JAMIE PETERSON'S GUIDE TO FIXING CALIFORNIA
What is good for California, is good for the nation? Right, Arnold? I will lay bare all the solutions to solving California's current crisis.
Pinch this Arnold!
The first thing that California must do is to adopt a unicameral legislature. 40 State Senators cannot effectively represent 36 million citizens. Therefore combine the State Senate (40 members) with the State Assembly (80 members). This will give you an Assembly of 120 individuals each of which represents about 300,000 citizens. That is more realistic. Now map out 120 electoral districts; but first prohibit gerrymandering by law. Instead form compact and contiguous districts that adhere to easily recognizable natural and political boundaries. The voice of the people will be heard much better this way.
For years the California Assembly has touted that second hand smoke from cigarettes can lead to cancer. Unfortunately cigarette smokers have not taken upon themselves to protect others from their filthy habit. Therefore it is incumbent of the Legislature to outlaw smoking in public. This will have an enormous effect on the State. Second hand smoke will be curbed thus reducing the risk of cancer in children, teenagers and adults. Smokers are by far the worst litterers in the state, and this will effectively eliminate that problem. The health concerns of many will be reduced through less exposure to second hand smoke. Added bonus: crime and the homeless situation will be reigned in somewhat as they will have to move elsewhere to inflict their injury on others. Welfare rolls will likely subside. Health care costs will plummit. Crime from indigent people will disappear. Mental illness spawned by the narcotic will be suppressed. The benefits far outweigh the costs. Do it!
Ban the use of cell phones by drivers. Too many drivers yakking on their cell phones are not focusing on their driving skills. As a result numerous accidents and near misses are occuring quite regularly.
Our state's security is compromised because the DMV and police are not coordinated in eliminating a growing problem. Many individuals register their vehicles outside the state, thus depriving California of the revenue it rightly deserves. Why pay hundreds of dollars in California, when you can register your vehicle in Oregon for $28 per year? Also many vehicles drive without front license plates as required by law. This allows for a security breach that could be a dangerous precedent as we do not know who is entering our state and for what purpose. Therefore a visitor registration should be initiated like for vehicles entering Mexico. It could be 'free' for the first 30 days, but should be raised to $30 per month after that. Problem solved.
Auto registration should be simplified so that the fee collected would be based on the weight of the vehicle in pounds multiplied by the size of the engine in liters divided by 100 cents. This is a much fairer system than the current one based on the supposed value of the vehicle. This method imposes a penalty on those who purchase heavy gas guzzlers.
Another security concern is street parking in the city. To identify vagrant or suspicious vehicles street parking should be prohibited in cities between 12 midnight and 6 a.m. Prorated annual resident permits could be issued by the city for a fee of $30 per month.
Basic Speed Law is a must for California now. Most drivers ignore the posted limits and 'drive with the flow'. If more drivers were aware of what reasonable speed limits were, perhaps there would be less cause for driver error. I suggest that a basic speed law of 30 m.p.h. be introduced across the board. Fines for offenders would be doubled in playgrounds, schools and construction zones. In parking lots, lanes, etc. a 15 mph speed limit should be introduced. A 45 m.p.h. speed limit could be applied to certain city streets with limited access. A statewide speed limit of 60 m.p.h. should be instituted for rural highways and city freeways. A 75 m.p.h. speed limit should be allowed on divided interstate highways in rural areas.
Playground and School Zone speed limits (30 m.p.h.) should be enforced 24 hours everyday. Too many drivers ignore the present limits.
Bike lanes should be marked on all main and secondary roads. This will provide some 'fudge' room for emergency vehicles. No stopping and no parking should be allowed in these unencroachable fire lanes. The stripes should be solid from intersection to intersection.
Right turn on red should be prohibited when pedestrians or cyclists are present.
Simple. Enact a law that says only products manufactured in California may be sold in California. Products not available in California (like bananas) would be exempt from this ruling. This would ensure jobs in California remain in California; and anyone who wants to do business here would have to set up shop here. Some products (wine, motor vehicles, etc.) could be imported under state license in limited quantities. But greater preference would be accorded to California businesses.
All mergers and acquisitions that reduce competition would be declared retroactively null and void. That would require Albertson's to divest itself of Lucky's; Ralph's to divest itself of Alpha Beta; Chevron to divest itself of Texaco; Exxon to divest itself of Mobil; Arco to divest itself of Gulf; Macy's to divest itself of Robinson's-May; Robinson's to divest itself of May Co.; and so on.
A major overhaul is indicated here. The system is broke and unrepairable. Therefore a new system should be implemented. All taxation should be the responsibility of the state of California.
1. The State should collect 10% Federal Income Tax from all persons employed in the state and forward the same to the Federal Treasury. (No refunds, drat!)
2. The State should collect 10% Social Security Tax from all persons employed in the state to provide for their job security, pension, and medical needs. All former plans (such as Railroad Retirement) should be rolled into one comprehensive plan. The State's obligation to provide for unemployed persons shall cease to exist. Businesses will no longer be required to provide medical provision for employees as the Social Security System will overtake that responsibility.
3. The State should collect 10% State income tax from all businesses and employed persons in the state to pay for its services.
4. The State Sales Tax should be reduced to 5% and apply to all goods and services manufactured and/or supplied by businesses in the state.
5. Property Tax shall be individually assessed by the cities to provide for their services which should include city government, police, jails, courts, fire, ambulance, garbage collection, sewers, water, power, etc. This will lead to a more competitive environment between communities.