Watch the “Why the GOP should cave!” dog and pony show LIVE!

Today at 3 pm the California Legislature will be holding a joint session to hear from the State’s fiscal leaders on why they need to address the State’s massive budget deficit ASAP. Featured speakers include State Controller John Chiang, Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Mike Genest, the Governor’s Director of the Department of Finance, and Mac Taylor, the state’s non-partisan legislative analyst. Each will speak for 15 minutes, and then there will be questions from the legislature afterwards.You can tune in and watch it live at CalChannel.com .

Sacramento Bee writers, Dan Walters and Jon Ortiz will also be hosting a live blog during the presentation at www.sacbee.com/live. That is how important this presentation will be.

But you can be assured that the bulk of the dog and pony show will be focused on why legislative Republicans should cave on their commitment not to raise taxes.

Bill Lockyer has already threatened to withhold the sale of any bonds until the budget is fixed. Furthermore, he would cease the flow of funds to current projects. Additionally, Governor Schwarzenegger has hinted at massive layoffs amongst the ranks of state employees, a proposal that will do more to influence Democrats than Republicans.

But what is missing from any discussions are the substantive requests that GOP legislators have put forward. Namely:

• Economic stimulus proposals (not tax cuts) for employers like:
o AB 32 implementation relief
o Repeal of eight hour overtime
o Regulatory relief

• Substantive budget reform like:
o A real spending cap
o A rainy day fund
o Providing flexibility to agencies (especially schools) on how they can spend their budgets.

• Ongoing spending reductions by:
o Consolidating agencies and departments with duplicative functions “Blowing up the boxes”
o Re-visiting collective bargaining agreements and related side deals.
o Reworking of funding formulas that demand so much of the state budget.

Even as Democrats declare “Everything needs to be on the table”. Please notice that these options will be found nowhere on that table. Not because Republicans have not proposed them. Rather, Democrats have killed them at every turn.