles' status from sad to pathetic
The downgrade primarily reflects the continued erosion of the city's historically better-than-average willingness and ability to quickly rebalance its budget mid-year. This is a particularly important rating factor for Los Angeles since its balance sheet has typically been relatively weak for the rating level. The downgrade also partly reflects the likelihood that the city's general fund reserves at the end of the current fiscal year could be materially weaker than we had previously expected...
Meanwhile, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa continues his war against private enterprise.  His game plan for L.A.'s economic stimulus recovery sounds familiar: spend like drunken liberals; empower unions to bleed the hopelessly over-taxed taxpayers; and create vast new bureaucracies to handicap the private sector.  Case in point:
As the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power seeks a hefty taxpayer rate hike, a Daily News review of salary data shows the average utility worker makes $76,949 a year -- or nearly 20 percent more than the average civilian city worker.

More than 1,140 of the utility's employees -- or about 13 percent -- take home more than $100,000 a year. And General Manager Ron Deaton, who is on medical leave, rakes in $344,624 a year -- making him the city's highest- paid worker.

...the total cost per full-time employee in fiscal 2007 was $142,400 a year including health care, death benefits and disability, workers' compensation, medical services, employee health benefits and training...

In the middle of the worst budget crisis in Los Angeles history, one department is thriving without mandatory job cuts, furlough days or loss of the perks they've come to enjoy. In fact, thanks to a new contract approved by the L.A. City Council in December, most of its already well-paid workers will get salary increases over the next five years. Which department is it? It's the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP)...
The L.A. City Controller now says the city may run out of cash by May 5. 

And it's not just L.A.--the entire state of California--and that includes Ahnold--continues to drown in their self-made cesspool of debt:
The state of California's real unfunded pension debt clocks in at more than $500 billion, nearly eight times greater than officially reported...

How did we get here? The answer is simple: For decades -- and without voter consent -- state leaders have been issuing billions of dollars of debt in the form of unfunded pension and healthcare promises, then gaming accounting rules in order to understate the size of those promises. [...]

Instead of a government of the people, by the people and for the people, we have become a government of its employees, by its employees and for its employees.

I wish we could say we told you so, California.  Oh, wait... we can.