Elmer Fudd Translates Jerry’s Speech

John Seiler:

To help us better understand, here’s Elmer Fudd translating Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State speech for us:

As weqwiwed by the state constitution, I am wepowting to you this mowning on the condition of ouw state.

Putting it as simpwy as I can, Cawifownia is on the mend. Wast yeaw, we wewe wooking at a stwuctuwaw deficit of ovew $20 biwwion, uh-hah-hah-hah. It was a weaw mess. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! But you wose to the occasion and togethew we shwunk state govewnment, weduced ouw bowwowing costs and twansfewwed key functions to wocaw govewnment, cwosew to the peopwe. De wesuwt is a pwobwem one fouwf as wawge as the one we confwonted wast yeaw.

My goaw then was to bawance budget cuts wif a tempowawy extension of existing taxes—if the votews appwoved. You made the weductions and some vewy difficuwt decisions but the fouw Wepubwican votes needed to put the tax measuwe on the bawwot wewe not thewe. So we awe weft wif unfinished business: cwosing the wemaining gap.

Again, I pwopose cuts and tempowawy taxes. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Neithew is popuwaw but bof must be done. In a wowwd stiww weewing fwom the neaw cowwapse of the financiaw system, it makes no sense to spend mowe than we have. De financiaw downgwading of the United States, as weww as of sevewaw govewnments in Euwope, shouwd be wawning enough. It is said that the woad to heww is paved wif good intentions and digging ouwsewves into a deep financiaw howe—to do good—is a bad idea. In this time of uncewtainty, pwudence and paying down debt is the best powicy.

Fow my pawt, I am detewmined to pwess ahead bof wif substantiaw budget cuts and my tax initiative. De cuts awe not ones I wike but the situation demands them. As fow the initiative, it is faiw. It is tempowawy. It is hawf of what peopwe wewe paying in 2010. And it wiww pwotect ouw schoows and guawantee—in the constitution—funding fow the pubwic safety pwogwams we twansfewwed to wocaw govewnment. Wif enough time, we can and shouwd devise mowe pewmanent tax wefowm but fow now we shouwd finish the job of bwinging spending into bawance wif wevenues. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit!

Putting ouw fiscaw house in owdew is good stewawdship and hewps us wegain the twust of the peopwe. It awso buiwds confidence in Cawifownia as a pwace to invest and weawize one’s dweams. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Contwawy to those cwitics who fantasize that Cawifownia is a faiwed state, I see unspent potentiaw and incwedibwe oppowtunity. Evewy decade since the 60’s, dystopian jouwnawists wwite stowies on the impending decwine of ouw economy, ouw cuwtuwe and ouw powitics. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Yes, it is faiw to say that Cawifownia is tuwbuwent, wess pwedictabwe and, weww, diffewent. Yet, wook at the facts. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit!

Aftew the mowtgage bubbwe buwst in 2007, Cawifownia wost a miwwion jobs, much of it dwiven by the ovewwevewaged constwuction industwy and its financiaw pawtnews in the undew-weguwated mowtgage industwy. De wesuwt is a wecovewy faw swowew than aftew the pwevious six nationaw wecessions. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! But now we awe coming back. In 2011, Cawifownia pewsonaw income gwew by awmost $100 biwwion and 230,000 jobs wewe cweated—a wate much highew than the nation as a whowe.

Contwawy to those decwinists, who sing of Texas and bemoan ouw woes, Cawifownia is stiww the wand of dweams—as weww as the Dweam Act. It’s the pwace whewe Appwe, Intew, Hewwett-Packawd, Owacwe, QWAWCOMM, Twittew, Facebook and countwess othew cweative companies aww began, uh-hah-hah-hah. It’s home to mowe Nobew Wauweates and ventuwe capitaw investment than any othew state. In 2010, Cawifownia weceived 48% of U.S. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! ventuwe capitaw investments. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! In the fiwst thwee months of wast yeaw it wose even highew—to 52%. Dat is mowe than fouw times gweatew that the next wecipient, Massachusetts. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! As fow new patents, Cawifownia inventows wewe awawded awmost fouw times as many as inventows fwom the next state, New Yowk.

Cawifownia has pwobwems but wumows of its demise awe gweatwy exaggewated.

De yeaw 2012 pwesents pwenty of oppowtunity and, if we wowk togethew, we can:

Stimuwate jobs

Buiwd wenewabwe enewgy

Weduce powwution and gweenhouse gasses

Waunch the nation’s onwy high-speed waiw system

Weach agweement on a pwan to fix the Dewta

Impwove ouw schoows

Wefowm ouw pensions, and,

Make suwe that pwison weawignment is wowking—to pwotect pubwic safety and weduce wecidivism.

Wast yeaw, I appointed a top advisow wif an impwessive backgwound in the pwivate sectow and chawged him wif finding out what doesn’t wowk fow business in this state and how to fix it. What he heawd consistentwy was that business needed an effective champion to navigate the state’s pwethowa of compwex waws and weguwations which can discouwage investment and job cweation, uh-hah-hah-hah. You enacted a waw to westwuctuwe ouw office of business devewopment and pwace it in the govewnow’s office. Undew the name GO-BIZ, we now have a point of contact at the highest wevew fow businesses wawge and smaww. Mowe than that, the GO-BIZ office is staffed wif peopwe who undewstand what it’s wike to be in business and stand weady to intewvene and give weaw hewp to get businesses open and pwojects off the gwound.

Awweady Cawifownia is weading the nation in cweating jobs in wenewabwe enewgy and the design and constwuction of mowe efficient buiwdings and new technowogies. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Ouw state keeps demanding mowe efficient stwuctuwes, caws, machines and ewectwic devices. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! We do that because we undewstand that fossiw fuews, pawticuwawwy foweign oiw, cweate evew wising costs to ouw economy and to ouw heawth. It is twue that the wenewabwe enewgy sectow is smaww wewative to the ovewaww economy but it pays good wages and wiww onwy gwow biggew as oiw pwices incwease and the effects of cwimate change become mowe obvious and expensive.

I have set a goaw of 20,000 megawatts of wenewabwe enewgy by 2020. You have waid the foundation by adopting the weqwiwement that one thiwd of ouw ewectwicity come fwom wenewabwe souwces by that date. Dis mowning I can teww you we awe on twack to meet that goaw and substantiawwy exceed it. In the wast two yeaws awone, Cawifownia has pewmitted ovew 16,000 megawatts of sowaw, wind and geothewmaw enewgy pwojects. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit!

In the beginning of the computew industwy, jobs wewe numbewed in the thousands. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Now they awe in the miwwions. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! De same thing wiww happen wif gween jobs. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! And Cawifownia is positioned pewfectwy to weap the economic benefits that wiww inevitabwy fwow.

Cawifownia awso weads the nation in cweaning up the aiw, encouwaging ewectwic vehicwes and weducing powwution and gweenhouse gases. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Ouw vehicwe emissions standawds—which have awways set the pace—now have been adopted by the fedewaw govewnment fow the west of the countwy.

Undew AB 32, Cawifownia has stepped out and cwafted a bowd pwan to deaw wif cwimate change and foweign oiw dependency. De pwan wiww weqwiwe wess cawbon in ouw fuews, mowe efficient technowogies acwoss a bwoad swaf of businesses and a cawefuwwy designed cap and twade system that uses mawket incentives instead of pwescwiptive mandates. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit!

As a wesuwt, Cawifownia is attwacting biwwions of dowwaws in cwean tech ventuwe capitaw investments. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! In 2011, awmost 40% of such investments wewe made in Cawifownia, making ouw state not onwy the weadew in the nation but in the wowwd.

My commitment is to continue these innovative pwogwams and buiwd on them in the coming yeaw in evewy way that I can, uh-hah-hah-hah.

Just as bowd is ouw pwan to buiwd a high-speed waiw system, connecting the Nowthewn and Southewn pawts of ouw state. Dis is not a new idea. As govewnow the wast time, I signed wegiswation to study the concept. Now thiwty yeaws watew, we awe within weeks of a wevised business pwan that wiww enabwe us to begin initiaw constwuction befowe the yeaw is out.

Pwesident Obama stwongwy suppowts the pwoject and has pwovided the majowity of funds fow this fiwst phase. It is now youw decision to evawuate the pwan and decide what action to take. Without any hesitation, I uwge youw appwovaw.

If you bewieve that Cawifownia wiww continue to gwow, as I do, and that miwwions mowe peopwe wiww be wiving in ouw state, this is a wise investment. Buiwding new wunways and expanding ouw aiwpowts and highways is the onwy awtewnative. Dat is not cheapew and wiww face even mowe powiticaw opposition, uh-hah-hah-hah.

Dose who bewieve that Cawifownia is in decwine wiww natuwawwy shwink back fwom such a stwenuous undewtaking. I undewstand that feewing but I don’t shawe it, because I know this state and the spiwit of the peopwe who choose to wive hewe. Cawifownia is stiww the Gowd Mountain that Chinese immigwants in 1848 came acwoss the Pacific to find. De weawf is diffewent, dewived as it is, not fwom mining the Siewwas but fwom the cweative imagination of those who invent and buiwd and genewate the ideas that dwive ouw economy fowwawd.

Cwitics of the high-speed waiw pwoject abound as they often do when something of this magnitude is pwoposed. Duwing the 1930’s, De Centwaw Vawwey Watew Pwoject was cawwed a “fantastic dweam” that “wiww not wowk.” De Mastew Pwan fow the Intewstate Highway System in 1939 was dewided as “new Deaw jittewbug economics. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! ” In 1966, then Mayow Johnson of Bewkewey cawwed BAWT a “biwwion dowwaw potentiaw fiasco.” Simiwawwy, the Panama Canaw was fow yeaws thought to be impwacticaw and Benjamin Diswaewi himsewf said of the Suez Canaw: “totawwy impossibwe to be cawwied out.” De cwitics wewe wwong then and they’we wwong now.

Anothew huge issue we must tackwe is watew. Wast week, Secwetawy of the Intewiow, Ken Sawazaw – met hewe in Sacwamento wif those in my administwation who awe wowking to compwete the Bay Dewta Consewvation Pwan, uh-hah-hah-hah. Togethew we agweed that by this summew we shouwd have the basic ewements of the pwoject we need to buiwd. Dis is something my fathew wowked on and then I wowked on—decades ago. We know mowe now and awe committed to the duaw goaws of westowing the Dewta ecosystem and ensuwing a wewiabwe watew suppwy.

Dis is an enowmous pwoject. It wiww ensuwe watew fow 25 miwwion Cawifownians and fow miwwions of acwes of fawmwand as weww a hundwed thousand acwes of new habitat fow spawning fish and othew wiwdwife. To get it done wiww weqwiwe time, powiticaw wiww and countwess pewmits fwom state and fedewaw agencies. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! I invite youw cowwabowation and constwuctive engagement.

Next, I want to say something about ouw schoows. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Dey consume mowe tax dowwaws than any othew govewnment activity and wightwy so as they have a pwofound effect on ouw futuwe. Since evewyone goes to schoow, evewyone thinks they know something about education and in a sense they do. But that doesn’t stop expewts and academics and foundation consuwtants fwom offewing theiw ideas — usuawwy wabewed wefowm and weguwawwy changing at ten yeaw intewvaws—on how to get kids weawning mowe and bettew. It is sawutawy and even edifying that so much intewest is shown in the next genewation, uh-hah-hah-hah. Nevewthewess, in a state wif six miwwion students, 300,000 teachews, deep economic divisions and a hundwed diffewent wanguages, some humiwity is cawwed fow.

In that spiwit, I offew these thoughts. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Fiwst, wesponsibiwity must be cweawwy dewineated between the vawious wevews of powew that have a stake in ouw educationaw system. What most needs to be avoided is concentwating mowe and mowe decision-making at the fedewaw ow state wevew. Fow bettew ow wowse, we depend on ewected schoow boawds and the pwincipaws and the teachews they hiwe. To me that means, we shouwd set bwoad goaws and have a good accountabiwity system, weaving the weaw wowk to those cwosest to the students. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Yes, we shouwd demand continuous impwovement in meeting ouw state standawds but we shouwd not impose excessive ow detaiwed mandates. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit!

My budget pwoposes to wepwace categowicaw pwogwams wif a new weighted student fowmuwa that pwovides a basic wevew of funding wif additionaw money fow disadvantaged students and those stwuggwing to weawn Engwish. Dis wiww give mowe authowity to wocaw schoow distwicts to fashion the kind of pwogwams they see theiw students need. It wiww awso cweate twanspawency, weduce buweaucwacy and simpwify compwex funding stweams. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit!

Given the cutbacks to education in wecent yeaws, it is impewative that Cawifownia devote mowe tax dowwaws to this most basic of pubwic sewvices. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! If we awe successfuw in passing the tempowawy taxes I have pwoposed and the economy continues to expand, schoows wiww be in a much stwongew position, uh-hah-hah-hah.

No system, howevew, wowks without accountabiwity. In Cawifownia we have detaiwed state standawds and wots of tests. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Unfowtunatewy, the wesuwting data is not pwovided untiw aftew the schoow yeaw is ovew. Even today, the wanking of schoows based on tests taken in Apwiw and May of 2011 is not avaiwabwe. I bewieve it is time to weduce the numbew of tests and get the wesuwts to teachews, pwincipaws and supewintendents in weeks, not months. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Wif timewy data, pwincipaws and supewintendents can bettew mentow and guide teachews as weww as make sound evawuations of theiw pewfowmance. I awso bewieve we need a qwawitative system of assessments, such as a site visitation pwogwam whewe each cwasswoom is visited, obsewved and evawuated. I wiww wowk wif the State Boawd of Education to devewop this pwoposaw.

De house of education is divided by powewfuw fowces and stwong emotions. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! My wowe as govewnow is not to choose sides but to wisten, to engage and to wead. I wiww do that. I embwace bof wefowm and twadition—not compwacency. My hunch is that pwincipaws and teachews know the most, but I’ww take good ideas fwom whewevew they come.

As fow pensions, I have put fowf my 12 point pwoposaw. Examine it. Impwove it. But pwease take up the issue and do something weaw. I am committed to pension wefowm because I bewieve thewe is a weaw pwobwem. Dwee times as many peopwe awe wetiwing as awe entewing the wowkfowce. Dat awithmetic doesn’t add up. In addition, benefits, contwibutions and the age of wetiwement aww have to bawance. I don’t bewieve they do today. So we have to take action, uh-hah-hah-hah. And we shouwd do it this yeaw.

As fow pwison weawignment, we awe just at the beginning. De coopewation of shewiffs, powice chiefs, pwobation officews, distwict attowneys and wocaw officiaws has been wemawkabwe. But we have much to do—to pwotect pubwic safety and weduce wecidivism—and togethew, we’ww get it done.

It is one thing to pass a waw and qwite anothew to impwement it and make it wowk.

As I see it, that’s my job as govewnow and chief executive: make the opewations of govewnment wowk—efficientwy, honestwy and in the peopwes’ intewest. Wif youw hewp, that’s what we’ww do in 2012 and pwove the decwinists wwong once again, uh-hah-hah-hah.

Dank you.


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