Live-blogging Gov. Brown’s State of the State address

Brown speech, Jan. 24, 2013Jan. 24, 2013

By John Seiler

I’m live-blogging Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State address. Live video link here.

9:06 Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is bloviating about how the budget supposedly is balanced. “The best is yet to come.” True — for those who leave California.

9:07 Brown now: “California has once again confounded our critics… a balanced budget… and, by God, we’re going to keep it that way for years to come.” Yes, in “years” measured by the planet Mercury, which are 88 earth days.

He’s praising Californians for passing Prop. 30. But we don’t know if it really will raise the money yet.

He’s praising unions — his true bosses. “2012 — what a year.”

“launching the nation’s first high-speed rail system” — a total boondoggle.

We need to “guard jealously the money made available… fiscal discipline” — right, with a Democratic supermajority?

“boom and bust, stop and go” on the budget is bad. But inevitable for California. He admits “changes in the economy” could “cost us billions.”

Apparently quoting Rumsfeld, he said there are “known unknowns.”

He’s quoting Genesis on Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dream of the seven lean and seven fat cows. “Let us follow Joseph and pay down our debts… for the lean times that surely follow.” And right fast.

Quoting FDR, he said, “This generation has a rendezvous with destiny” — yes, in another state.

Some history of Portola in California. El Camino Real. “Fr. Serra joined the expedition by sea…. the coming of the 49ers,” possibly a reference to the Super Bowl. More history to the present. Apple…, whose stock is crashing. “The longest-standing mass migration in the history of the world. This special destiny never ends” — right, because it heads to Texas.

“The rest of the country looks to Calif., not for what’s ordinary, but …” But what they shouldn’t do.

More is needed than “passing new laws.” Then why did he sign more than 800 last year?


Quote from Montaigne on laws.

“turgid legal system… overshadows other aspects of public service” — then why did he sign more than 800 new laws last year?

“tapping the persuasive power” — just tell that to the tax collector just given more terrorizing power by Prop. 30.

Talking about education. 6 million students, 300,000 teachers, all subject to many laws, etc. Bureaucracy. Federal laws, federal Dept. of Education. 60 million U.S. students.


System is “deeply inequitable” and “complex.”

He’s getting emotional about stressing statistics too much. Good point. But he’s doing it because Calif. test scores are at the bottom of the states.

Quotes William Butler Yeats, education is “the lighting of a fire.”

Brings up subsidiarity: “A central authority should not perform those tasks that could be performed at a more immediate or local level.” Then why did he just tax families more? Why did he give more money to his centralized, union-driven regime in the state Capitol?

2013 budget cuts “categorical programs,” maximum control at local level. Wants more local-control funding formula, distributes “supplemental” funds, based on the real-world problems they face. That would just fund failure. How about firing the teachers and administrators of failing schools?

unequal funding, he said, “is not justice.” Actually, a really bad system that fails is not justice.


Higher ed now. “Tuition increases are not the answer.” Then will he cut the administrative bloat, where Cal State and U Cal have more than one bureaucrat for every prof?

Calif was first state to begin implementing Obamacare, he said. Calls for “special session” to deal with issues needed quickly, to get Obamacare started by next Jan. “incredibly complex” to start Medi-Cal integration with Obamacare. But what about him decrying so many laws earlier?

Helping bring jobs back in Calif. Convinced Samsung to bring research and development to San Jose. Is he kidding? They need a presence in Silicon Valley and would have done it no matter what in their battle against Apple over smart phones.

Need to reform California Environmental Quality Act — he’s right there.

Calif exports are booming. He ties the Chinese who built the railroads to the leadership of the PRC. Both favored free markets, unlike him.



All are dependent on the Delta for water. Earthquake or flood would be disaster, loss of $100 billion.

2 tunnels under the Delta. Habitat restoration. “Yes, that’s big, but so is the problem.”

“buildup of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” highest in 15 million years.

Talks about global warming, but not using the name. “California is extremely vulnerable.” He hasn’t heard that there’s been no global warming for 16 years.

Praises AB 32, which is killing 1 million jobs.

Praises “renewable energy.” But even environmentalists say the current schemes are a big waste.

High-Speed Rail. “electrified trains part of the future.” Praises China, which has 1.3 billion people compared to 38 in Calif. And Spain, which is bankrupt.

Talks about the first part of the line, which won’t be high-speed.


“the little engine that could.” He really referred to it. “I think I can.”

Bloviating way too much now. Typical Brown.

“We’re going to get over that mountain. I have no doubt about it.”

He said he signed the original HSR in 1982.

“California is on the move. Let’s get it done. Thank you.”

And thank you for ending your speech now.

Conclusion: A continuation of Brown’s themes of the past year, especially his Prop. 30 campaign, that all is well and we can build HSR, the tunnel, more spending on education.

No mention of the Pension Tsunami heading toward the state, nor that the state’s higher taxes even as he was speaking are digging in and killing jobs.

Next year’s State of the State will be different.

Tags assigned to this article:
Jerry BrownJohn Seiler

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