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Ear to the Ground

California’s Day of Reckoning

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Posted on May 16, 2012
Freedom To Marry (CC BY 2.0)

“You name it,” Gov. Brown declared at a news conference Monday night, “and we’ve got to cut it!”

California Gov. Jerry Brown has embraced austerity as the solution to the state’s economic problems, and his updated budget plan contains plenty of pain for most everyone as it cuts deeply into social programs. —ARK

The Independent:

Welfare payments, healthcare for the poor, and benefits for elderly and disabled Californians will be immediately slashed by around $8.3bn (£5.2bn), which equates to roughly 17 per cent of Mr Brown’s entire discretionary budget. And state offices, which employ roughly 200,000 people, will switch to a four-day, 38-hour work week.

The radical proposals came days after it emerged that the Golden State, which is currently suffering 11 per cent unemployment, has a projected annual deficit of $16bn, far higher than the $9bn predicted in January. Its total debt is now around $40bn, giving it the lowest credit rating of any US state in recent history and prompting fears of a Greek-style default crisis.

… This year, even with Mr Brown’s latest round of cuts, the state will spend roughly $91bn but only raise $83bn. If allowed to continue, it could find itself unable even to service existing debts in a matter of months. “California has been living beyond its means,” Mr Brown said. “The USA and its federal government is living beyond its means. Well, there has to be a balance and a day of reckoning.”

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By jack pratt, May 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Applying austerity economics during a deep recession is like cutting taxes during wars. STUPID!

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By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, May 17, 2012 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

My good friend Joe Arpaio says that all social ills can be traced back to the Mexicans.  California needs get tough on Mexicans!  They drink too much water and hog up all the fresh air, leaving only the dirty air for white folks.  And they swoop in a take all the best agricultural jobs in the Central Valley.  Yep, Mexicans = Austerity for California.

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By Marian Griffith, May 17, 2012 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Big B
Actually, Gov.Brown is hampered what the tea party (and the republican party) want to do with the entire country: A hard law that prevents raising taxes. This is coupled with a demand for government services that far outstrips the tax income and the result is predicatbly a mushrooming deficit and no way to get it under control.
And as usual it is the poor who bear the brunt of this insanity. The rich can take care of themselves in their gated communities. They will not affected by the closing of the schools, the hospitals and road maintenance and all the jobs lost that entails. Also notice that there is no mention of significant cuts to the oppressive security apparatus. We can not have the poor and unemployed run around uncontrolled can we? They might decide to wander uncomfortably close to the gated communities after all and that would be just too scary…

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By A. Benway, May 17, 2012 at 8:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Politics as it’s generally understood remains an activity constrained by reality. The governor has options defined by reality. The reality for California is that it’s been looted and continues to be looted, starting with raygun - a creature who was a a stooge for the fbi and who was the agent for powerful eastcoast financial and ideological actors. So now the looting has gone so far as to force Brown to this absurd choice-set.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, May 16, 2012 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

Of course there won’t be a day of reckoning for the oligarchs living in Santa Monica, Malibu, the Hills, etc.

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By KP, May 16, 2012 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This has been in the making for years and years and years and years. Chris Christie, go west big man, go west.

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By Big B, May 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

Ahh, Gov Moonbeam. I think he has smoked himself retarded. He’s got the same problem that our current prez and congress have, he doesn’t seem to have the intelligence to figure out that cutting taxes and cutting services will ALWAYS cause higher deficits.

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