February 3, 2009
-- by Dave Johnson
This post originally appeared at Speak Out California
There is some good news on the prospects of getting a budget in California. Eleven California newspapers including Sunday's San Jose Mercury News carried a near-unprecedented front-page editorial titled, Outrageous budget fiasco has shamed California, calling out the Republicans for not participating in the budget process, saying,
"... [M]ost of the blame for the immediate crisis falls on Republicans in the Legislature, who this past summer -- to a person -- signed a pledge to not raise taxes. ... Democrats and the Republican governor have offered significant compromise, but GOP lawmakers cling to ideological purity -- schools, health care and other essential responsibilities be damned."
The reason this is good news is that this is a sign that California's media may be beginning to explain to the public that there is indeed a bad actor in this fight. Until now the public has been hearing from the media a simplistic "they're fighting like children in Sacramento" or "both sides refuse to compromise." Nothing could be further from the truth.
The fact is that the Democrats have voted for cut after cut, and have tried and tried to reach a compromise. They are trying to govern the state. But every single elected Republican signed a pledge with a Washington, DC anti-government organization -- the one that said they want to "drown the government in a bathtub" -- promising to vote against any budget that increases state revenues in any way. They took what they call "the pledge" and have refused to budge and refused to compromise in any way.
California's major media is finally, finally starting to bring these facts to the public, which means that the public will begin to apply the pressure that is needed in a democracy to move the Republicans and get them to participate in the budget and governing process.
And in the longer term, this information means the public will be able to decide whether they really do want to elect people who hate government -- and who take vows to defund government -- into positions of responsibility for managing the government.
If we cannot get an increase in revenues California's economy will be in real trouble. On a national level Rush Limbaugh says he "wants Obama to fail" and in California the far right is driving failure as well. We need responsible information sources to reach California's voters with honest information.
Click through to Speak Out California.
Posted by Dave Johnson at February 3, 2009 3:55 PM
As Buffet notes, the tide has gone out and we can see who is swimming naked.
How can an entire state not realize that it cannot spend more than its revenues?
I think about the CA educational system. 31% of Californians have college degrees. Most of the tuition cost was free. How much community service was required? I'll posit that 25% of Californians received a BA degree on the backs of UPS drivers and day care workers. Much of the revenue came from the 70% without degrees. And apparently the math and econ courses were defective. Revenue minus Expense equals Margin. Economies ebb and flow. The business cycle exists. And the prudent have a rainy day fund.
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