Just when you think news from the Left Coast couldn’t get any more asinine, we now learn that funeral services for Michael Jackson will cost the city of Los Angeles more than $2.5 million. That’s right, in a state with a budget shortfall north of $26 billion, in a geographical area prone to earthquakes and mudslides and wildfires and more, the City of Angels will eat into the overtime reserves for more than 2500 police officers.
Apparently, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the city will be looking to private donors to absorb some of the costs, much in the way the costs for celebrations surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers’ recent NBA Championship was absorbed — but that’s not the point.
I can understand a local or state or federal government footing the bill for the funeral of a former president, just like I could understand the British government’s absorption of costs surrounding Princess Diana’s death. Despite his self-proclaimed moniker, however, Michael Jackson was not royalty. He was not a well-known elected official, worthy of a boots-backward funeral procession. He was a pedophile, though a talented one. He was a drug abuser. He was a celebrity who, as his star faded, became more and more peculiar.
The costs of Jackson’s funeral, including all of the overtime costs for police officers and emergency officials, should be borne by Jackson’s estate, or his concert promoter. Indeed, both will likely profit from it, anyway. Under no circumstances whatsoever should the Californian taxpayer–and, by extension via bailout, the rest of us–even be considered as a source for the funds facilitating this circus of rabid superficiality.
Of course, this isn’t out of step for California. In fact, I can understand why they might want to pay for Jackson’s funeral. Like California and its oil reserves both on and offshore, Michael Jackson sat on enormous natural resources. And like California and its endless spending on social programs for illegal immigrants, not to mention the millions of dollars and thousands of jobs lost for boneheaded environmental concerns, Michael Jackson squandered what money he did receive from those resources on meaningless items and efforts that just made him feel good. So, by that logic, it’s only fitting that the City of Los Angeles should pay $2.5 million for something that makes the folks out there feel good.
Perhaps, after this whole mess is over with, both Michael Jackson and California can simply just go away.