Did she have any other fixes?
Well, she said, maybe the governor's tax commission, also known as the Commission on the 21st Century Economy, will come up with something.
Will they adjust Prop. 13 to have businesses pay more of their fair share of property taxes? Negative. When Warren Buffett recommended some tinkering with that sacred cow, Gov. Schwarzenegger sent him back to Omaha on the next corporate jet.
Will they tax oil drilling in California? Not unless all proceeds are dedicated to the roundup and deportation of illegal immigrants, and even then, the ghost of Howard Jarvis would rise up and say, "No way, Jose."
Bass would settle for a tax on candy and snack food, saying that would raise $400 million to $500 million a year. But that would require a constitutional amendment, she said, because "the candy and snack lobby wrote into the Constitution that you can't do it."
Do you see why I'm warming to the idea of Budweiser State Beach?
It's the most plausible course, if you don't count splitting the state in two, dividing it into a tax-and-spend blue coastal state and a dusty red interior where Obama is a Kenyan and everyone's on their own. In the red California, I'd include part of the Orange County coast and of course San Diego, where you could have 50 people die in a fire next door to a shut-down firehouse, and still have voters turn down a half-cent sales tax to reopen it.
Heading back downtown from Bass' office, I saw so many nitwit drivers either texting or gabbing on phones, I'd like to ban all cellphone and BlackBerry use while driving and fine the offenders $10,000. Every half-dozen tickets could save a teacher's job.
By the way, I checked with the state parks department to see if they've gotten any sponsorship offers, and the answer was yes.
"We've had a lot of people calling," information officer Sheryl Watson said. "Nonprofits, individuals, groups and businesses."
She said no deals have been finalized and it's too soon to disclose more information.
But it's not too soon to come up with your own suggestions. And don't feel as though you have to limit yourself to parks.
The Golden State Freeway could be sponsored by Mapquest.
The CHP by Chips Ahoy.
The Legislature by Phillips' Milk of Magnesia.
Healthy Families by Lucky Charms.
Our history, our soul, it's all for sale. Send me your best suggestions and you might win a picnic lunch with me at Will Rogers State Beach, if it's still open.
'Tommy Bahama State Beach' might be the only way to go
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