California governor Jerry Brown proposed spending cuts Monday, including shutting down state offices one day a week, as well as tax rises to curb an estimated $16 billion budget deficit.
Brown warned that the budget hole could balloon further if California voters reject plans to increase sales tax and levies on high earners, in a November public vote in the huge western US state.
“I’m linking these serious budget reductions with a plea to the voters: please increase taxes temporarily,” Brown told reporters as he unveiled a revised plan for the budget year that begins July 1.
Brown said over the weekend that California’s deficit has swelled to nearly $16 billion, almost double the expected figure in the Democratic governor’s initial budget proposal in January.
The shortfall was due to lower-than-projected tax revenues and increased spending on schools, among other things.
Brown’s updated draft budget included proposed cuts in Medi-Cal, the state’s healthcare program for the poor, and saving $400 million by shifting government offices to a four-day week.
Brown warned that, if voters reject tax hikes in November, funding for state schools would be cut by $5.5 billion, and the University of California and California State University systems would be cut by $250 million each.
And of course these tax measures are going to fail. Republicans will simply flood the airwaves saying "You know if these tax measures pass, the rest of the state's rich people will simply move elsewhere. Then what?" The answer to that is California's schools basically stop functioning, period. I know I've talked about Greece and France and Spain as issues affecting our economy, but if California falls apart this summer, it's going to be a lot worse for the country as a whole.
And please note Moonbeam's choice here is major suffering for everyone, or massive suffering for anyone with kids in school. What a guy.
Some days, I'm glad all my lousy Democratic governor does is fund dinosaurs in arks rather than threaten to cut $5.5 billion from schools.