Fixing a Broke L.A.- MoneyTV with Donald Baillargeon

In 1983, singer/songwriter Randy Newman had a hit with the song, “We Love L.A.”!

This song was bitter satire as it celebrated living the dream of La La Land while also paying attention to the scores that come here and fail to attain that dream. The names of some of L.A.’s most iconic streets like Century , Victory  and Santa Monica Boulevards are mentioned in the song, but driving on these streets from end to end will traverse you through some of the wealthiest and also through  some of the poorest
areas of the city.

Well, guess, what……, the entire city of Los Angeles is broke….flat broke and busted. L.A.’s Department of Water and Power’s decided to withhold its final annual transfer of $73.5 million to the city’s general fund and that has set off a panic in tinseltown as the city controller has asked the mayor and city council to immediately transfer $90 million from the city’s
reserve fund so she can continue to pay the city’s bills.

The Department of Water and Power is withholding the payment because the city council declined a recent request for a rate hike and now the DWP says it will not have enough of a surplus to meet all of this year’s promised $220 million transfer to the general fund.

…and there’s the key…the DWP promised $220 million and the city council spent all of it before they actually had it!

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he is preparing to shut down large parts of city government for two days a week including
libraries, parks, the city clerk’s office and planning and public works.

L.A. is saddled with annual expenses like nearly $30 million to government employee retirement funds, $100 million on something called the Information Technology Agency, $ 4.3 million on another called the neighborhood empowerment commission, $25 million on the Bureau of Contract Administration, $17 million on the Zoo and $9.4 million on a department called cultural affairs.

Wouldn’t you just love to know how these various departments are actually spending that enormous amount of cash?

It’s typical government out of control with your money…governments don’t tax for the money they need, they find need for the money they get.

With elections looming and every incumbent in trouble, it’s going to be hard to sell tax increases to L.A. elected officials, let alone citizens, who already pay one of the highest sales tax rates…nine and three quarters percent…in the entire country.

But, I think I have the solution….L.A. attracts millions of visitors each year who travel here to pay homage to their favorite celebrities…I would suggest we just put up a sign…….


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