Solving San Francisco's Budget Crisis

Lars and Ron,

The salary and benefit packages and pensions for all employees are out of sight. And the areas more often funded in other communities by charitable organizations and staffed by volunteers and religious people who have taken vows of poverty are all run by union employees with senior management making over $200,000 per year. They're in there pleading the case of our "most disadvantaged"....gimme a break.

This effort is already taking more time than I have. So I'll have to leave the detail analysis to you guys. Believe me, the politicians, unions and non-profits aren't interested in the details. They even said that the meeting wasn't about making sure government was operating efficiently when the head of the Council of District Merchants suggested that there were so many suggestions made by internal auditors over the years that haven't been implemented. They said the meeting was about raising revenue.

For the next meeting, I'm recommending a tax increase myself. I'm going to recommend a 100% tax on all salaries and pensions of employees being paid government money that are over what average San Franciscans receive, less than $50,000. I will do this analysis over the next couple of weeks with Sarosh but it will surely generate hundreds of millions a year. If they cut their pay to what the average San Franciscan makes, there would be no need to make any cuts. By the way, the health and human services establishment has refused to allow all volunteer charities like Volunteers in Medicine ( to setup free clinics in SF and operate with a medical liability exemption. They want a union run public health monopoly and anyone who messes with it is the enemy...public health and cost be damned.

This is raw politics and the pulling of heart strings. They are in there pleading and bleeding saying that the cuts they face are "devastating" while these fat cats plan to cut the services so that it will really hurt before they touch their own pay. They do it so they can blame others when people howl. I'm just in there slugging it out and doing some bleeding myself so they can see the impact their extravagance is having on average Joes who actually have to work for a living. I pay nearly 50% of my company profit, over $20,000 per year to San Francisco and I don't have a pension and don't make what any of those guys in that meeting make.

So if any of any policy wonks want to roll up their sleeves and get in to the numbers, be my guest. I'll buy lunch so we can go over them.