California Has A Budget. UPDATE

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So, California will not go insolvent, at least in the immediate future. We don’t have much in the way of details yet, so I’m reserving my opinion. But I do find a few details curious. One is that legislators agreed to ask voters to revise the state’s constitution to allow open primaries for legislative, congressional and gubernatorial elections. Because so many districts are drawn up to create “safe” districts, i.e. designed to make sure one party will always carry that district, California’s political class is as stale as they come. Here is an example of one safe district.

shame

This change to an open primary has its problems (allows vile campaigns to influence opposition party outcomes such as Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” for instance), but, by allowing for more choices, this might change the political landscape a bit. The legislature also scrapped the idea of freeze legislators’ salaries in deficit budget years. I know it wouldn’t have affected the revenue stream much, but I would have liked to see the legislature suffer when they don’t do their job. Oh, well. I guess that was asking too much. I’ll write more when I have more details.

More on the budget deal Here.

UPDATE: On the tax increases. Just a reminder to those Republicans who supposedly worship Ronald Reagan and will call for the heads of those Republicans because they voted for this latest budget – Ronald Reagan Raised Taxes When Governor AND When President!!!!!

The first big budget deficit in the last half a century was inherited by Reagan in 1967. He grandly declared “we will squeeze, cut and trim” state government and proclaimed a 10 percent across-the-board whack. But as Reagan learned then, and Schwarzenegger is learning now, across-the-board cuts — as simple and fair as they may sound — just don’t work. They fall unfairly on some crucial programs. No one would seriously suggest cutting the California Highway Patrol by 10 percent, for example. And the state Constitution and federal law prohibit other cuts, including some welfare programs.

Reagan ended up approving a $1 billion tax increase on a $6 billion annual budget, which was, proportionately, the biggest tax increase in state history. It left a fat treasury for his successor, Jerry Brown, but much of that was doled out to cities and counties to make up for property taxes slashed by Proposition 13. (The state got that back later by grabbing more than $1 billion of local revenues. The locals, of course, raised their own taxes to make up for the loss.)

Wilson took office in early 1991, just in time for a recession that hit California hard. Before long, Wilson and lawmakers were facing a $14 billion state budget deficit on a proposed budget of $56 billion. Today’s deficit, estimated at $16 billion, is close to that, but the budget is about twice what it was in 1991.

The plan Wilson worked out with the Legislature in 1991 contained $7.3 billion in new taxes and $7 billion in spending cuts and accounting changes. Wilson later said it was a mistake to raise taxes. But it worked. The state weathered the crisis and, in subsequent years, most of those tax hikes were rolled back.

I like Reagan and think he was a pretty good President, but the worshipers really need to take the almost religious gauze from their eyes, take off the rose colored glasses, and look at the whole record. Hannity and company reminds me of my gay friends who worship the ground that Rosie O’Donnell walks on.

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  • GayPatriot » Has Arnold Forgot His Audience? — February 19, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

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