Bad actors, lousy script, in CA budget ‘play’

June 13, 2012

By Katy Grimes

California’s budget process has become a charade–it’s like watching a really amateurish play, with bad actors who do not know their lines, haven’t read the script fully, but know that someone dies at the end.

It’s embarrassing to watch, makes you squirm, and makes you mad that you had to pay to see it.

Is anyone in charge?

The state budget deadline is Friday, but no one at the Capitol appears to know what is going on, leading many to believe that the entire process is an annual farce.

Tuesday’s budget hearings were just more of the same–the Assembly Budget Committee held another “informational” budget hearing, and the Senate budget hearing was another long, drawn out hearing hammering out budget details which should have been dealt with months ago.

Leadership from both houses of the Democratically-controlled Legislature announced plans Tuesday to vote on a budget even before the Friday deadline, whether or not  a deal with Gov. Jerry Brown has been struck.

But many members of the Assembly and Senate reported that they were not only not invited to participate in budget negotiations, they were kept in the dark about important trailer bill language until being handed the list at the hearings.

Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Bob Blumenfield, D-Los Angeles, assured everyone that this would be another “balanced and on-time budget.” But taxpayers heard that same message last year from  Brown.

“It’s their money, their state budget,” Blumenfield said to committee members and the large audience watching the hearing.  “Voters will ultimately decide on cuts. Our role in the Assembly has been to give voters a choice.”

“This whole process is a mess”

“The Legislature has agreed to some tough cuts, but the budget before the committees today is not structurally balanced and puts us into a hole in succeeding years,” Brown said Tuesday in a statement. “Balancing the budget is critical to protecting education for the long term. We’re not there yet.”

Since January, Brown has overstated the state’s tax revenues, leaving lawmakers with the ugly truth now. And ugly it is… The Senate Budget Committee handed out an 84 page budget detail list of items to vote on, and the Assembly’s budget detail list was even longer, with 116 pages of excruciating budget detail still unresolved.

“This whole process is a mess,” said Sen. BIll Emmerson, R-Riverside. “No one seems to understand how you plan to work. Why are we voting on the budget plan today if it will change tomorrow?” Emmerson asked Committee Chairman, Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco.

But there was no answer.

Emmerson reminded Leno and committee members that Republicans had requested 48 hours to review all budget bills. But that request was was met with a “hmmm,” by Leno, and Emmerson moved on.

The arrests

After the arrests of 10 rowdy, angry union home health workers outside of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Capitol office, protests calmed down a bit. But the Capitol was still plagued by the protesting union members, upset about Brown’s proposed cuts to social welfare and health programs.

The hearings were crawling with hundreds of the protesting union workers wearing matching SEIU t-shirts. And for the second day, the streets outside of the Capitol were lined with expensive chartered buses, which brought the union workers to the Capitol to put pressure on lawmakers.

And that’s how it’s done by the Democrats. The union members are chartered to Sacramento from all over the state, provided lunch vouchers, handed scripts, whipped into a frenzy, and set loose on the Capitol.

The choice

The governor’s budget plan includes the revenue from his tax increase ballot initiative which will be voted on in November. In fact, all of the Democratic budget plans factored in Brown’s tax increase revenue.

Brown’s ballot initiative would raise income taxes on California’s top earners, and raise sales taxes. If passed, this to the highest in the nation,  would make California taxpayers forking over highest amount of taxes of any state, and put California number-one in sales taxes.

However, if voters do not pass the tax increase, Brown has said he will cut $6 billion from their children’s schools instead. What a choice.

Without passage of his tax increase, automatic cuts will be triggered.

In the meantime however, Brown said he still needs to cut $1.2 billion from low- income health programs, $1.1 billion from welfare and in-home workers, and $500 million from courts and the Judicial Branch.

Brown recently explained that he will be cutting state workers’ weekly hours, which will cut overall costs by 5 percent.

The Charade

“I assure you the Legislature will pass not only an on- time budget Friday, but it will be balanced and it will be honest,” said Leno. “There will be no additional borrowing beyond what the governor has already proposed and there will be no gimmicks. It will be an honest, solid budget.”

But Democrats are proposing more spending than the governor, and say they are refusing to make the cuts to health and welfare.

It’s Act lV of this bad play. Most of us wish we could get up and leave early, except we paid for this, and will continue doing so long after the actors go home.

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  1. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 13 June, 2012, 10:09

    They need me to help solve the budget problems……#1, all gov trough feeders making over $75K take a 20% pay cut 😉

    Reply this comment
  2. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 13 June, 2012, 10:10

    BTW-Clowna pension taxes are DOA, ask San Diego and San Jose about pension tax hikes 😉

    Reply this comment
  3. The Ted Steele Legal System (tm)
    The Ted Steele Legal System (tm) 13 June, 2012, 11:01

    Poodle boi— Another of your now infamous predictions???? LOL I enjoy them so much because as soon as you make them I am assurred victory!

    Reply this comment
  4. Hondo
    Hondo 13 June, 2012, 11:26

    The democrats are cutting help the poor by gigantic amounts. The public unions are acting worse towards the poor than any republican could ever imagine doing(and they don’t). Public unions are destroying education and health care in this state. They are demanding to shut down all services to the poor to pay for the service workers salaries and pensions.
    Even if the tax increase passes just look at the 2009 huge tax increase that was supposed to balance the budget i Kalifornia. Suprise, a 17b deficit again. Look at Illinois. A huge tax increase last year and suprise, more huge deficits.
    Then look at Wisconsin. Why are the vast majority of public union workers in Wisconsin refusing to pay their union dues when they don’t have to anymore?
    And why is Romney now ahead in the polls in very blue Wisconsin?
    Hondo….

    Reply this comment
  5. The Ted Steele Legal System (tm)
    The Ted Steele Legal System (tm) 13 June, 2012, 11:36

    Hondo-

    LOl— you think that blue, demo union guys support the draconian cuts to welfare? Are you high again?

    While I wish there were more blue dogs out there— there aint enuf! Republicans wan to cut welfare amigo.

    I wish we dems would cut it– its bloated as well, I wish we would lean a bit mre to the right on immigration– we don’t…

    Don’t believe all the hype on Fox and your buddy Rushbo ™

    Reply this comment
  6. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 13 June, 2012, 11:49

    Ted –

    don’t believe everything you hear on MSNBC. I see first hand what he Democrats in power are doing to the state, and how they use the poor, disabled and minority populations to help get this done.

    Republican cut proposals are only to get government out of our lives. No one in the Republican Party has proposed cutting the legitimate safety nets of welfare, health and social services. But when you have millioons of now-unionized home health care worrkers, paid high union wages to stay at home and care for elderly parents, or disabled children, in addition to collecting disability and social security, the state will drown.

    Katy

    Reply this comment
  7. The Ted Steele Legal System (tm)
    The Ted Steele Legal System (tm) 13 June, 2012, 13:07

    OMG BFF Katy ! Am I watching too much MSNBC or is Fox on right now at your house? The safety net, really? (apologies to Willard Mitt)

    Maybe I was focused too much on Washington where your budget

    Guts Medicare, and

    cuts 11.9 b of safety net from the Public Health Foundation
    cuts 600 mil lowering medicaid renrollment
    cuts 43.9 b eliminatind exchange surpluses from the very poor
    cuts 33 bil from food stamps
    cuts 11.7 b by restricting eligibility from food stamps
    cuts 2.8 bil from foreclosure prevention for the poor…

    I have pages of this from the Ryan budget. Do you think California will make up this loss for the poor here?

    I agree our side needs to give some but puuuuuulease—-the Dems are hurting the poor and disabled? Good luck with that talking point!

    Ted

    Reply this comment
  8. The Ted Steele Legal System (tm)
    The Ted Steele Legal System (tm) 13 June, 2012, 13:17

    You wrote–But when you have millioons of now-unionized home health care worrkers, paid high union wages to stay at home and care for elderly parents, or disabled children, in addition to collecting disability and social security, the state will drown.

    Are you saying that the SEIU or other unions have MILLIONS of Calif. home health workers?

    Reply this comment
  9. The Ted Steele Legal System (tm)
    The Ted Steele Legal System (tm) 13 June, 2012, 13:21

    Katy– One last thingy—- you’re not complaining about the Gov’s proposed cuts to CALWORKS are you?

    I mean—– that is Repub all the way….riiiiiiiiiiiight???????

    Reply this comment
  10. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 13 June, 2012, 14:42

    Katy- ignore the ignoramus, or you will develop brain damage ;P)

    Reply this comment
  11. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 13 June, 2012, 15:41

    just poking at you Ted –

    I cover state politics at the California state Capitol…

    Katy

    Reply this comment
  12. The Ted Steele Legal System (tm)
    The Ted Steele Legal System (tm) 13 June, 2012, 15:53

    I know you’re poking at me— and you’re doing a darn good job of it…..even though you may be watching too much Fox News ™…Please remember— I am The Ted Steele Integrated Sysytem ™

    Reply this comment
  13. Hank
    Hank 13 June, 2012, 19:48

    It seems to me they forgot to invite the future virtual banker to the play. If they were smart they would have given Mary Nichols front row center tickets with a back stage pass. Will Jerry and Mary devolve into a slobbering lovefest or a messy divorce? I suppose it doesn’t matter much, she has only
    dream dollars and he has a dream budget to balance with her dream dollars. Turn out the lights, the parties over.

    Reply this comment
  14. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 14 June, 2012, 10:12

    We have strong boxes, insourced duct tape, marking pens, eco friendly packing paper and a large assortment of big print travel maps.

    Time to pack and ship!

    Reply this comment
  15. Sean Morham
    Sean Morham 14 June, 2012, 15:17

    Let Brown have his tax increases. Next year, he will face a $12 billion dollar deficit despite the higher taxes. this thing is going to blow. Let his legacy be a revolt with public hangings at the capital. The SEIU will meet the same fate as ferme generale. Invest in basket futures.

    Reply this comment
  16. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 14 June, 2012, 16:21

    Quite gory!

    Is there anything else on your mind?

    Reply this comment
  17. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 June, 2012, 00:01

    Let Brown have his tax increases. Next year, he will face a $12 billion dollar deficit despite the higher taxes. this thing is going to blow.

    The pension/sales tax is DOA. I am taking on all dorks who have $100 to back a Clown tax passing, bring it.

    Reply this comment
  18. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 June, 2012, 07:01

    Dorks…..clowns….hmmmm.

    Every major office holder Democrat.

    Must be lots of dorks and clowns out there.

    Reply this comment
  19. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 15 June, 2012, 07:02

    Poodle—- another of your famous predictions???? LOL ™ How many predictions have you lost out here now? 10 ???? Oh my. You continue to entertain me little man !

    Reply this comment
  20. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 June, 2012, 08:13

    $100 punks, pay up :

    Reply this comment
  21. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 June, 2012, 08:14

    Can you say San Jose 🙂

    If not try San Diego 🙂

    3-1 margin of pension reform VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (4-1 if you take out triughies)

    Now pay up, Clowns 🙂

    Reply this comment

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