Friday, December 03, 2010

Only Nixon Could Go To China

Conventional wisdom is that people knew we were serious about China when a staunch anti-communist like Richard Nixon agreed to go there. Maybe there's a similar situation occurring with California's budget deficit:

Gov.-elect Jerry Brown, largely absent from public view since Election Day, next week will launch an unusual, highly public campaign to tell Californians how dire the state budget crisis really is.

The event – a forum to which Brown is inviting the state's lawmakers – is at least in part a political measure by Brown to remind voters that the budget crisis is inherited. It also is to prepare the Legislature and the public for a January budget proposal in which Brown, facing an estimated $25.4 billion deficit, is almost certain to make highly unpopular recommendations.

Read more:

I genuinely, honestly hope he succeeds. There's an old saying: there's no limit to what you can do as long as you don't care who gets the credit. I don't care whether the person who tames California's budget has a D or an R after his/her name, I just want the budget tamed. The legislature and the public sector unions fought Governor Schwarzenegger tooth and nail, primarily because he had an R after his name. Brown has a D after his name, so maybe it will be harder for the legislature to tell him to pound sand if--and it's still a big if--he talks seriously and truly about fiscal sanity and budget cuts.

I love this line from later in the same story:

Most Californians believe the state's budget crisis can be resolved without massive service reductions or tax increases but by eliminating waste and inefficiency, a line of thinking promoted by some politicians, according to a recent University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times poll.

Translation: California voters are idiots.

To the extent that Brown can convince voters otherwise, next week's forum could be productive, said Darry Sragow, who served as interim director of the poll during the fall elections.

I hope and pray that he can convince them. After all, my retirement depends on the solvency of this state.


allen (in Michigan) said...

While there's a certain truth to reason for the enmity of the legislature and the public service unions toward Arnie the truth is that a Democrat who supports what it was assumed Arnie supported would get roughly the same treatment.

Oh, there might be some confusion and uncertainty, the assumption that given some time sweet reason would prevail. But once our theoretical Democrat made it clear he wasn't going to play ball the response would be the same because it's the policy that determines, ultimately, the response.

Evidence Obama and how the NEA is treating Arnie Duncan. They've been pressuring Obama to can Duncan as a means of pressuring Democrats in general who support legislation like RTTT.

The only reason they haven't gone very public with their campaign is that the unions don't have anywhere else to go with their hope for support so they want to reduce the potential fence-mending should Obama ever see "reason". But on the day the unions determine that sweet reason won't work, that's the day they'll light into Obama.

Same thing with Governor Moonbeam. The unions will try to use behind the scenes pressure to whip Jerry into line but at the point it becomes clear he won't be whipped into line they'll uncork the public campaign. The difference between Arnie and Jerry is that there were never any assumptions about the happy day when Arnie would return to the fold. We'll see if Brown even requires convincing, let alone the whip.

Darren said...

I think you're off a little bit. Oh, the unions'll try the back room shenanigans to bring their guys into the fold, don't never forget that someone with a (D) is *their guy*.
They may rant and rave all day if their guy doesn't toe the line 100% of the time, but come election season the campaign money will flow like the Mississippi. After all, they're *certainly* not going to support a Republican.

maxutils said...

I will maintain my position that J B is the right man for the job this time, until I'm proved otherwise. At his age, I don't think he needs to worry about who will or won't support him later--I think he'll be much more concerned with a legacy of saving California. We shall see though--if he doesn't work out, I am just about ready to give up any hope in the political process.