The GOP has no answer on the state budget

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The Republican leaders in Sacramento have absolutely no solutions to the state budget problems. They're against the guv's tax plan for November, they're against raising any new revenue, they have their facts completely wrong -- and they have no alternatives to offer.

That's not me ranting, that's the factual evidence based on a fascinating radio interview featuring Senators Mark Leno, a Democrat who chairs the Budget Committee, and Republican Bill Emmerson, who is the committee vice-chair.

Leno is his usual reasonable self, saying that he knows there will be cuts and that the Democrats are going to try to figure out where and how best to make the reductions. Emmerson says:

1. That there have been "no serious cuts" in the past;

2. That the state budget is too big and growing;

3. That there should be no cuts to education;

4. That there are "places where we can make cuts," but there are no specific proposals on the table; and

5. That all of this will magically work with no new revenue.

Leno points out that the state's general fund was over $100 billion in 2008, that pre-recession it was projected that normal revenue growth and growth in cost of living and state needs would bring it to $125 billion by this year -- and that the actual state budget is about $85 billion. That's $40 billion less than it should be. There have already been massive cuts.

Emmerson wants to "fund education at last year's level," which is nice, but amounts to a cut since costs go up every year. And last year's level was way below what it ought to be.

But beyond that, he has no suggestions at all of what programs he wants to cut.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Comments

I am talking about the cost to society of locking all those people up, not the cost to individuals victimized by the War on (Some) Drugs.

I am trying to get the law changed.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on May. 18, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

you want to make budget cuts, you need to make them elsewhere, and the obvious places are the bureaucracy and the bloated welfare budget.

Posted by Guest on May. 18, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

I know you are probably not the same anon that claimed that the GOP wants to do across the board cuts, but across the board would imply prison cuts as well.

The voters are changing their mind about this decision. They already scaled Three Strikes back to not include drug offenses (Prop 36 in 2000), it is likely they will de-criminalize drugs further.

I expect there be further modifications to Prop 184 (Three Strikes) to eliminate life sentences for misdemeanors and non-violent criminals entirely.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on May. 18, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

But otherwise that is probably the ebst way to reduce the deficit. Just ask all department heads to cut x% off their costs, but don't tell them how to do it - leave it to their discretion. Fire any managers who refuse. Done.

Posted by Guest on May. 19, 2012 @ 9:11 am

...By far the biggest abusers of the public trust. Increase their pension and health benefits significantly (like they are doing in the City of Sacramento) and cut their wages.

Fed up with police and fire greed.

Posted by Guest on May. 19, 2012 @ 9:28 am

the State. Everything else, I can do for ymself and would prefer to.

Posted by Guest on May. 19, 2012 @ 10:22 am

Cops, jails, and military are the only things the state does that benefit the rich. Keep 'em bloated and pay 'em well so that they know who they're working for.

The rest of the stuff, like health, education, welfare -that's all stuff that the rich don't need, so cut the hell out of that.

Posted by 1%er on May. 19, 2012 @ 10:36 am

You couldn't be more wrong

Posted by Guest on May. 19, 2012 @ 11:56 am

Such has no impact on service to you. These folks are massively overpaid thanks to ongoing Union bullying campaigns. Thank goodness they are about to get their asses handed to them in San Jose.

June 5th is going to be a good day for those seeking beat back government union greed both locally and nationally.

Looking forward to it.

Posted by Guest on May. 19, 2012 @ 11:12 am

That "movement" is reduced to a once-a-month whinefest?

Posted by Guest on May. 20, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

will not change because they make to much money off the seizures of property, cars, boats cash, ect ect ect...

Also Dems want to tax people that earn money but not people that inherit money because that is how they get most of theirs, the inheritance tax should be 75% for everything over $1 million...

Posted by Joe Smuchatelli on May. 20, 2012 @ 9:42 am

If the GOP would hand out a list of what "across the board" cuts they want to make, to which programs, then they'd have a plan. They don't want to do that because Californians would be horrified.

No economist with any sense believes in the Laffer Curve any more. It worked so well under Reagan and Bush, eh?

Posted by tim on May. 16, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

"No new or riased taxes, and live within our means".

It would simply be up to department heads to trim their cloth to suit their budget. Just give each department a fixed budget and let them manage it as they best can.

Better than politicans micromanaging everything.

Posted by Guest on May. 17, 2012 @ 7:10 am

The Laffer curve is real, but tax rates have to be around 70% before raising taxes lowers revenue.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on May. 17, 2012 @ 8:51 am

is what Reagan reduced it to, give or take. Even in Europe the top rate is generally 50% to 60% but then they don't have another 10% on top for State tax.

I'd think you'd notice some serious problems if the federal tax rate started nudging up even to 50% and the voters don't seem interested in that.

CA residents who pay federal and state income tax, plus SSI, plus a near 10% sales tax, plus property tax on high-value homes are not under-taxed by any reasonable measure I know of, even compared with Europe.

Posted by Guest on May. 17, 2012 @ 9:17 am

No I am talking overall tax rates, not marginal. If you are really interested in the topic, I can dig up some of the academic literature on it but you have to promise to at least make a stab at reading it.

I am not seriously proposing that we organize society in such a way as to maximize tax revenue, I am not that much of a Socialist. I am more pragmatic than that.

Empirical evidence that we have indicates that setting tax rates high enough to collect the most possible revenue causes growth problems in the longer run.

Sweden discovered that in the 80s when overall government revenues got close to 70%, they cut taxes to where they are today at about 55% of total GDP and their economy now outperforms ours. So does most of Northern Europe and their aggregate tax rates are 10-25% higher than the United States.

Of course high taxes aren't enough to ensure a robust economy, you also need a relatively non-corrupt government that spends the money wisely, not one that is entirely in the pocket of a few wealthy donors.

So we have a lot to work on in America.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on May. 17, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

Hey - sounds like our lovely civil servants are up to no good again...

Vote NO.

Posted by Guest on May. 17, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

something different to what it means to the rest of us. I'd love a 4-day week and still get paid for 38 hours. Hardship? I don't think so.

Posted by Guest on May. 17, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

"The three furlough days per month amount to about a 14 percent loss in pay for state workers; add on 5 percent, and California's state workers would lose nearly 20 percent of their income."

Read more: http://www.kcra.com/politics/19999372/detail.html#ixzz1vF5MJKjG

Why the hell do wingnuts lie about such easily verifiable stuff? Are you really so stupid that you believe the drivel you post?

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on May. 18, 2012 @ 9:22 am

Nobody's hourly rate will go down - it;s just that the working week will be shorter and, according to my reading, it will still average 38 hours.

Other workers get paycuts with no time off.

Posted by Guest on May. 18, 2012 @ 11:02 am

So make up your mind, if you have one. Is it 38 hours of pay for a four day work week, or 38 hours of pay for 38 hours of work.

You wingnuts can't even keep your lies straight.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on May. 20, 2012 @ 9:27 am

Furlough days are TEMPORARY.

They EXPIRE.

You posted an article from July 2009. It is NOT 5% on top of 14%.

Is that your guys' best lie this time around - don't you have anything better?

Posted by Guest on May. 19, 2012 @ 9:35 am

See above. You can't even keep your bullshit line straight. Is it 38 hours pay for 4 days work or not?

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on May. 20, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

Be surprised if it gets 40%. Munger exposing what a fraud his plan is - also helpful.

Posted by Guest on May. 17, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

Yeah, cut someones hours or jobs if you do not have revenue to pay for them. Simple really. That's the downside of little or no accountability and a day off everytime there's a holiday, etc.

Posted by Guest on May. 17, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

.."you also need a relatively non-corrupt government that spends the money wisely."

That's unfortunate.

Posted by Guest on May. 17, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-19/army-purchases-of-17-000-pans-t...

Representative Harold Rogers of Kentucky directed millions of dollars in business to Kentucky company Phoenix Products Co., one of his campaign contributors, for $17,000 leak-proof drip pans for U.S. Army helicopters when similar products can be bought for about $2,500, according to a competitor.

[...]

The company’s owners are political contributors to Rogers, according to the Times story. Phoenix’s president, Thomas Wilson, and his wife Peggy, have given at least $600,000 since 2005 to a Washington lobbying firm and have been contributors to Rogers’ political committee, according to the Times.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on May. 20, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

How does this Kentucky story relate to the topic?

Posted by The Commish on May. 21, 2012 @ 9:44 am

Rubbish. The GOP and at least half the state wants CA to reform it's wasteful spending. New taxes is like giving gallon bottles of rum to a severe alcoholic.
I

Posted by Guest on May. 18, 2012 @ 8:32 am

Once again, SFBG shows why their editorial/opinion section doubles as the "Funnies" section. Yeah, no bias here guys, none whatsoever. This state has been dominated by Democrats since forever ago, but yeah, let's just dismiss any ideas put forth by the other side as having nothing to offer. Pathetic.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2012 @ 6:29 pm