Gov. Brown to sign $7 billion increase to California spending budget
On Sunday, literally minutes before the legislature was required to send the governor a budget, Democrats took the wording out of some bills and replaced them with new words favorable to the folks who fund their campaigns. And, as Democrats, they’re assured the changes will be approved by simple majority vote.
“You elect one party over the other party, and you pretty much get what you need in return,” stated Richard Rider of San Diego Tax Fighters.
Rider says special interests know how it works in California.
“The budget process has always been shaky, but it seems so more than ever now that it’s a single party operation.”
Since Democrats no longer need any Republican votes, we know have budgets passed by Democrats, for Democrats.
“Unfortunately, it doesn’t do us – as taxpayers and citizens of California – any good. It ends up a lot of trading of money; unfortunately, it’s our money.”
The money-trading now is between the governor and fellow Democrats. Those Democrat legislatures get expanded funds for educational and social programs, and give Governor Brown $250 million from cap-and-trade funds for his bullet train, which may be halted in its tracks by the courts.
“Nobody’s going to use it. They may run it, but it would be like a ghost train – up and down the central valley.”
And using cap-and-trade is legally suspect because the money has to be used to reduce pollution.
“Nobody makes the case that high-speed rail has anything to do with that, except maybe it sets a good example.”
This train also requires federal funding which Congress has denied as well as private investment, and with this uncertainty, who will invest? The Teachers Union gets to expand its membership with added money for the pre-learning program, and it got the legislature to limit what school districts can hold in reserve, freeing up money for teacher compensation. Revenue is flowing in right now, but the important revenue sources – income and capitol gains taxes – are volatile.
“Markets up times are good, money flows. What happens next year: market retrenches 15%. They don’t know; they just spend like it’s going to come in next year, year after that, year after that.”
And the so-called reserve is a puny $1.6 billion.
“This pretend surplus is a hiccup – three months bad market that goes away, plus billions more. So that’s no reserve whatsoever.”
The governor has until the end of this month to sign the budget.