A depressing vision for California from its new governor. From the L.A Times:
Gov. Jerry Brown took a major gamble in the budget plan he unveiled Monday, proposing deep cuts to nearly all state programs while betting that Californians would agree to extend a trio of recent tax hikes in a spirit of shared sacrifice.
Under what the governor characterized as an "honest" budget, taxpayers would be asked to dig deeper into their pockets — after the state's welfare program is cut in half, $1 billion is trimmed from its universities, and tens of thousands of elderly and disabled residents lose access to care at home.
Jerry Brown is a good man and a solid Democrat, and I'm sure the budget cuts are not something he is relishing. Brown is enacting the cuts to get a budget passed - something close to impossible in the insane California governmental system that requires a 2/3 majority - but his plans to smash social services are extremely dangerous and will have disastrous consequences for the state.
California's credit rating is awful, and cutting the enormous deficit is important for its long term ability to borrow. But the cuts will almost certainly push California back into recession making economic recovery (and therefore cutting the deficit) far slower and painful. It's a bit of a catch 22, but there has to be a better way of restoring California to fiscal health without ruining the lives of its most vulnerable residents.