California: Governor Brown thinks we’re stupid

January 6, 2012

Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget was released yesterday (1) and it’s… Well, this is a family show, so let’s just say it’s “interesting.”

Governor Jerry Brown proposed $92.6 billion in spending for the year starting in July, an increase of about 7 percent, which will count on voters approving $7 billion of higher taxes in November.

The spending plan foresees a deficit of $9.2 billion through the next 18 months. Almost half of that is in the current fiscal year, he said. He called for $4.2 billion in cuts, mostly to welfare and programs for the poor. If the tax increase isn’t passed, Brown’s plan would cut another $4.8 billion in support for public schools and community colleges.

In other words, the government of a state that’s already suffering from too much government spending and suicidally high levels of taxation wants to increase spending and ask the voters to tax themselves more. Makes sense? It does if you’re a California liberal Democrat. I mean, we just couldn’t cut some of the myriad of needless and redundant state boards we maintain (and whose members draw six-figure salaries). We couldn’t cut the subsidized car leases and hefty per diems our elected representatives oligarchs get (2). We couldn’t find ways to increase revenue by intelligently exploiting our vast natural resources and making California once again an attractive place to do business, now could we?

Heaven forfend! Are you mad?

No, the only way to feed Sacramento’s crack habit spending needs is to raise revenue by increasing sales and income taxes, the latter especially on those filthy, evil, rich people. (That is, small business owners who create the few jobs that still are created here.) That means We The People have to agree to those taxes.

And that means Jerry has to lie to us:

The proposed 2012 budget would slash $5.2 billion in public school funding if voters reject the tax increases Brown is trying to put on the November ballot. This would include about $200 million in cuts each to the University of California and the Cal State University systems and $4.8 billion to K-12 education and community colleges. (3)

In other words, “if you don’t agree to tax yourselves more, you must hate children! My God, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!” It’s the typical prediction of apocalyptic doom they hit us with every single time they ask for higher taxes. And it is absolute baloney.

A little background: under Proposition 98, passed in 1988, funds for K-12 education in California must increase every year (4); it’s required by the state constitution. As you’ll see in the summary charts for the budget (PDF, via Moe Lane), Brown’s budget includes a $4.8 billion increase in K-12 funding. Look familiar? It should; that’s the same amount cited as a “slash” in funding in the above quote. In other words, the “cut in education funding” is really the elimination of a proposed increase, not a genuine cut at all.

And that’s the lie: the “cut” the Democrats are shrieking about would really be just holding education spending at it’s already-generous level. That’s why I say they think we’re stupid. They think we’ll fall for it. But they forget they’ve tried this trick before, and it hasn’t worked. Ballot proposals for tax increases have a history here of going down to defeat. I predict this one will, too.

Because we’re not as stupid as our masters think.

via The Flash Report

UPDATE: At Cal Watchdog, Katy Grimes says the Governor is holding schoolchildren hostage.

Footnotes:
(1) Not released by Jerry, though. That was supposed to be next week. Some staffer screwed up. Ooops.
(2) In fact, all three branches of government get an increase. How… nice.
(3) With an annoyed comment from me at the bottom.
(4) The law can be suspended for a year by a 2/3rds vote of the legislature. I suspect this is what will have to happen if the voters reject the tax increase.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


A grand, misbegotten scheme

July 28, 2009

Rich Lowry marvels at President Obama’s ability to continue telling bald-faced lies about the costs of his health plan in the face mounting evidence that its a fiscal disaster:

The Left branded George W. Bush a “liar” for making assertions about Iraq’s weapons that were supported by the evidence, but turned out not to be true. Obama is saying things that aren’t even supported by the evidence. They are routinely debunked by the independent Congressional Budget Office, but that doesn’t stop Obama from continuing to say them. It’s as if the CIA issued reports every other week in 2002 explaining that no, Iraq didn’t have a nuclear program nor any stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, and Bush kept warning of the nonexistent WMD anyway.

Since the phantom cost-saving measures that Obama touts can’t be detected by anyone else, including Blue Dog Democrats and the CBO, Obama’s team came up with a deus ex machina. They’d create a council to come up with recommendations for Medicare. If Obama accepted them, they’d automatically go into effect unless Congress voted to block them. CBO looked at the council and estimated it’d only save a minuscule $2 billion during the next ten years, adding that “the probability is high that no savings would be realized.”

Will this stop Obama from selling health-care reform as a cost savings? Of course not. He can’t admit that he is bending the famous cost curve upward, any more than he can admit that the House plan might throw millions of people out of their private coverage or that the bill will — despite its raft of new taxes — add another $239 billion to the deficit over ten years. In its latest missive, the CBO says the numbers get even worse beyond the ten-year window. So the entire budgetary rationale of Obamacare — improving the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook — has been obliterated.

Lowery writes about how people are coming to miss the Obama of 2008, who seemed so cool, competent, and moderate. But those who paid attention know this was a carefully crafted “Potemkin village” of an image, meant to slip a radical Progressive past a generally Center-Right nation. The mainstream media colluded in this, in all but a few cases preferring to dwell on key issues such as Sarah Palin’s tanning bed and how good Barack Obama looks in jeans rather than investigating the Democratic nominee’s background and record.

But facts have a way of forcing themselves through even the most carefully crafted image. The people are seeing more and more the disconnect between the president’s words and the likely results of his plan, especially in the wake of the colossal failure of his pork fiesta stimulus package to meet any of his stated goals. They gave him his chance when he said it had to be passed NOW, before anyone had the time to really read and consider it. They can see how well that worked, and they’re wary of trusting him again with yet another massive program.

Call it a teachable moment for the public. Today’s lesson: “fool me once…” .

RELATED: Speaking of “teachable moments,” Byron York writes today on the GOP’s Teachable Moment on the Risks of Obamacare. The August recess is crucial to stopping this train wreck before it happens.


California con job

July 24, 2009

Earlier this week, my beloved state of Madness California reached a budget deal that ostensibly closed for this year the 26 billion dollar deficit — you know, the one that the last budget deal was supposed to close. (But I digress). Amid much wailing and gnashing of teeth about cutting programs that we were foolish to fund to such an extent in the first place, our Governor emphasized that this deal was reached without raising taxes. If there’s one thing Arnie likes, it’s being popular, and the crushing defeat of four tax-raising ballot measures in the last special election by 2-1 margins drive home to him just what the popular (and populist) position would be. So, read his flexing biceps: No. New. Taxes.

Bull. Angry

Rather than raise taxes, the state will simply take more in withholding:

The plan also raises $4 billion in part by accelerating personal and corporate income tax withholdings and increasing income tax withholding schedules by 10 percent.

Get that? Rather than raise the tax rate, they’re simply going to take your money at the current rates, only faster. No problem, right? Hypnotized

In case you’re still boggled by the “We’re going to take more of your money without raising taxes” magic trick, let me list some of the problems:

  • In the end, we’re still left with less on payday. That’s bad at any time, but to do so when so many state and local workers are facing pay cuts is adding insult to injury. It’s already tough to get by; this will make it worse for many, many people.
  • Corporations will be left with less money to pay workers and hire new employees. With a state unemployment rate hitting 11%, that’s just insanity. You can expect the exodus of businesses from California to accelerate, not slow.
  • Because the state is taking this money via accelerated withholding, they will quite likely owe more in refunds next year. This is, in the end, an interest-free loan on our part.  Trouble is, the money they’re taking now is being used now to cover shortfalls. Where will the money come from for those even-greater refunds? Anyone whose memory stretches back to just last winter will remember that the state was having trouble meeting refund requirements even then. Typical of Sacramento, the state apparently prays expects the recession to end soon, bringing with it a flood of new revenues to cover their continued profligacy.

And Minerva will descend from our state seal to do a pole-dance in the capitol rotunda, too.

Remember this next election day.


Foolish and weak

July 21, 2009

The Senate voted to kill the F-22 fighter jet this morning, both ending the program and putting thousands of people out of work:

The final vote is 58 to 40. With that victory the Obama White House has eliminated the last major threat to the largest and most expensive defense program in history, the F-35, and guaranteed the elimination of thousands of jobs throughout the country. If there is any consolation to be had here it comes from the fact that there will be a time when this administration’s weakness on defense, and the subservience of their enablers in Congress, will reemerge as a national political issue. And at that time, some Republican will run an add that shows the trillions this government has wasted on pet projects and social experiments and contrast that with the determination that same government showed in killing a crucial weapons system — because they decided there isn’t enough money left for our military to have the very best equipment money can buy.

Senator John McCain lead the charge to weaken our military.

Can I have my vote from last November back? Angry