Brown, GOP Reach Budget Deal

John Seiler:

In early negotiations Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown reached a budget agreement with Republican legislators to increase taxes $12 billion — without a ballot measure. Votes in the Assembly and Senate are expected later in the day. Two Republicans from each house, joining all Democrats, are needed for a tax increase.

“What is the sound of one hand clapping is an old Zen saying,” a jovial Brown announced at a morning news conference. “Now we know the sound of four Republicans clapping!”

Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said, “I can’t believe it, but it’s true. The Republicans finally saw the need to make sure education, public safety and the safety net were funded. No one wants to increase taxes, but a stronger state will be a more productive state. So the taxes will pay for themselves.”

The vote to immediately increase taxes avoids the estimated $100 million cost of a special election. “See, we’re saving Californians money already,” quipped Brown.

“One of the best things about this deal is that it provides certainty to businesses,” explained Assembly Speaker John Perez. “An election would have continued the confusion over taxes. Many businesses have told me, ‘The worst thing is the uncertainty. We can’t plan our business expansions in this atmosphere.’ Now, they have the certainty of $12 billion in  higher taxes for five years. They can plan to create new jobs.”

“Kids are the real winners,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlaksen said. “Further cuts in education funding would have devastated budgets for math, English and science instruction. We can only build the future on a solid foundation of thorough education.”

Read the next sentence backwards:

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April 1, 2011

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