Now Rolling Stone worships Jerry

Now Rolling Stone worships Jerry


The East Coast media, ever ignorant of California, keep worshiping Gov. Jerry Brown and his supposed “rescue” of California. The latest is from Rolling Stone magazine, which started out in San Francisco but moved to New York City 35 years ago. Tom Dickinson writes:

Rolling Stone RonstadtAs wind turbines spin like massive, inverted egg-beater blades against the bluest California sky, Jerry Brown steps into the sun. Since he took office in 2011, Brown’s hawklike brow has been cemented in a scowl as he battled to stave off bankruptcy for the Golden State. But as he high-steps to the microphone today, the 75-year-old governor is loose and smiling. Soon he’s riffing about his first stint in Sacramento in the 1970s as “Governor Moonbeam,” joking of the nickname, “I earned it with a lot of hard work!”

Brown has come to a warehouse district just south of Oakland to cut the ribbon on the Zero Net Energy Center – the first large-scale commercial building in the nation to be retrofit to consume no more energy than it produces. With function following form, the building will house a green-energy training program, where apprentice electricians will earn union wages while learning to install things like solar-power inverters and electric-car charging stations.

Dickinson might have wandered over to Oakland’s less savory areas; something fabled RS reporter Hunter S. Thompson certainly would have done. But then, he might have been mugged, because Oakland’s high crime rate has been soaring. The Chronicle reported in June:

“With nearly 12 robberies a day and murders, rapes and assaults all on the rise, Oakland is the Bay Area’s crime hot spot – but new FBI statistics show that the city is far from alone in confronting rising mayhem.”

While praising Brown for supposedly fixing the budget deficits, Dickinson naturally attacks Proposition 13:

“The California that Brown inherited on his return to office appeared to be an insolvent, ungovernable mess. California’s finances have been out of wack since the late 1970s, when right-wing, anti-tax activists passed Prop 13, a constitutional cap on property taxes that also requires a two-thirds supermajority vote to raise any tax through the state legislature.”

Without Prop. 13, California now would be like New Jersey, where middle-class people are being shoved out of their homes because they can’t pay $31,000 yearly in taxes.

And far from being a “right-wing” conspiracy, Prop. 13 passed with 63 percent of the vote. It saved grandmothers from being expelled from their homes.

What about the pensions?

Dickinson writes, “With the budget in balance and Republicans sidelined, Brown has shifted gears, and the Golden State is emerging, again, as a laboratory for ambitious progressive governance” — on the environment, health care, infrastructure (high-speed rail, the Delta tunnels), etc.

But typically, Dickinson doesn’t bring up the state’s pension crisis, which puts the lie to Brown supposedly solving the state’s financial problems. The unfunded state pension liability is $500 billion.

And earlier this year, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System asked Brown for a $4.5 billion yearly contribution for 40 years to keep the fund from going insolvent. Brown did nothing. If he had included that $4.5 billion in the budget he signed, the budget would have been in deficit, instead of the supposed modest “surplus” the cooked books show.

We’ll keep getting these progressive puff pieces on Brown until the next recession rips apart the state economy again, along with the budget “surpluses,” and reveals the larva-infested rot inside.

Tags assigned to this article:
budgetJerry BrownJohn SeilerRolling Stone

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