Grim vs. Grimmer: LAO’s Predicted Cuts if Taxes Fail

The radical anti tax movement has put up some bold suggestions in the past two months as Jerry Brown’s budget has proceeded through the system.  First they flat out refused to allow any tax measures. Then they wanted a tax cuts along side Brown’s measures, an entirely unworkable proposal.  But the one thing they haven’t suggested?

A balanced budget.  As of right now, all they have done is complain about potential taxes, without doing any of the difficult work of identifying the cuts that would allow us to work through without increases.  

Fortunately, the Legislative Analyst’s office (LAO), at the request of Senate Democratic leadership, has done some of that work for them.  The Bee got a copy of it, and boy, is this ugly:

As was expected, the alternatives are grim – $4.5 billion less for K-12 schools than Brown proposed, as well as a $1.7 billion reduction to universities and community colleges. The Analyst’s Office also laid out $2.6 billion in cuts to corrections and courts, $1.2 billion in health and social services reductions, $1.8 billion in cuts to “general” state and local government operations and $1.7 billion in cuts to transportation and resources.(SacBee)

Now, these aren’t necessarily LAO recommendations, but rather just possible suggestions that would be doable under current law.  If you drill down further, the cuts are, as expected, most painful for those that need it the most.  Tuition at UC and CSU would go up another 7-10%, CalWorks eligibility would be decreased, and larger class sizes would just be a few of the potential cuts.  For the business folks, there’s the suggest cut that would axe the small business loan guarantee program.  Oh, and for those living out in wildfire country, the State would say that you are pretty much on your own.

These are all pretty hypothetical at this point, but if we don’t pass some sort of additional revenue, the consequences will be pretty dire one way or another.

6 thoughts on “Grim vs. Grimmer: LAO’s Predicted Cuts if Taxes Fail”

  1. For thirty years or more the rule of the land seems to be ‘taxes are bad’.  Hopefully the last seven years have been enough for the people of California to see that there are some things worth paying for, and that taxes pay for those things.  The trick will be if we can keep our side of the bargain and when economic times improve, focus on programs that are needed and don’t just increase spending because there’s more money (get funding levels for education up to full, etc., but lower taxes when it’s possible).  

    It seems like we always swing from one extreme to the other.  In one direction we increase taxes and never think about decreasing them until forced to do so, even if economic times are better.  The other direction, which we’ve been heading towards since Prop 13 sees taxes cut and cut until state government can’t do the things it is supposed to be able to do.  

    Our education system is what built California into the powerhouse it has been for the last twenty years, and our constant pushing of tax cuts at education’s expense is only going to destroy our chances for a better future.  

  2. Well, The Gov has finally found a way to end some tax breaks.  This time, it hits the smaller farmers, orchard owners, etc. According to the Mercury News, Brown wants to eliminate Williamson Act Tax Breaks or at least the State’s share of payments to local authorities.  

  3. The part that puzzles me is why “taxes are always bad” even when taxes reduce expenses.

    Education is the prime example.  Save yourself a couple of hundred dollars in taxes per year, and reduce the schools to such bad shape that you get to spend $10,000 per year on private school.  

    We just had the same BS nationally with health care.  It would cost half as much per person globally, and cost way less individually at the “point of sale,” but no-o-o.  We’d rather pay way more, so long as it’s not a “tax.”

    It’s like one of those fairy stories where the fool insists on trading the family cow for a chicken.

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