The Governator has some thoughts on how to fix our state’s broken fiscal situation:
In a state of the state speech, the governor said creating jobs was the top priority for his last year in office and proposed spending $500 million in worker training funded by part of the budget which is in surplus.[â¦]
Schwarzenegger put the budget hole at $19.9 billion over 18 months, about a billion less than a recent report from the state’s budget watchdog.[â¦]
Schwarzenegger called for overhauls including changing the state’s tax and pension systems and allowing for private prisons, red flags to powerful unions and their allies.
Schwarzenegger’s jobs plan is part of a five-point package that also includes tax credits for first-time home buyers and lower sales taxes for green technology, and measures to limit lawsuits against businesses and make it harder for environmental regulations to block big construction projects. [â¦]
Republican lawmakers cheered Schwarzenegger’s call for pension reform and private prisons to cut the state costs. “We don’t have a choice … The budgetary problems are so severe,” said Republican Assemblyman Roger Niello.
“Taxes are not option this time,” Niello added,
By my reading of this and other articles, the plan is:
- Cut tax for homeowners
- Cut sales taxes
- Limit the ability of courts to ensure fair dealings
- Permit environmentally damaging development
- Push for a proposition to ensure that higher education never gets less money than prisons.
None of those ideas do anything to close the ~$20 billion budget shortfall. Indeed, tax breaks and more spending on schools can hardly do anything but worsen the situation. The solution is not private prisons or cutting the pensions workers have earned through their service to the public. The solution is to raise taxes, and to reform Prop. 13’s catastrophic provisions limiting property tax growth and requiring 2/3 legislative majorities to raise other taxes. Until revenue can rise in proportion to inflation and population growth, California will continue lurching from budget crisis to budget crisis, and anyone who takes tax hikes off the table a priori lacks the requisite seriousness to spend another day in Sacramento.