As we face this state budget crisis, we would like to remind people that it didn’t have to be this way. The Democrats in California’s legislature tried to do the responsible thing to keep the state running and head this off, and passed a good budget in January. The Republicans and the Governor instead wanted to create a crisis and force the state into bankruptcy.
From January, Schwarzenegger vetoes budget bills,
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this afternoon vetoed the Democratic plan to reduce the budget deficit by $18 billion and will urge lawmakers to use his January proposal as a template for implementing midyear cuts…
The move forces leaders to start over in their efforts to close a budget deficit estimated at $40 billion over the next 18 months. It jettisons — for now — what Democrats hailed as “the only game in town” — because it included tax increases approved without Republican votes.
Democratic leaders sent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger an $18 billion deficit-cutting package on Tuesday, a plan he quickly vetoed as anti-tax groups filed a lawsuit to stop it.
The activity came amid the Legislature’s third special session since the November election to deal with California’s worsening budget deficit, projected at $42 billion over the next 18 months.
For some reason, it has been forgotten that this budget would have solved this problem and avoided the May 19 election and resulting chaos. But the anti-tax extremists blocked it because they don’t want government to work, they want it to shut down. It is a strategy they are following because it keeps their base active and brings them corporate donations. They do not believe in government, they have said so, and they have all signed a pledge to that effect.
The Democrats should be strategic as well as responsible and pass this budget again. This time if the Governor vetoes it or the anti-tax extremists take it to court they will be doing so while people’s own schools are forced to lay of teachers, and their own police departments are being forced to reduce patrols. It won’t be hypothetical, it will be happening in their neighborhoods and their cities. The public will be able to see for themselves who is trying to keep the state running, who is trying to keep their schools open, and who is trying to shut the state down. And if it goes to court they will be forced to ask why we do not have majority rule in California, how there can be a law allowing a small number of extremists to block everything.