What Fresh Horrors Await Californians in the Next Budget?

94b3Brown What Fresh Horrors Await Californians in the Next Budget?

You can practically feel the
progressive lawmakers vibrating in anticipation of what to do with
their Democratic supermajority in Sacramento, despite giving some
lip service to fiscal restraint. Gov. Jerry Brown will unveil his
initial 2013-14 budget proposal on Thursday. The San Diego
Firmly in command of the policy agenda and controlling a state
budget that is in its best shape in years, California Democrats are
expected to push a broad agenda of fiscal and social change in
The vast list includes new taxes, revamping education spending
formulas, gun control, health care, highway expansions and
redefining Proposition 13, the landmark property tax protection
measure passed by voters in 1978.
At the same time, Democrat leaders and many in the rank-and-file
are urging self-restraint, knowing that voters could strip their
supermajority powers in the next election if their reach is overly
ambitious — particularly when it comes to taxes and spending.
“There will be tension,” said Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego.
“Some members want to win the Super Bowl right away and immediately
repair the damage that’s been done (by budget cuts). Most members
realize we need to be careful — we can’t spend money we don’t
As always, any reference to government “budget cuts” should be
read as cuts in the amount of money agencies and departments
requested versus what they actually received and not less actual
government spending from year to year.As I noted
last week, the desire to redefine Prop. 13 will be Democrats’
solution for “not spending money they don’t have” by, of course,
trying to get more money. The spin has already begun to portray
Prop. 13 as a loophole for businesses to pay less in property taxes
compared to homeowners while ignoring the vast, costly regulatory
burdens the state places on those attempting to engage in
commerce.Reporter Michael Gardner’s story also contributes to the
narrative that California’s economy is improving based almost
entirely on projections, which is a
problematic way to look at the state’s future. The governor’s
office is quick to point out that the state’s projected deficit has
dropped from somewhere north of $20 billion to somewhere around $2
billion. But as Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters

notes, the budget deficits have been covered through all sorts
of tricks, loans, and deferrals. The state still has huge amounts
of debt to pay down.

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What Fresh Horrors Await Californians in the Next Budget?

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