Tuesday, March 08, 2011

California Democrats Say Financial Mess is Republicans' Fault

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Governor Brown missing budget deadline! Republicans’ fault!

Brown isn’t getting the two Republican votes each in the Senate and the Assembly he needs to call a special June election for voters whether to extend taxes. It’s Déjà vu all over again. In May 2009 Governor Schwarzenegger got the votes and put tax-increase propositions on the ballot. The voters defeated them 2 votes to 1. Then, as now, Democrat politicians said that if the propositions didn’t pass then drastic cuts would be made to education and health services. Then, as now, none were.

Now the sorry state of California’s finances are the Republicans’ fault, even though Republicans for years haven’t had enough votes to raise or lower anyone’s taxes, or to either cut or raise spending. Blaming Republicans is like blaming the street sweeper after the horse parade for all the manure on the road. Believe me, he wishes it never got there in the first place.

Republicans are trying to use the only clout they have to get the majority Democrats to work on the problem. From what has been in the news recently, so far the Democrats haven’t found one program that could stand even the slightest cut. “Cut spending? We need to raise it!” they cry, as they fall in line behind “Economist” Paul Krugman of the New York Times.

Governor Brown talks some spending cuts, but he knows that even if he gets the tax extensions on the ballot, and by some miracle they pass, he still won’t be able to wring promised spending cuts from the Legislature. Even his seizure of redevelopment funds, which cities like Santa Rosa are working hard to circumvent, only moves spending from one account to another.

More smoke and mirrors.

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