Saturday, September 20, 2008


Budget Late? It's the Democrats' Fault

After 82 days, the California State Legislature has agreed on a budget for the year ending nine months and ten days from now. As usual there is the chorus of blaming someone for the long delay in enacting the budget. The Republican Governor blames the entire legislature. He would like to impose a more serious penalty for having a late budget than simply withholding the legislators' salaries until the budget is approved. The Democrats blame the minority Republicans for refusing to compromise on the issue of providing additional revenue to make up the chronic shortfall between the State's income and expenses. The Republican leader of the State Assembly has it right. The LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that "He said the delay could have been averted if Democrats had accepted earlier on that GOP members would not support any tax increases."

Well, lah dee dah dah! Tax increases should be subjects of negotiation along with reductions in payments for services. If the State is providing more services than the tax revenue will support, it makes sense to consider increasing taxes along with cutting back on services. The Republican minority in the legislature wanted to discuss only the cuts: how much less should the State pay for emergency health care; how much less should the State pay for police and fire protection; how many fewer miles of highways should be repaired; etc., etc., etc.

I can remember a time, not too many years ago, when there were reasonable Republicans. There still are some, but not in the California Legislature. In comparison with his "allies" in the State Legislature, Republican Governor Schwarzenegger seems pretty reasonable. I can think of several other "reasonable" Republicans. Unfortunately, none of them are holding office at present. I suddenly realize that, in comparison with the Republicans in our State Legislature, even George W. Bush seems reasonable. I need a stiff drink!

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