December 18, 2008
-- by Dave Johnson
Nationally and in California Republicans are clearly trying to sabotage economic recovery efforts. Why? Do they have some strategy at work here?
But Schwarzenegger said the Democrats' package lacked deeper cuts to welfare and senior assistance programs, flexibility to reduce school spending, and the elimination of two of 14 state employee holidays.After months and months of trying to pass a budget, compromising, giving Republicans everything they wanted, they still refused to allow a budget. So the Democrats found a way around that and passed a budget. The Governor's veto means a near-immediate layoff of as many as 200,000 workers. That will have a cascading effect on California and the nation's economy.
The governor also wanted assistance for homeowners facing foreclosure, broad authority to relax environmental regulation on public work projects and more toll roads.
Why are they doing this?
Posted by Dave Johnson at December 18, 2008 8:28 PM
if democrats succeed, then even the most comatose of american voters will conclude that the catastrophic collapse of the american economy is owned by republicans. their only hope of ever regaining electoral parity...or even staving off the collapse of the party into a regional non entity...is to saddle democrats with another 4 years of economic carnage, thus proving their key tenets of the incompetence of government and the fiscal irresponsibility of democrats. if you think the california budget battle is irrational, just wait and see what the republican senate filibuster caucus has in store for obama. while most americans are singing kumbaya and hoping for relief....the republicans have to kill any hope or change as a matter of personal and party survival. it's the lizard brain play....better a fight to the death with a chance of winning...than making a decision for the common good that involves personal sacrifice. of course, that's just my humble opinion offered in a positive, post partisan way.
Posted by: larry at December 19, 2008 9:07 AM
if democrats succeed, then even the most comatose of american voters will conclude that the catastrophic collapse of the american economy is owned by republicans. their only hope of ever regaining electoral parity...or even staving off the collapse of the party into a regional non entity...is to saddle democrats with another 4 years of economic carnage, thus proving their key tenets of the incompetence of government and the fiscal irresponsibility of democrats. if you think the california budget battle is irrational, just wait and see what the republican senate filibuster caucus has in store for obama. while most americans are singing kumbaya....the republicans have to kill any hope or change as a matter of personal and party survival. it's the lizard brain play....better a fight to the death with a chance of winning...than making a decision for the common good that involves personal sacrifice.
Posted by: larry at December 19, 2008 9:09 AM
If CA is the trend, look out USA.
You have increased your state budget by 40% over the last 4 years. You are simply overspending. The CA budget was $65 billion in 1998 and now is $130 billion. Did everyone's income in CA double under Clinton and Bush? I'll go slow here...you have to spend less than your tax revenues...if not you will run out of money. And O BTW, when you spend less than the take, you can then lower tax rates and stop the OUTFLOW of wealthy Kaliforneeans to other states.
Posted by: Mace at December 19, 2008 9:34 PM
Grover Norquist hates government, hates taxes, hates Liberals/Progressives/Democrats, unions, and "average" folks. Now that policies he promoted (rich tax cuts, deregulation, free trade, and union-busting) have all come to more-or-less fruition, and the National Debt has increased some 6 trillion dollars since 2001 to over $10.6 trillion, I believe the Conservative goals include: union busting; social program starvation; government collapse; literally, complete system change.
Norquist has said, "We play for keeps. They (the Democrats) play for lunch." Take it to heart; the Conservative Republicans want to ruin most of what we call our system, so they can rebuild it in their sick, "all-for-me-screw-you" mentality.
Please consider: two elections probably stolen; billions to petroleum and pharmaceutical companies; 9/11 allowed to happen, and then enhanced with the demolition of the towers; Afghanistan and Iraq; tax cuts for the wealthy; billions in no-bit contracts in Iraq; no regulation; illegal wire taps; torture; and, now the economic meltdown. All by chance? Get real.
Think in terms of the worst, most un-Democratic scheme, and I'd bet that's were the NeoCons have us headed. Remember, Norquist, Pearl, Wolfowitz, et.al. believe they are destined to lead, and be financially rewarded. They needed their "...own Pearl Harbor..." to get it all started on 9/11. Now they're looking back to 1929 to seal the deal.
Posted by: Bunker Hill at December 20, 2008 1:25 PM
Okay, let's save some money. First of all, we can save $10B by releasing all non-violent prisoners who have served more than 1 year in prison and close half the prisons. *YES*, half of all prisoners in California's prison system are there for non-violent crimes, either for "third strikes" on the "three strikes" law or for the crime of conducting consensual commerce in a non-State-approved manner (how *DARE* they sell pharmaceuticals without properly enriching the correct multi-billion-dollar multi-national corporation?!).
Secondly there's the problem of putting Medi-Cal into the budget and then claiming that the problem is "extravagant spending". Doctors and hospitals are dropping Medi-Cal all over the place because it doesn't re-imburse enough to cover costs. Yet Medi-Cal costs have soared due to soaring drug costs, soaring Medi-Cal rolls as the economy slows and people lose their jobs and thus their health insurance, etc. Medi-cal accounts for $37 BILLION dollars in spending in the 2007 budget, along with $12 BILLION dollars for Healthy Families (health insurance for poor children), state services to the mentally retarded and disabled, the operation of the state mental health clinics and hospitals, and other health care related services. If indexed for increases in Medi-Cal eligible persons, more poor children created by this recession who are eligible for Healthy Families, and inflation, that would be roughly $55 BILLION dollars in spending in the 2008 budget -- or roughly 1/2 of the state budget. In short, you cannot take the budget back down to 1998 levels without throwing sick patients on the street to die. And if that happens, I suggest to every single relative of those dead people that they find the nearest California Republican assemblyman and kill that murdering motherfucker dead as a doornail, because death is the only fitting punishment for muderers.
Finally: There's a word INFLATION that the moron Mace up above needs to look up. INFLATION. I-N-F-L-A-T-I-O-N. Unfortunately medical care inflation has happened at a far higher rate than all other inflation. Which is why medical care now accounts for half -- HALF -- of the California budget.
Point: Until you solve medical care, California's budget is going to continue to explode. Right now I would suggest that Californians push hard for either a California single-payer plan or for a national single-payer plan, since either of those has the best chance to bring down health care spending. Take health care off-budget and give it its own funding source, and California has a huge *SURPLUS*, not a deficit.
BTW, California is not a particularly high-tax state. California's overall tax burden of $10.66 per $100 of personal income is slightly above the national average of $10.43, and ranks California at 24th on the Tax Foundation's list.
Posted by: Badtux at December 22, 2008 12:48 PM
Just did some numbers over on my own blog. If you adjust for population growth, general inflation, and health care inflation (and a *tripling* of the number of people receiving Medi-Cal due to the collapse of the private health care system), and apply all that to the 1998 base, what you end up with is a budget of $136B. That's just covering inflation and the population increases (both general and Medi-Cal). So a $130B budget for California is well in line with 1998.
But hey, this is math. And math is hard. So let's just bash "extravagant spending" as the problem, because that doesn't require, like, math (ick!). And thus ignorance reigns... sigh!
Posted by: Badtux at December 22, 2008 1:45 PM
Here is the math. If your Tax revenue is $120 Billion, your spending will have to be $120 B ....unless you expect folks in Arkansas, Mississippi and the Dakotas to subsidize the richest state in the union. So sure -- reduce your prison populations and reduce all teacher, professor, fire/police salaries by 5% to match the new economic reality. What ever it takes to match $120B.
If you continue to push up taxes - like Hoover, FDR, Ford and Carter - expect to slow economic growth, reduce tax revenue to your treasury and accelerate the emigration.
Higher taxes....depressed commerce
Depressed commerce...less taxes to your treasury
Posted by: mace at December 22, 2008 9:22 PM
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