Sunday, May 13, 2012

Stop The Presses: California's Fiscal Crisis Is Still A Crisis

After claiming for months that his budgets are reducing the state's deficits, Gov. Brown delivered the not-very-shocking news yesterday that California's budget deficit is actually going in the wrong direction to the tune of $16 billion

California's budget deficit has jumped to $16 billion, forcing Gov. Jerry Brown to call for even deeper cuts in state spending when he releases his revised budget plan on Monday. 
Brown revealed the dramatically higher deficit in a Web video posted on YouTube on Saturday. Lower than projected tax receipts along with the loss of proposed spending cuts already rejected by the courts and the federal government have increased the gap, the governor said. 
Brown's January budget had projected a $9.2 billion deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1. 
"This means that we will have to go much further and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year," Brown said in the video. 
Administration officials declined to provide specific details on how they arrived at the new estimate or what would be included in the deeper cuts. The video was released by Brown's campaign team for his November ballot measure to increase the income tax on high earners and the sales tax on everyone.

To signal how much he wants every Californian to know the facts, Brown announced the above on YouTube on Saturday afternoon. I never thought there could be anything worse than a Friday night news-dump, but the "YouTube on Saturday" gambit may be the new standard for releasing bad news. 

Brown says that, now that the "real" numbers are out, he's going to have to present a revised budget featuring more of the dread "draconian cuts." He promises that cuts will fall heavily on public education spending, prisons, state parks, and other areas that the average person considers to be basic functions of state government. Meanwhile, it will be full speed ahead on high speed rail, the Air Resources Board, the DREAM Act, six-figure pensions to 55-year olds, and welfare benefits and "free" health care to illegal aliens. 

Of course, says Brown, we can avoid all that by passing his "temporary" (hah!) tax increases on the November ballot. Brown really is a social democrat. He obviously thinks "austerity" means cutting essential services and raising taxes while keeping the welfare/redistributionist state intact. It hasn't worked in Europe, so why the heck does he think it'll work here?

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