Conceding that voters will likely give the bird to his proposed tax increase on June’s ballot, Governor Jerry Brown is expected to announce on April1st a new program designed to plug California’s chronic budget deficit. Called SURF (State Utilization Resource Fund), the program will generate revenue from the sale of certain state assets and will provide development opportunities in under utilized areas of this vast state.

“Anyone who has driven on Highway 1 knows the lugubrious drollery that attends when trailing behind a couple of trucks doing 15 mph on a windy and treacherous road,” said the Governor. “We’re going to fix all that by providing easier access to those hard to reach coastal areas.”

Starting in June, construction will begin to expand Highway 1 into an eight-lane super highway that should allow travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles in just under three hours. “Special dispensation from federal authorities will be requested which will allow the speed limit in non-urban areas to reach 110 mph,” according to sources in the Governor’s office. This program will bring jobs and expand the economies of sleepy, practically abandoned coastal towns like Ragged Point, Lucia and Gorda, as well as provide a real challenge to those who like to text while they drive.

The highway expansion will be partly funded by scrapping the proposed bullet train which was scheduled to begin construction in the central valley. “Who frankly wants to stop in Los Banos” the Governor told a room full of reporters. “Besides, trains are so ‘old Europe.’ You don’t see ‘new European’ counties like Hungary and Romania rushing to embrace high speed rail.”

When asked about the logic behind continuing to promote the use of gasoline as a primary energy source, the Governor stated “we anticipate that once the middle east has been transformed into one large American gas station, our energy supplies should be assured for years, and we can keep making these huge cars which will soon be barreling down the new Highway 1. Clint Eastwood has told me that sources in the Obama administration believe Iran to be the last piece of this puzzle.”

Remaining funds will be raised by selling soon to be closed state parks along the coast to developers and by privatizing the state’s parking concessions. “This is prime real estate and should sell at a premium. It’s what accountants call a ‘sunk cost.’ We own it, it’s not being used, so let’s sell it and generate some positive cash flow,” according to the Governor.

The California Coastal Commission has already expressed broad support for the Governor’s program. For too many years, the Commission’s mission has been to protect, conserve, restore, and enhance environmental and human-based resources of the California coast. A spokesperson for the Commission noted that “protecting the environment is the kind of old thinking that got us into the financial crisis. It’s time for bold new ideas, and we think Jerry Brown has that rare and wonderful talent to pull it off.”

Unions have applauded the Governor’s unique vision which should bring jobs and housing to long neglected sections of the state. Jobs are expected to be provided by graduates from California’s education system which is often seen as an innovator. The California Department of Education is boasting that students should be well qualified to fill the employment opportunities at the new fast food and big box stores that are expected to line the central coast from Half Moon Bay to Morro Bay. According to an anonymous source at the CDE, “our kids are really awesome at taking tests. Anyone who has had to complete a job application knows that test taking skills provide you with the intellectual rigor that translates well into the demands placed upon someone completing a job application.”

Politicians have lauded the California Department of Education for its foresight in preparing students for the new economic opportunities of the 21st century, stating that this vindicates the emphasis on test taking and clearly demonstrates the irrelevance of the arts and humanities. “Well, again, the arts are so ‘old Europe.’ Anne and I were recently in Paris, and the place is one gigantic museum. What has it done for them? The socialist candidate in their upcoming presidential election wants to tax millionaires at a rate of 75%. All I’m asking for is for a modest tax increase on the middle class.”

“I think you can look at cities like Sacramento as a great example of how my plan will generate funding and revive the economy. Sacramento continues to lay off teachers every year. This increases class size and gives students the kind of education they can rely upon to strongly compete in the fast food economy.” Commenting upon the stimulus effect this has on the economy, the Governor added that “look, Sacramento has already found an extra $255 million it can spend on building a new sports arena. This money didn’t exist before and certainly helps the owners of the Kings through some difficult fiscal problems.”

When asked about the recent United Nations report which stated that UN inspectors were shocked to find how the homeless were treated in Sacramento by being denied access to public restrooms, the Governor turned to an aide and was overheard saying “I thought the California Highway Patrol arrested all those bothersome educational protestors yesterday.”

Addressing the reporters in the room – “Sacramento has always wanted to be a world class city and now they have one. Anyway, the United Nations is so irrelevant these days. I think you have to look at the UN report in a positive light. The inspector compared Sacramento’s treatment of the homeless to the treatment of the Korean minority in Japan and the Roma in Slovenia. Now that’s world class.”

Montana Del Oro at sunset.