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California's unrealistic budget: A result of dueling party ideologies [Most commented]

June 29, 2011 |  2:47 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times California has a budget, but it's not a realistic one. It banks on $4 billion in revenue coming in to prevent even deeper cuts to state services, including education. The Times' editorial board says there are better alternatives to such deep cuts: a bipartisan bargain. However, the board praised the timeliness of the budget, which was passed before the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1, and the effort put in to craft it. Because Proposition 25 allows the budget to be passed with a simple majority, the plan was crafted almost entirely by Democrats, but without the tax increases they have been pushing for. Here's an excerpt from the editorial:

The Republicans' main accomplishment was to force Brown to abandon -- at least for now -- his plan to ask voters to extend a temporary increase in sales, income and vehicle taxes. But unlike past years, when Republicans used their leverage to extract a variety of concessions on policy, this year's deal left them utterly empty-handed.

That's mystifying. A number of the Republicans' proposals for pension limits, regulatory reform and spending restraints would have helped the state's long-term fiscal situation and improved the business climate in California. And top Democrats seemed willing to sign off on them if a handful of Republicans agreed to vote for a ballot measure to let voters decide whether to extend the tax increases. But what seemed like an obvious deal didn't materialize in March, when it would have been easy for the GOP, or earlier this month, when Brown was also demanding that lawmakers keep sales and vehicle taxes elevated until voters could weigh in later in the year.

[…]

Rather than allowing such disruptive cuts to go into effect, lawmakers would be wise to try again to reach a grand bipartisan bargain.

Readers agree the budget isn't a good solution, but they're split on who is to blame for this mess.

The state should come before party ideologies

They missed their chance because of the stupid no tax hike cult that's taken over the party.  The state has cut and cut and cut but still it's not enough for the ideologues now running the Republican party.

It's frighteningly similar to the old Soviet Union, deviate from the party line no matter how stupid it is or how much it hurts everyone and we're going to come after you in the primaries.

It's sad and it's sick.  Nothing but obstruction and destruction.  They're ignored because they won't compromise and compromise it what politics is about.

Putting party ideology over the good of the state is just plain wrong and at the national level, it's un-American as hell.

--affableman

The Democrats are protecting the unions

Brown refused to confront the overpaid and protected government unions. Face it liberals. And the ironic thing is those outrageous government pensions and perks that Brown and his union buddies are so protective of aren't sustainable. Read it again. THEY ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE. Why they don't try and get something in return now for what needs to be scaled back eventually is the height of stubbornness. UNSUSTAINABLE. Go and look it up if you still don't understand.   

--buzalg

The cuts will show what the Republicans were doing

It's pretty clear that the Republicans were never interested in making a deal.  They were going to keep raising the bar, playing Lucy to Charlie Brown.  They really have no right to make any comments because they are not serious about governing.  I almost wish Democrats had gone all the way with cuts so that people could truly understand what Republicans were doing. 

Is it really worth 1% in sales taxes to see severe educational cuts in higher education and K-12?  Do you have so much more money that it's going to make a huge difference in your lives vs. that of our future generation.  What are you going to buy with that extra $10/week?

--rajivparikh

Republicans can't get past their narrow ideology

Regrettably, on both the state and national level, the GOP's thinking extends no further than "No New Taxes."  The party leaders wouldn't know policy if it bit them in the rear end.  This may make their base happy.  However, they can kiss goodbye their chances of gaining political dominance, particularly in California.  They simply don't know how to lead.  They only know how to obstruct.  

--ROSJAN

Democrats can't get past their ideology, in response to ROSJAN

And regrettably, on both the state and national level, the Democrat's thinking extends no further than "More taxes." 

--edwardskizer

This budget clearly isn't balanced

How can they say "Balance budget" when the 4B dollars that may or may not come? It's like I am creating my budget and go to the bank and tell them to lend me money because "In July of this year, I will hit the mega lotto."

In case if you, all legislators, wonder there is a book called "Budget for Dummies" and I am sure you can deduct from your general funds to buy this book.

One of the most powerful thing about this beautiful country is that we have the freedom and with this freedom, even the most stupid and idiots can run for the office. But I didn't mention about the idiots who voted for these idiots years after years and that is another major topic by itself.

--amonitor123

*Spelling errors in the above comments were corrected.

RELATED:

California's morons in the Legislature

California's grand budget bargain that wasn't

Putting a lid on California lobbyists' gift bags

California's budget: Yikes! The state takes a lesson from its people

--Samantha Schaefer

Gov. Jerry Brown. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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