California: Going Full Retard

In the movie Tropic Thunder, Robert Downey Jr.’s character is discussing method acting and a recent role of Ben Stiller’s character when he suggests:

Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, Rainman, look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Count toothpicks to your cards. Autistic. Sure. Not retarded.

You know Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump. Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and he won a ping-pong competition? That ain’t retarded.

You went full retard, man. Never go full retard.

Someone needs to tell California. Because they’re going full retard. As reported by Walter Russell Mead at Via Meadia:

California is rapidly running out of money to pay for even the most basic services; it’s the perfect time, think some in the Assembly, to add to the Golden State’s fiscal burden.

According to this scathing Sacramento Bee editorial, Assembly Bill 2451, which is sponsored by the state’s highway patrol and firefighter unions, “removes the statute of limitations for job-related survivor death benefits for peace officers and firefighters.”

So, more benefits for the families of cops and firefighters who die because of job-related ailments—what’s not to like?

Plenty, as the Bee points out. Under the new rules, for example, if a state worker retires at 60 and dies of a heart attack 20 years later, his widow or even children could claim a benefit of $250,000. This effectively amounts to a taxpayer funded life-insurance policy for state workers.

Great. Our Legislators have lost their minds. The Assembly already voted 69-4 in favor. You just can’t make this stuff up.

As I posted in the comments at Via Meadia: California continues off the cliff. Three cities have declared bankruptcy. People and businesses have fled the stifling regulatory anti-business environment of California by the millions. The State grossly over-estimated revenue and is looking at a forecast $16 billion annual deficit this year alone. All are reason for grave concern.

But none of our elected officials or bureaucrats skipped a beat. It’s no secret that pension burdens are killing municipalities and the state. Yet our legislators have the shameless audacity to double down and offer this life-insurance policy on my dime. It’s breathtaking.

When spending cuts aren’t even a part of the discussion, only revenue generation, what will be the end game? California meet Cliff.

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