Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cut Rate: CA Dems Prepare the Dreaded "All Cuts" budget

The best educated lawmakers in the United States are preparing to vote on a budget without any Republican participation. As they have not been able to pass a tax increase, or put a tax proposition on the ballot, this will be the "all cuts" budget that Gov. Brown has been threatening. Ahh, feel that sweet, sweet austerity:

Democrats at the state Capitol, unable so far to win the four Republican votes needed to pass Gov. Jerry Brown's budget, introduced an alternative plan Tuesday that would close the state's remaining $9.6 billion deficit and could be approved on a majority vote, without GOP support.

Facing today's constitutional deadline to adopt a balanced spending plan, Democrats pushed forth a plan that avoids the tax extensions and increases sought by Brown, and instead delays some payments to schools, makes further spending cuts and raises certain fees.

Democratic leaders said both houses would vote on the new plan today, barring a last-minute deal with GOP legislators. Lawmakers, who almost always miss the budget deadline, this year face the prospect of permanently losing their pay for each day the budget is late.

The Democrats' proposal would further cut the University of California and California State University systems - after the $1 billion reduction approved in March - delay billions of dollars in payments to K-12 schools, and increase vehicle registration fees by $12 a year, along with other measures.

Hey, you know what, knock yourselves out. I'll be the first to be delighted should the "cuts" budget be the factor that finally brings California back from the brink.

But, the funny thing about these "cuts:" they are falling disproportionately on education and public safety, i.e. the things that people actually want the government to do. Meanwhile, I think we can assume that the welfare checks will keep going out, pensions will continue to accrue, the Air Resources Board and other agencies will continue to duplicate the work of federal agencies, the high speed rail will go forward, etc. Not sure if people will make the connection (the smart people left the state long ago), but there you go.

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