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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight. We'd like to welcome our new viewers in Groton, Connecticut, watching on Comcast Cable. We hope you like The Factor.
Chaos in California, that is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
All over the country, politicians are screaming they don't have enough money and will have to raise state taxes. That, of course, would offset any Bush tax cut and leave Americans with less money to spend, thereby hurting the struggling economy.
Nowhere is the situation worse than in California, where Governor Gray Davis has run that state right into the ground. While campaigning for reelection, Davis told us that the projected state deficit was around $20 billion, an astronomical sum. Now that he is safely back in office, the real truth has emerged. California is running a yearly debt of -- ready? -- $35 billion, more than all of the other states combined.
Now if you live in the Golden State, you know you pay some of the highest housing costs in the world, and your state tax burden is already as much as 9 percent. That is going to go up, way up, because your governor has sold out to special interests and bankrupted the state treasury in order to buy votes.
Item, medical fraud in California, according to a report in The L.A. Times, is costing taxpayers $1 billion every year. Item, a Los Angeles grand jury looking into welfare fraud estimates it is costing taxpayers $500 million every year. Item, a report in The Los Angeles Daily News says that workers' compensation insurance costs in Los Angeles alone hit an all-time high of $242 million in the year 2001. And under Davis, comp claims have risen 65 percent.
Item, Davis has negotiated new contracts with some state unions which make it nearly impossible to track sick leave and overtime costs, and, of course, that costs California tens of millions of dollars every year.
I give you plenty of other examples, but the point is clear. In order to get votes, Governor Gray Davis has greatly increased spending and is simply incapable of stopping the rampant fraud that exists in the Golden State.
This same scenario is being played out all over the country. So the next time you hear politicians demanding more of your money, you should demand that they watch where the money goes. Of course, that will never happen, because strict monetary supervision alienates some unions, school boards, police agencies, and universities.
It's hard to watch the money. It's easy to raise taxes. California's the most powerful state in the union and the most out of control. Permissive judges have gutted the criminal justice system there. Environmental fanatics have made energy development impossible.
Irresponsible mayors like San Francisco's Willie Brown have allowed drug addicts and criminals to run wild in the streets and even pay them for their irresponsibility. The homeless in San Francisco, for example, get a check every month for $320, taxpayer money. And they can spend it on heroin or anything else they want.
And I love California. It has everything. I've been to every county in the state. But foolish thinking and incompetent politicians have ruined paradise, and there is no relief in sight. Hang on to your wallets out there. You're going to get smacked.
And that is The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
And time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Bill Clinton has surfaced as the front runner for the job of Oxford University Chancellor in England. And The Times of London says, "Clinton is a prospect who would be a hot favorite among younger graduates." Well, yeah! Let the good times roll at Oxford.
I wonder if Monica Lewinsky has applied. That might be ridiculous.