Jerry Brown’s Budget Proposal Gets Plenty of Reaction

Well, there is not shortage of reactions to Gov. Brown’s initial budget.

A centerpiece of the budget is a reliance on voters passing tax increases next fall. Building a budget on something that may or may not happen is foolish.

The special interests are out in force.Teachers are screaming about education cuts. Health agencies crying about cuts to their budgets.

CalWatchdog points out that while Gov. Brown does include some dramatic cuts, he also includes some spending increases, notably including a new agency for state hospitals, and a new business and consumer agency. Yeah, that is what CA needs, a few new bureaucracies. I’ve been noticing a marked lack of bureaucracy around here lately.

Also notable is a wimpy proposal to cut the state work force by 1.3 percent (3,000 workers). That would not even offset the 3,600 added in 2008 while the private workforce in CA shed over 750k jobs.

My favorite reaction is the Bee’s Dale Kasler asking “Economy is revving up; why is Jerry Brown seeking cuts, tax hikes?” Umm, maybe because year after year the budget optimistically assumes the economy will provide ridiculous revenue increases that then fail to materialize. At least Brown has some sense of history.

Budgets silly season has just begun. Brown’s budget is still too full of hope and fuzzy math, though it does propose some real cuts. The reaction makes it clear that all cuts will be fought to the bloody end. Thus the root of the State’s budget problem–no willingness to prioritize and stand up to everyone who wants the state to spend on things that just don’t rise to the top of the list.