The no-golf diet

John Taylor: January 14, 20080 Comments

Five months and one day after blowing out my left knee at Hank Swanks driving range, I was back whacking Sunday -- just my irons, even after surgery and a leg brace, I'm still not ready to torque up my woods.

Speaking of having a shaky leg to stand on, California is not alone when it comes to having to dig huge divots out of its state budget.  The Washington Post said at least 13 states, including California, New York and New Jersey, are facing huge deficits, and another 12 states are also in trouble.

What ideas are being floated to narrow the gap? Sell off/lease state lotteries to start an endowment to fund public universities. Increase fees on toll roads. Licensing fees for casinos. Imposing a ceiling on property taxes. Hiking sales taxes by 30%, income taxes by 20% and gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon.

California's Legislative Analyst's Office does not embrace the idea of a 10% across the board cut in state services. It poses these questions in evaluating programs:

  • Is there demonstrated evidence of a program's cost-effectiveness?

  • Can local governments or the private sector provide the services more efficiently?

  • Does a program have an alternative funding source if General Fund support is reduced?

  • Can recent program expansions be rolled back?

  • Are there ways to slow the rate of growth for fast-growing programs?

  • Will a reduction result in the loss of federal or other funds?

Makes hitting a golf ball look soooo simple.

Correction: Thanks to those who called attention to an error in my recent blog, "Connecting the smoggy dots." I should have written that while 200 calories of candies costs about 50 cents, a similar calorie count in fruit costs $2 -- not $12. (Homer Simpson moment)