Despite all the talk of fixing it, California’s budget is still a mess. One of those “fixes” was implemented last summer when the state Legislature increased revenue projections by $4 billion to avoid balancing the budget. Of course, the problem with using such “phantom money” is that it often has a habit of disappearing when you need it most. And it has disappeared just when money for schools is needed. Now deep cuts are on the table. The people lose again.
Naturally the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office recently reported that the state will receive virtually none of the $4 billion in projected revenue, forcing the state to make some tough decisions in the coming weeks. On the table are major cuts to the education budget, including shortening the school year by a week, not to mention cuts to in-home healthcare programs, and programs for people with developmental disabilities.
Obviously Californian’s budget needs all the help it can get but it looks like it’s business as usual in Sacramento. For instance, an upcoming ballot measure sponsored by a career politician would baffle anyone that truly understands the mess California is in. The so-called California Cancer Research Act coming before voters in June, asks California voters to raise taxes by nearly $1 billion for a whole new perpetual bureaucracy. That is unacceptable to voters. Maddeningly this new program doesn’t even guarantee that the money will be spent in the state! Apparently former state Sen. Pro Tem Don Perata, the career politician pushing the measure, thinks Californians who already paying some of the highest taxes in the nation should reach deeper into their pockets just to potentially send that money across state lines to benefit others. And all the while the budget for the education for those same taxpayer’s kids is about to be slashed.
So, what is the “solution” proposed by Democrats in Sacramento? Raise taxes, of course.
“Today’s numbers make it clear that the state’s first priority must be to get to the ballot in November and raise needed revenues to avoid any more damage to Californians,” said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. “The notion of cutting deeper into education, public safety and services for those in need is unthinkable. I imagine an overwhelming majority of Californians agree.”
The “damage” to Californians is not too little “revenue” (the Democrat’s favorite new word for high taxes) being raised. It’s waste and abuse coming right out of our state houses and Washington.
Raising taxes during record unemployment and massive budget deficits and creating whole new bureaucracies when government is already strangling the state just to potentially ship the money out of state is exactly the sort of dysfunctional thinking that got California into the mess it’s in today.