FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D, CA) new budget: more spending and higher taxes!
To summarize: $92.6 billion in spending (7% increase over last year’s); $9.2 billion deficit over eighteen months (half in the first six months, the other half in the next twelve). Brown is requesting $7 billion in new taxes, mostly from raising the sales tax again (to 7.75%) but with a faux-populist-friendly soak-the-rich* (actually, soak-the-small-business-owner) increase to 10.3%. Or the state can ‘cut’ an additional $4.8 billion in educational aid (he’s already planning to reduce poverty assistance by $4.2 billion): the most increased spending appears to be in tax relief/local government**… and education. In other words, that cut would actually be mostly in a projected increase in education spending, which means that it’s not really a cut at all.
Or, to summarize the summary: Brown’s bailing out the municipalities; and he’s trying to blackmail the Californian populace into a tax hike to pay for it by threatening to wipe out an increase in K-12 education funds if they don’t vote said hike in. See how that works? Increase spending in a line-item; then call the threat to remove that increase a ‘budget cut’ and use it to justify a ‘temporary’ tax. It’s a great scam; or, rather, it was a great scam twenty years ago, when there was more give in the system. Today, it’s just kind of alarming.
And, just for anybody still ready to believe in old Moonbeam: “Brown had been scheduled to release his general-fund budget Jan. 10, but was forced to unveil it today after it was inadvertently posted to the Finance Department’s website.” Oops.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Not to be rude about this, but California business owners should contemplate that, say, Texas has no state income tax and a state sales tax of 6.25%, with a maximum state/local tax of 8.25%. Which is one major reason why Texas now has four extra seats in Congress and California’s delegation has stagnated for the first time since it became a state.
**But don’t worry! …The Legislative, Judicial, Executive line item in the new CA state budget isn’t going to take a hit, either.