One public employee group wants the governor impeached for suggesting two day a month furloughs for public sector workers. The furloughs amount to a 10% pay cut for the workers. I don’t remember the thousands upon thousands of private sector workers who lost their jobs calling for the governor’s head. When my consulting business suffered a more than ten percent loss a few months back, I didn’t start a recall petition on the governor. What is it with the public employees?

Loren Kaye on this site did an excellent job of pointing out how California’s public sector employees are reacting quite differently from private sector employees to the difficult economic times. Democratic elected constitutional officers, who declared they would not furlough their workers, aided the public employees’ stance. I hope those elected officers sent out notes of sympathy to fired private sector workers who lost their jobs as quickly as they objected to the governor’s orders to furlough their employees for a couple of days a month.

No one wants to see bad things happening to the workers of this country, private or public. No one wants to see people denied jobs or be forced to miss days of work. But rallies and calls for impeachment are so out of tune with the realities of the time.

And speaking of the realities of the time, let me respond to Jon Fleischman’s comment in Flash Report on my post of a couple days ago. I reported that a combination of tax increases and a spending limit might resolve the budget gridlock and it appeared to me that such a trade-off was possible. Jon created a clever fable of Fat Fabian and compared him to California’s budget, declaring now was the time to slim him down to proper weight. In other words, take drastic actions to cut the budget and get spending aligned with available revenue.

Jon offered a list of suggestions on how to reduce the cost of state government. I can’t argue with many of his suggestions because I fought for most of them at one time or another over three decades. I understand that a crisis may be the time to get something done. But how much dramatic change can truly be accomplished right now?

Board of Equalization member Bill Leonard, a purveyor of wisdom on the state political and fiscal scene, recently advised in his blog that a simple solution to the budget problem would be a 10% cut across the board, but, he added, “that will almost certainly not happen.”

Given obstacles to logical solutions that reduce all the fat, let’s reduce the weight we can immediately then put the state budget on a good diet. People are working on their New Year’s Resolution to get in shape. They are not heading to a surgeon to put staples in their stomachs. They are reducing over a period of time to reach their goal. That is probably what the state must do to solve its spending problem.