Who's Drinking the Budget Kool-Aid?

John Seiler:

Some budget action might take place today. But who knows.

Meanwhile, government apologist Peter Schrag charges that Republicans, “having swallowed Grover Norquist’s no-new-taxes Kool-Aid, and intimidated by a couple of Southern California radio talkers, would try to block any version of Gov. Jerry Brown’s split-the-difference budget solutions.”

But Schrag is the one who “swallowed…the Kool-Aid.” The reference is to the the 1978 massacre at Jonestown, Guyana of 918 people. Most of them were forced by the “Rev.” Jim Jones (actually a non-religious con man) to drink Kool-Aid laced with cyanide.

Jones and his followers were left-wing Democrats tied into the state’s Democratic establishment during the first governorship of Jerry Brown. Jones even met several times with then-First Lady Rosalyn Carter, wife of liberal Democratic President Jimmy Carter.

The real Kool-Aid being drunk now in 2011 is by those who believe the state’s budget problems will be solved by a massive, $13 billion yearly tax increase for five years, costing each family $5,000 over that period.

Meanwhile, back outside Schrag’s own private Guyana-in-California mental world, the Daily News reports that we soon may be paying $5 a gallon for gasoline. Schrag probably is aware that gas prices have risen.

But our servants in the state Legislature probably missed that one because they get free cars and gasoline, courtesy of the taxpayers of California. Here are some of the models they’re currently driving (some legislators make payments above what the state pays, as noted in the link):

Calderon, Ron, D-Monterey Park: 2006 Cadillac STS

Cedillo, Gil, D-Los Angeles: 2007 Lexus RX 400H Hybrid

Cogdill, Dave, R-Modesto: 2009 Chevrolet Silverado

Florez, Dean, D-Shafter: 2007 Lexus RX 400H Hybrid

Hollingsworth, Dennis, R-Temecula: 2007 Ford Expedition

Huff, Bob, R-Diamond Bar: 2008 Cadillac CTS

Runner, George, R-Lancaster: 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Wright, Rod, D-Inglewood: used 2005 Cadillac XLR Roadster (pictured above)

GOP Redevelopment Hypocrisy

Schrag does quote Gov. Brown on the hypocrisy of most Republicans in backing the continuation of wasting $1.7 billion a year on redevelopment. As my colleague Steven Greenhut noted in his column yesterday:

California Republicans love to talk about limiting government, fighting bureaucracy and keeping taxes low, but March 17 they proved that this is nothing more than a rhetorical device. Given the opportunity to rein in the size and power of government in a tangible way, Assembly Republicans — with a sole exception — punted. They rallied to save some of the most abusive and wastrel government agencies around.

The sole exception was Assemblyman Chris Norby, R-Fullerton.

If Californians had any sense, Norby would be made governor in a special election.

But too many people, beginning with Brown and Schrag and redevelopment-obsessed Republicans, would rather keep chugging the Kool-Aid.

March 29, 2011

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  1. ExPFC Wintergreen
    ExPFC Wintergreen 29 March, 2011, 18:08

    I tend to agree that the the tax increase-as-solution is particularly weak and trying to get a “vote of the people” is a total abdication of responsibility of the governor and the legislator. But I don’t get why it is that reporters are the ones who obsess the most about cars that legislators drive. What is it with you guys? Is it that you never made enough money to have a nice car? I think that the OC Register pays at least enough for you to have done yourself a favor and get that SUV.

    How come you never rail on the fact that judges make so much money and have a pension plan even more lucrative than cops? Certain comforts are provided to elected officials. It isn’t a crime for them to use them in the performance of their jobs, even if it isn’t entirely necessary. It isn’t the cars they drive, it is the abdication of professional responsibility during legislative session that is the problem. Besides, what do you think a 2005 Cadillac is worth? My guess is about $15,000

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