More Pain to Come

Increased budget deficit means big cuts with or without tax initiatives

by Brian Leubitz

With the recent announcement of a bigger than expected deficit, Gov. Brown has announced bigger than expected cuts are coming in his May revision of the budget.

The gap grew, the budget revision states, because Brown over-estimated tax revenues by $4.3 billion and the federal government and courts blocked $1.7 billion in cuts the state wanted to make. The remainder of the difference reflects an increase in the amount of money the state is mandated to spend on education under a complex voter-approved formula.

To close the wider gap, Brown has heightened the cuts he wants to make to Medi-Cal, to $1.2 billion, and maintained another $1.2 billion in welfare and child-care savings he proposed in January.

He also wants to slash payments to people who care for the disabled by 7% and reduce the state payroll through a shorter workweek or wage concessions. He proposed $500 million in cuts to the state’s struggling court system, including a one-year freeze on all new construction projects.(LA Times)

That’s just the best case scenario there. As horrendous as that may be, if the tax measure in November doesn’t pass, Brown is set to do a triggered cut of $5.5 billion and $3b other cuts.  

At this point, the waste is gone. We are cutting vital services that won’t just magically reappear when times get better. We are fundamentally changing how we treat each other, and we are letting social darwinism run amok. It’s a tragedy of immense proportions, and no saviors are riding in from the horizon.

34 thoughts on “More Pain to Come”

  1. I mean is there any real solution that doesn’t involve drastic cuts? I’m not badgering here, I don’t see any realistic revenue raising solutions, am I daft?

  2. Is there a place on the web ( or even in the real world ) where people actually talk about these things? This budget horror show has been in repeat for most of my adult life, and certainly for all of my kid’s life, and I have lost my self control tonight with cool discourse and sad sympathetic agreement. I feel anger, rage even and disgust, but  I see no anger or disgust. Another year, ho hum another slash and burn disgrace and after it’s all over everyone goes through the same motions the next year. Why do people just accept this? Is it because it is  easier to cut the ground from under strangers rather than alienate your friends and allies when they shrug off yet another fiscal throw-the-poor-and-vulnerable-under-the-bus party, and say the Republicans made us do it? Really, after all these years, to think that this is what good people have come to accept.  

  3. Not really.  How could there be with billionaires trading $50 million homes back and forth.  There is only one place we can get it.  In an odd kind of way, this new shortfall may bolster the case for the tax increase, which now may not be high enough.

  4. California has 12% of the US population and 33% of the nation’s welfare recipients.

    In 2011, 254 businesses left California, or an average of 5 per week.  202 left in 2010, 51 in 2009.  2500 employers ceased operations in California between 2007 and 2011.  The great majority of them simply went out of business.

    California taxpayers spend north of $10.5 billion annually to educate, medically treat and incarcerate illegal immigrants.

    Immigrants account for a large share of California’s population growth. Between 2000 and 2009, international migration accounted for 1.8 million new residents in California, compared to 2.9 million due to natural increase (more births than deaths). In 2009, 40% of births in the state were to immigrant mothers

    For immigrants in California with college degrees the wage gap is much smaller (8%) than for those with high school diplomas or less (27%). On average, immigrant workers’ wages do not catch up to native-born workers’ wages over time.

    We have less native born residents so wages are typically lower, we have a higher percentage of welfare cases than any other state, our business climate ranking (50th) is driving companies to other states and the unemployment rate is over 11%.  Add in the promises we have made to public sector workers and you have a fiscal nite mare and a 16 billion dollar deficit.  But hey, at least the governor wants to give us high speed rail!

  5. All the people who bought those bonds are mostly 1 percenters. Let’s just default, write off the debt, and start over. It’s that easy.

  6. We have thousands of public employees in CA that are retired or will be eligible to retire at 50, and take home more than they every made in a salary.  

    I have done everything right in my life, I graduated high school, I worked my way through college and grad school, I have paid off my student loans, and I max out my 401K every month.  When my financial advisor tells me I can retire at 50 and take home $100,000 ever year, thats when I’ll vote for new taxes.

    I feel very sorry for the kids in our crappy schools, but I’m not giving another dime to the freeloaders who are robbing this state blind with their huge pensions.

  7. Common Cause is taking the filibuster rule in the Senate to court as Unconstitutional.  We could unlock the CA legislature and allow them to act by majority.  A number of taxes like oil depletion, closing the Prop 13 commercial tax loophole, ending the Arnie corporate tax adjustments might be possible in the Legislature.  Redefine the initiatives that have been responsible for so many bonds.  Review bonds.  Ask for renegotiation on them if they seem out-of-line.  Ca has been in a straight-jacket of Norquist proportions since 1978.  

  8. illegal immigrants cost the state somewhere up to 10 billion.

    We can encourage self-deportation through measures like e-verify and cutting all benefits like welfare and health care that are not required by federal law.

    We can also grow the economy, by expanding offshore oil drilling and loosening economic regulations that inhibit development and expansion.

    We need to ban bond issues that don’t have corresponding tax increases associated with them. Think of the stem cell research bond, or children’s hospital bonds. They advertise the no-new taxes on those bond issues, as if servicing bonds will come from the magic money tree.

    Eliminate all defined-benefit pension plans and instead make state and local government employees contribute to social security, which we’ve been told is an excellent program.  Immediately rescind all pension benefits that exceed $3,000 a month and prohibit retiree health care. Medicare is good enough for everyone else. For anyone grandfathered into defined-pension benefits, push the age to collect benefits up to 65.

    Give the death penalty to all redevelopment agencies.

    Pay teachers based on the merit of their work, not their seniority.

  9. These really need to get cut. They are basically follow-up careers for termed out legislators of both parties.

    I’d like to go further but the biggest thing I’ve noticed in all these stories is that no one has really looked at te budget. what are we spending it on.

    I saw one person in another website said tey did look at it and a lot of money goes to buying up land for environmental groups.  I’m not going to argue the worthiness of the cause but I can say that having the govt spend on an interest groups concern instead of having them hold fundraisers with the wealthy hollywood elite etc isn’t the best way to go.

    Anyone willing to DL the budget and see where it all goes. It would be a nice project to debate the cuts here.

Comments are closed.