True Budget Debate or Sad Sitcom?


Although most of the mainstream media reported on the Budget vote, it was interesting all of the interesting facts and details they left out of their reports. So I thought you might be interested in some of more relevant details not discussed.

First of all, it is important to remember that an overwhelming majority of the budget is not really being debated. Interestingly, the amount at dispute is so small in comparison to the overall budget that the Sacrament Bee quoted Democrat Assebmlywoman Jackie Goldberg had the nerve to say that it was just like the Governor’s budget.

We are, make no mistake, voting to support the governor’s budget,” said Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles. “I find it odd and interesting that it is the Democratic Party that supports the governor’s budget and not his own party.”

If you remember, In a recent column entitled “$4 billion is the key to budget war” Dan Wietraub points out that the budget debate is really over a small percentage of overall spending.
No matter when it is signed into law, the next budget will total somewhere around $90 billion from the state’s general fund, $110 billion from all state funds and about $170 billion in state and federal funds combined. The differences between the Republican governor and the Democrats who control the Legislature, meanwhile, can be boiled down to about $4 billion, perhaps less.

And sure enough he was right! The San Jose Mercury notes:

Depending on who does the counting, the Democrat-backed budget plan differs from Schwarzenegger’s latest proposal by $1 billion, maybe $2 billion. Real money, to be sure, but only a sliver of the total.

Both versions give schools roughly $3 billion more than they get now — although Democrats make available about $800 million more for general purposes. Both infuse $1.3 billion more for transportation projects and rely on the same level of borrowing. Neither raises taxes.

But what got very little reporting was that Legislators received the 700 page budget less than 24 hours before they were to vote on it.

“We should have time to look at a real budget,” said Assemblyman Michael Villines, R-Clovis. “I’ve had the chance to go through – since it’s been in print yesterday – maybe 200 pages.”

As a matter of fact, just about every Democrat who spoke literally read directly from a sheet of paper containing the Democrat Caucus talking points.

But not included in those talking points were some very pertinent facts:

1. Although their budget did not include any new taxes, it also did not include $1.2 million in VLF revenue the Governor promised to return to local governments. Instead of paying of this debt, they want to spend the money on programs. So it’s not new debt, but we are still using debt to pay for programs we can’t afford.

2. While they did not propose any new taxes in the budget, immediately following the vote on the budget they put forth a proposal to significantly raise taxes on California’s highest income earners. NOT JUST THE RICH! But those who earn a lot of money.

3. The state’s commitment to fund STERS actually ended several years ago. But the state has continued to fund it anyway. So the $469 million that Democrats want to give to STRERS is above and beyond the state’s original commitment. This is fine if you have the money. The problem is that California doesn’t have the money.

4. Democrats also forget to mention the fact that their budget is adopted, California will spend about $700 million dollars more than under the Republican’s plan and does nothing to pay off outstanding debt.

5. They also conveniently leave out the fact that Republicans are also supportive of fully funding in home health services.

What took place yesterday, was not an honest vote and a real budget proposal. It was more like a poorly scripted sitcom where the Democrats had to read all their lines and the Absurdity of it all allowed Republicans to deliver all the punchlines.

“The spending addicts are back to score their fix once again,” said Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Murrieta. “Just like the common street thief, you are going to justify the theft by saying the people you are taking it from are rich.”

Craig DeLuz

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