Monday, January 10, 2011

Governor Brown Talks Money

In this post I stated that I was displeased with Governor Brown's threatening manner of speech. In today's major Sacramento newspaper we get a second helping:

Brown also plans to keep schools funded at the same dollar level they received from the state this year, though that proposal is contingent on whether voters approve higher income taxes on the ballot.

That doesn't sound so bad for education. Let's see what else he has in store:

Brown's budget will include the following program cuts: $1.7 billion to Medi-Cal; $1.5 billion in welfare-to-work; $750 million in developmental services; $500 million each to the University of California and California State University systems; and $200 million through various "reorganizations, consolidations and other efficiencies."

Among those efficiencies: eliminating at least half of the 96,000 state-issued cell phones used by public employees.

The deficit size is a moving target, according to Brown. He says the gap alone is $25.4 billion, but that state leaders need to solve for $26.4 billion to allow for a $1 billion reserve. He also says leaders will need to solve for $27.6 billion if the state does not sell 11 prominent office properties before leasing them back, an issue that is tied up in court.

I know I'm just a lowly math teacher, but that doesn't add up to $25 billion plus, even when you add in this:

Brown's budget will include an 8 percent to 10 percent cut in state worker pay. According to his press release, Brown wants to save "$308 million for a 10 percent reduction in take-home pay for state employees not currently covered under collective bargaining agreements."

So how are we going to make up the difference? Tax increases!

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a budget today that relies on $12.5 billion in spending cuts over the next 18 months and higher taxes over the next five years to solve the state budget deficit.

Is there really nothing more that could be cut? Really?

Update: I know what let's do. Let's spend even more money!

George Popyack, of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, was explaining how shifting state services to local governments could compromise quality when he was drowned out by hundreds of students descending on the steps for a separate demonstration in support of single-payer healthcare. Reporters and a camera crew turned to observe the students, who were chanting through bullhorns and banging drums.

If government-run programs were the answer to every problem, we wouldn't always hear about funding them by eliminating "waste, fraud, and abuse" in some other government program.


Ellen K said...

Everything old is new again. And Californians by and large have not learned from their mistakes.

Mr. W said...

can I mention services for illegal immigrants without being called racist?

darren said...

Probably not.

Anonymous said...

"can I mention services for illegal immigrants without being called racist?"

But can California eliminate those? I thought we has some sort of US Supreme Court ruling that the state had to provide schooling and emergency room care. Not much point in arguing about something that the US Supreme Court won't let you do ...

-Mark Roulo

Mrs. Bluebird said...

96,000 state issued cell phones? Are you kidding me?

Gosh, I'm glad I fled that state in '92.

Geo. said...

First-time vistor to your site. My compliments. It's not often I --a liberal-- see a mindful conservative site, free of vitriol, anymore. I do wonder how you reconcile your take on Brown with your earlier (June 20) assessment of Felisberto Cedros playing conquistador at Hiram Johnson High School, a role he was previously given at JFKHS --it's what he does. Tempest in a teacup certainly, but, by ampliative induction, a microcosm.

Darren said...

I'm not sure I understand your comparison between Brown and Cedros. Are you suggesting that because I saw some merit to what Cedros was doing, I must also see merit in what Brown is suggesting? Or am I completely missing your point?

Geo. said...

No "must" about it. The two posts just seemed to have some points in common: adminstrators, entering arenas that need change, who start by creating an atmosphere of procedural and political effervescence --possibly to get people more receptive to change. Wondered if you thought so too.