California Republicans finally, finally submitted what they claim is a plan to attack the budget deficits, detailing specifics of the cuts they are demanding. The plan they submitted only cuts the deficit in half, thereby admitting (but not admitting) the urgent need to raise taxes to cover the other half of the deficit.
The Republican plan guts public schools, community colleges, Medi-Cal, transit, mental health and many other programs. And yet it still leaves half of the deficit in place. So it isn’t really a “plan” at all. It is just one more extremist demand that we gut public schools.
A phrase like “guts schools and programs” becomes abstract when it is heard often enough. So what does this mean to the average Californian? What kind of education will children receive as we push to 40 or more students per classroom? Will they be safe if the district cannot afford crossing guards or buses? Will any of us be safe after police and firefighters are cut back? Do we go another decade without improving mass transit or even repairing roads and bridges? Will epidemics spread as health care is cut back? What about three-hour lines at the DMV? And what happens to people’s ability to train for jobs when community colleges are cut way back?
The Republicans demand that we sacrifice the education of an entire generation of school-aged Californians, so that a few wealthy people and corporations can become even wealthier! Their benefactors are covered — their kids are in $20,000-a-year private academies. But what will this do to the economic future of the rest of this generation, and to the future of California? They don’t care.
This process as it has unfolded over so many years has shown us that California is ungovernable until we remove the current 2/3-requirement system that allows a small group of extremists to hold the state hostage.