The views expressed in any article published in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Joseph Foster or Bob Lupoli.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

California Budget Deficit: a festering puss filled wound

Joe: the California budget deficit is a festering puss filled wound.  It needs to be drained and healed. Unfortunately, like always California is running away from the problem, JB is hoping California Taxpayers will vote themselves tax increases in June, something I will not do. Why isn’t California having union battles like New Jersey, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, I suppose it’s just a matter of time. Government workers in Southern California (State, Fed) are the largest employer – what’s wrong with this picture? Private taxpayers fund and pay for government somehow some people don’t understand this basic fact. The delay until June just allows the puss to collect even though there’s some limited progress (see below). By the way the Republican’s refused to give up the funds from the redevelopment agencies – too bad. I am just remembering we had a very good accountant she was hired away by the city of San Diego at a lower salary but free lifetime healthcare benefits for her and her spouse. How can private industry compete with that? Needless to say if you are a member of that union you know your days are numbered, they cannot continue with these abundant benefits. There has to be a battle with public employee unions here in California – I’m hoping anyway. For now, no solution to the budget deficit that has grown and grown and grown for years now. -Bob

Southern California Public Radio
6:30 a.m. | Julie Small | KPCC
Lawmakers in Sacramento voted Wednesday night to cut nearly $8 billion from the state budget. That gets the $26 billion deficit down a bit. It would have come down even more - but a plan to scoop up nearly $2 billion from local redevelopment agencies failed to muster enough votes.

Assembly Republicans also opposed a plan to eliminate local redevelopment agencies. The plan would redirect nearly $2 billion worth of redevelopment funds to the state in the next fiscal year.

Republicans said the agencies shouldn’t be sacrificed because they fight neighborhood blight, provide affordable housing and attract business and jobs. But Fullerton Assemblyman and former Orange County supervisor Chris Norby broke ranks with his GOP colleagues, saying the state could put redevelopment money to better use.

March 16, 2011
Despite Governor Brown's insistence he is making efforts to find a middle ground with State Republicans, according to Laer Pearce of The Daily Caller, he's still held back by his lack of willingness to force the unions to make concessions.

The worst news for Brown broke early Monday morning when it became public that the “Gang of Five” Republican senators who were trying to find a middle ground with the governor have ended their budget talks. Both Connie Conway, the GOP Assembly leader, and a spokesman for Bill Emmerson, a Gang of Five senator, confirm that the talks are dead, but Brown’s camp insists they are continuing.

That Brown is clinging to the talks is as symbolic as the colon. To admit the talks’ failure would be to concede that public employee unions, which gave $30 million to Brown’s gubernatorial campaign, are indeed running the state.

The Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times | by Shane Goldmacher | March 17, 2011
Sacramento -- State lawmakers Wednesday approved billions of dollars in cuts to welfare, medical programs for the poor and in-home care for the elderly and frail, among other services, moving forward key pieces of Gov. Jerry Brown's budget reduction package.

They also voted to sharply reduce services for the developmentally disabled and shifted hundreds of millions of dollars away from mental health and early childhood programs to use instead to reduce the deficit.

The cuts would cover only part of the state's roughly $26-billion shortfall. They are still scrambling to secure GOP support for a ballot measure that would ask voters to extend billions of dollars in temporary tax increases.

Brown needs at least four Republicans, two each in the Assembly and Senate, to place the tax question before voters in a June special election.

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