I'd like to know if the majority of the politicians we elect to go to Sacramento and fix things are incompetent or just addled when we vote them in.

Or is there something in the air up there that makes them act that way once they arrive?

Since Gov. Gray Davis was drummed out of office, California has managed to spend way more than the $150 billion it took in. California, home to some 38 million, and the ninth largest economy in the world (slipping from sixth), absolutely cannot live within its means.

Annually the folks who infest the Capitol burn through $10 billion or more that they simply do not have. This year, they borrowed $300 million to pay the feds interest on money they borrowed to pay our unemployment benefits.

And now, with the passage of Proposition 25, which permits the Democrats to pass a budget without a single Republican vote, which they didn't even bother to solicit, they have nothing holding them back.

They can pass a budget that projects $10 billion or more a year in phantom revenues, and then be shocked — shocked, do you hear me — when it doesn't materialize.

They did it last year. They did it this year. Any question as to whether they'll do it next year?

So what do they do instead of solving our perennial fiscal problems?

They change the subject by passing the absolute dumbest, most inane laws imaginable. A couple of years ago, they passed the "Paris Hilton Law," a piece of legislative flotsam that made it a crime to drive around with a teacup Chihuahua on your lap.

Last year they upped the ante with a law that makes you a criminal for failing to euthanize your gerbil before feeding it to your pet python. Nevermind that pythons really don't cotton to gobbling up dead critters. They've saved gerbils from dying by killing them.

This year, though, they really outdid themselves.

I'm not talking about outlawing foie gras. That's dumb enough. No, they voted to build the formerly high- but now low-speed choo choo train from a place no one wants to be to a place no one wants to go.

From a voter-approved 2008, $9.95-billion bond issue to build this boondoggle, the price has ballooned to nearly $100 billion, with no way to pay for it. But Gov. Jerry Brown and his cohorts, despite no support, just decided to build it anyway.

To this we add the fact that Brown just extorted $1.4 million from Costa Mesa residents because he thinks he needs it more than we do. This would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

What do we Newport-Mesans do to somehow stop this madness?

If Costa Mesa passes the charter proposal come November, I suggest we consider going one step further by voting to secede from California.

And I would invite our friends in Newport Beach to join with us in this Quixotic quest. We could then build a nice impenetrable wall all around our geography and place gates at strategic locations for folks to get in and out.

Gate guards would, of course, allow residents free ingress and egress, but visitors would have to buy a day pass. Twenty bucks ought to cover it. Maybe we give them a free smoothie or a two-for-one coupon at a local restaurant, with the advertising thereon and the day pass revenue paying for the cost of hiring non-union gate guards.

So, unlike the "professional" politicians in Washington, D.C., who have proven both their inability and their unwillingness over the decades to secure our nation's borders, we of Newport-Mesa could show them all how it's done. And in doing so, dramatically lower our taxes, and create a place to which everybody would want to move and vastly improve our quality of life.

Oh, and I would suggest also, that if any of those Sacramento legislators want to visit the new and exciting Independent Democratic Republic of Mesa-Newport, their entry fees would be increased by at least a couple of pounds of foie gras.

CHUCK CASSITY is a longtime Costa Mesa resident active in education, youth sports and other causes. His column appears every other Friday.