In her quest to become the next governor of California, Meg Whitman has been bombarding the airwaves with her latest round of commercials paid out of her seemingly endless personal wealth. Her plan to reverse the high unemployment rate in California is simple: fire 40,000 public employees, end welfare programs, and eliminate the state's capital gains tax.
First of all, by getting rid of public employees, she will actually increase the level of unemployment, but perhaps she does not think public employees, like teachers, police, and firemen, are actually workers. Moreover, even though welfare represents a small part of the California budget, Whitman strongly believes that we must blame the unemployed and underemployed for the state's fiscal problems.
Not only will her plan increase unemployment and poverty, while it dissolves the fraying safety net, but her idea of ending taxes on capital gains will rob the state of billions of dollars. In Whitman's paradise, the government will be forced to shut down and billionaires like herself will be free to invest their wealth without having to worry about any taxes or governmental regulations.
Finally, to make sure that most of California's income is redirected towards high-risk investments, she wants to transform defined benefit pension plans into 401(k)s. It appears that her overall vision for California is a state full of billionaire investors who live without fear of taxation and government. Let us hope that she is the final, laughable manifestation of some very crazy right-wing ideas.