Skip to comments.CA: Reality check - Governor's budget allows reasonable increases
Posted on 01/12/2005 8:47:50 AM PST by NormsRevenge
If you are like most Americans, your household income will grow by about 3 percent this year. You would like more, of course, but you will get by just fine.
Why, then, can't the California Legislature scrape by on a much larger increase of 4.2 percent in general fund revenues? Why are Democratic majorities in the Senate and Assembly, joined by a chorus of special interests, demanding a variety of tax increases to avert the hardship they foresee in a budget that will grow by only 4.2 percent?
Gov. Arnold Schwarz-enegger's proposed 2005-06 budget provides a reality check for lawmakers accustomed to surging spending programs locked on autopilot, expanding at double-digit rates year after year. The days of bloated budgets propelled by California's dot-com boom are long gone. It is past time for the Legislature to live within its means rather than dig its hand ever deeper into taxpayers' pockets or run up gargantuan deficits to perpetuate an unsustainable spending binge.
As Schwarzenegger told The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board yesterday, Sacramento doesn't have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem.
That is why California's reform-minded governor is right to reject not only tax hikes but also the built-in spending hikes contained in a panoply of costly health and welfare programs. Slowing the growth of such entitlements is essential to eliminating the structural deficit that has plagued California's budget since the dot-com bust five years ago.
Democratic lawmakers assail Schwarzenegger's health and welfare budget as stingy because it eliminates some automatic increases in monthly payments to beneficiaries and cuts basic welfare checks by 6.5 percent. Even with the cuts, however, California would have the fourth-highest monthly welfare allowance in the country.
Other critics charge the governor's proposal does not spend enough on education. Yet, it provides a generous 7.3 percent hike in spending by the University of California and California State University. Outlays for kindergarten through community colleges would jump by a healthy 7.1 percent. That would allow an increase in per-pupil spending of $362, to a total of $10,084 a year.
Schwarzenegger correctly emphasizes the imperative to limit spending growth rather than impose higher taxes, which would undermine California's economic recovery and put it at a competitive disadvantage in retaining jobs and investment. Accordingly, he is asking the Legislature for sweeping powers to impose mid-year reductions whenever spending outruns revenues.
The spending control plan is one of only four landmark reforms sought by the governor. The others are merit pay for teachers, an overhaul of how legislative and congressional districts are drawn, and a transformation of public employee pensions. Like his new spending blueprint, each one of these ideas faces tough going in the Democratic-controlled Legislature. To prevail, Gov. Schwarzenegger will have to impose on lawmakers many other political reality checks.
"Democratic lawmakers assail Schwarzenegger's health and welfare budget as stingy because it eliminates some automatic increases in monthly payments to beneficiaries and cuts basic welfare checks by 6.5 percent. Even with the cuts, however, California would have the fourth-highest monthly welfare allowance in the country.
"stingy" there's that word again.
In another thread the article said that Schwarzy was going to back off because of strong opposition, okay girlie man. This guy's ideas with this mandatory healthcare insurance would make him a really bad candidate for President.
He needs to cut all welfare benefits that would be a good start.
Outlays for kindergarten through community colleges would jump by a healthy 7.1 percent. That would allow an increase in per-pupil spending of $362, to a total of $10,084 a year.
Right, for some reason suddenly that word "stingy" is coming up a lot when referring to Americans, (remember the Tsunami thing) and now Republicans in particular (as in libs calling Schwarzy "stingy")
This must be the libs favorite word of the day.
Only conservatives are stingy. Spending only as much as the average family does in a year isn't enough for the loony Left here. In a word, with SacSpeak, if isn't double-digit spending, you're starving needed programs. Gotta love the way they think up there.
If I got to spend ten grand a year on my kid's schooling, I would send him to any number of private schools before even considering a public school. Anyone who thinks spending ten grand a year to produce a California public school gradjerate is profitable, raise their hands. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?