Democrats propose gimmicks and tax increases but no budget reform

Today, Legislative Democrats offered their proposal to address the $28 billion deficit facing California over the next 19 months.

In predictable fashion, they offered temporary gimmicks (calling them cuts), permanent tax increases (calling them revenue enhancements) and absolutely no budget reform. In fact, the Democrat proposal offers $8 billion in TEMPORARY spending cuts and gimmicks in exchange for $8 billion in PERMANENT tax increases.

Democrat Assembly member Noreen Evans pleaded for members to not be beholden to ideology and “put everything on the table.” However, Democrats refused to include any substantive budget reform or economic stimulus in the bill package they put forth today.

The California Assembly Republican Caucus has identified the following “Lowlights” in the Democrat’s proposal:

  • Permanent Tax Increases – Imposes $8.6 billion in higher taxes on hard-working Californians, including higher Vehicle License Fees. Over 5 years, our taxes would be raised by $24 billion.
  • Small Ongoing Budget Savings – Uses delays and fund-shifts to make it seem like their approach would lead to $8.1 billion in cuts, while in reality it would lead to little ongoing savings.
  • Prioritizes Welfare over Public Safety – Contains few cuts to the fastest-growing areas of government like health and welfare programs, while targeting public safety for devastating cuts to frontline officers, community policing and juvenile justice programs.
  • Includes Early Release – It also includes dangerous early release and direct discharge parole plans that would allow thousands of inmates to go directly back into our communities, unsupervised by a parole officer.
  • No Incentives for Job Creation – Includes no economic incentives or reforms to lower business costs and encourage companies to invest in California and create jobs here.
  • No Strict Spending Limit – Has no real spending limit that would force the Legislature to only spend what the state takes in each year.