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Speaker John Perez and Governor Jerry Brown
Speaker John Perez and Governor Jerry Brown will decide how to restore California
For those who don't know the story of California's notoriously sad tale of budget deficits and fiscal management, the short synopsis goes something like this:

Times were good during the late '90s, when the combination of the tech bubble and the Clinton economy created a consistent stretch of prosperity in the California economy. But a series of tax cuts, combined with the ailing economy of the Bush years and the bursting of that tech bubble. led to massive structural deficits. But unlike in other states, where the majority party in the state legislature can actually govern the state, California was different: it took a two-thirds supermajority of both houses of the legislature to even pass a budget, much less raise taxes. This allowed an ever-increasing extreme band of Republicans, who controlled more than a third of at least one house during this time despite their deepening unpopularity, to hold the state hostage seemingly every year until they got even more cuts to the social safety net. These Republicans would even use their hostage-taking power to extract corporate tax cuts for big businesses, further deepening our fiscal nightmare.

Eventually, the progressive California electorate got tired of this. Even as a tea party wave swept the nation in 2010, California's Democrats increased their legislative majorities and swept all statewide offices. We passed a ballot measure ending the supermajority requirement to pass a budget. And in 2012, after over 30 years of anti-tax orthodoxy dating back to the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, Californians voted to tax themselves to stop the crushing damage done to our schools by decades of low-tax neglect. Even better, redistricting reform has allowed Democrats to win even more seats, finally claiming a supermajority in the legislature and rendering the Republican Party structurally irrelevant in every meaningful way.

And now, not coincidentally, the Sacramento Bee reports that California is finally starting to write new headlines, as Gov. Jerry Brown has declared California's budget deficits a thing of the past. Even further, the Bee reports that the University of California will likely not have to increase tuition at our world-class public universities because of Gov. Brown's new budget. These tuition increases had been a mainstay during California's painful past few years, as anti-tax Republicans somehow did not see tuition hikes as a tax increase on our students.

There's a short but important lesson to be learned here. Out here in the Golden State, we certainly have a lot of work to do to repair the damage. But we could only get started on the right track once the Republican Party in California was removed from every single lever of power and Democrats were allowed to actually govern the state by making the wealthy pay their fair share and eliminating the structural roadblocks that allowed a heartless minority to dictate the state's fiscal terms. Given the sometimes precise analogies to what is happening on a federal level now, it's a point that bears repeating: California's path back to prosperity has proven that cutting corporate taxes, gutting the social safety net and defunding our schools is simply not the way to run an economy. We had austerity imposed upon us for years by a minority party with no qualms about holding the state hostage to its whim, and no matter how much we did it, it still did not work.

Democrats across the nation can take California's example to put the lie to Republican claims of fiscal prudence, of course. But despite our nascent turnaround, California Democrats still stand at a crossroads. Gov. Brown is insistent that he will not rebuild the social safety net that was cut during the recession:

Brown said he is unwilling to restore funding for social service programs that have been cut during the recession. "That kind of yo-yo political economy is not good," he said. "I want to advance the progressive agenda, but consistent with the amount of money the people made available."
As digby explains, however, this approach is fraught with its own challenges:
We've seen that movie before. It came out only a little over a decade ago. And what's the plot? The Democrats preside over the creation of a recovery and surplus and burnish their "fiscally responsible" bonafides by cutting vital programs and emphasizing "saving" their surplus rather than restoring those services. The Republicans then ride into power on the promise that they would hand out hundred dollar bills like candy in the form of tax cuts. ("It's yer Muneeeeee!") And the next thing you know we're back in deficit and it's time to start cutting even more. The Republicans usually let the Democrats do this dirty work because well ... cuts are unpopular. Tax cuts aren't.
As California figures out how to rebuild, these two schools of thought will certainly butt heads, as well they should. But what everyone should be able to agree on is that the conversation about how to fix both the state and the country at large should not involve the very same people who caused these crises: namely, the unapologetic extremists who have no issue with taking everyone hostage to advance their private agenda.

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Comment Preferences

    •  agreed (33+ / 0-)

      Prop 13 is really the big problem there.

      What's more, you can protect homeowners from tax raises while raising taxes on commercial real estate. There's no reason one has to go with the other. The only reason they were bundled together in the first place was so Prop 13 could win enough middle class support to pass.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:08:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would suggest the people who brought us Prop 13 (28+ / 0-)

        didn't care about senior citizens being taxed out of their homes, but cynically used that fear to push through corporate immunity to property reassessment.

        Yes, I said immunity.  By using shell corps and multiple partners, corporations can avoid property reassessment on sale.  It's fairly routine.  For example, the Gallo company bought thousands of acres of vineyards from another wine corp and it wasn't reassessed by having a group of a dozen family members as partners.  Thus the 50% ownership change rule wasn't triggered, even though the original owners sold 100% of their property.

        The term for decoupling commercial from residential property on Prop 13 is split roll.  Right now residential property taxes are the majority paid, it used to be 50/50 with commercial.

        •  yes, because it also applied (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Capt Crunch, KenBee, Leap Year, IM, chickeee

          to commercial properties - that's the main reason. Otherwise it did work to keep seniors in homes - it used to be impossible. I knew these schoolteachers in LA who had to move from their neighborhoods, had owned their houses like forty years and could not keep up with taxes. Which is why prop 13 passed so handily.  

          Home change ownership more frequently and rich people with lawyers are better at working angles.

          I am proud of my state.  They started collecting sales tax from businesses that made purchases on line before they were able to get sales tax on all internet purchases.  They're looking for money and their work was rewarded when the state passed a tax increase.  

          But businesses are the ones that made the most profit from Prop 13, for sure.  

          "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

          by anna shane on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:43:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Being forced to sell your home because you owe tax (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee, Leap Year

            is unconscionable. With coastal California's high home valuations property taxes, even with Prop 13, are already high. My property taxes are more than my mother's mortgage on her house in AZ.

            "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

            by Shane Hensinger on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:49:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think it's fair to compare (0+ / 0-)

              your coastal house tax rate to your mother's mortgage in... Arizona.
              California coastal house prices are astronomical - compare that to hosing costs in Arizona. That's just not comparing apples to apples.
              Plus anna was making a case for the Split Roll approach which would leave the approach to residential housing taxes unchanged.

            •  That's because you bought too recently (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              anna shane, madhaus

              If you were working on a 1977 tax valuation, your beach house might have taxes as low as $1k a year.

              I pay about 10x what my neighbor does, and his property is much larger.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:29:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's actually a silly comparison (0+ / 0-)

              Look at the property tax rates, not the totals.  Property tax in California starts at 1% but then all these little agencies start adding in various pieces on top of the 1%.  If you live in Southern California, most of the newer homes have those horrendous Mello-Roos taxes which aren't even deductable, and they're high.  They're basically the builder passing on the cost of facilities (schools, utilities, etc) to the owners as a forced bond payment.

              Here in Silicon Valley you rarely find Mello-Roos taxes on homes, because we're mostly built out.  Lots and lots of old crap.  Expensive old crap.

              Now go to some places in New York and New Jersey if you want to see high property taxes.  It's not the total, it's the percentage of the home sale price that makes property taxes "expensive."

      •  prop 13 doesn't protect homeowners as a class (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Leap Year, stagemom, IM, elfling, bryduck

        it just protects some homeowners while passing the price onto other homeowners.

        •  Those "some" include my 93 year old mother (7+ / 0-)

          My parents bought their house in 1952 for $20K, when the suburb they live in was a distant outpost iof San Francisco -- the street in front of the newly consttructed high school was unpaved.  My father was a teacher, my mother a "homemaker", as they were called in those days.  My father died in 1962.  My mother,who did take a job, still lives there.  It is a very modest house which just happens to be in an area that is now high-priced.   It would probably sell for $400K.  When it sells, tax it at that value.  But for now, my mother's social security income could not make the property tax payments on that value.   Where should she go?  She is not realizing $400K -- it is her home, the place she has lived for 60-some years, and because of Prop 13 she is still able to live there.   She, and most of the individual property owners who are able to stay in their homes, will soon be dead.  Then you won't have to lament their passing the price onto poor little you.

          •  Non-homeowners view equity (0+ / 0-)

            as some magic pot of gold which can be dipped into in a moment's notice. They think if your home is worth $500,000 that means you're rich - that you can just write a check against your home's value. They just don't get it.

            "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

            by Shane Hensinger on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:32:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Kinda. You can certainly borrow from (0+ / 0-)

              your equity, so you can actually "write a check against your home's value" . . .

              "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

              by bryduck on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:57:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Equity is not liquid (0+ / 0-)

                And banks have rules on how much can be tapped and when. Loan devaluation, credit score etc... all play a role. It's not at all simple nor is it a good idea to rely on that in the first place. Look at what happened during the financial crisis - lots of people lost their homes because the value dropped so quickly and they had "borrowed" against the equity - which became nonexistent.

                I'm of the mind that if you want to tap into the equity in your home you consider selling it and buying a new place which is cheaper - then pocket the difference. You can also refinance and use the additional equity as a cash out, but you never refinance more - always less. I don't have a home equity line of credit nor would I advise anyone else to get one.

                "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

                by Shane Hensinger on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 02:32:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  I am of mixed feelings (0+ / 0-)

            I am not a fan of property taxes precisely for the reason you express: the property rises in value due to no action by the homeowner, and the tax has no relationship to disposable cash actually available to pay it. When people lose their jobs, for example, they still have to pay that property tax bill, and it can be a big bite. Having people move solely because the property tax increases lowers stability in neighborhoods.

            And, as much as the inequality burns, at least you know what you're getting into when you buy a new house.

            However, corporations have an unconscionable advantage: they don't die. So you create a corporation solely for the purpose of owning a piece of land, and they you sell the corporation, and the property is not reassessed. Disneyland will never be reassessed... even though Walt Disney Corp is not owned by the same people who owned in in 1977.

            This creates some pernicious situations, too. An old supermarket is taxed at its 1977 valuation. A new company starting up buys land for a supermarket and has to pay taxes based on a valuation that is probably 10 to 20 times higher, even though they use the same services and sit on land of similar value.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:42:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  By the way, future grandmothers (0+ / 0-)

            are in houses that are median $500,000 valuation, meaning that they are paying $5k + a year now and will be facing bills that your parents can't cover in retirement. It's also likely that they won't benefit from a large appreciation in home values as your parents did.

            So we are going to have to fix this, if our goal is to keep grandmothers from having to sell due to property taxes, because when the current working generation retires, they will typically be seeing property taxes well in excess of $500 a month, and with little or no equity to draw out to cover it.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:14:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Prop 13 will never be repealed (3+ / 0-)

      We will never go back to the days of 60-70% annual increases in property taxes - never.

      "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

      by Shane Hensinger on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:25:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The two are not mutually exclusive (19+ / 0-)

        There are better ways to deal with the issue then allowing corporations and rentals to avoid paying fair taxes.

        We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

        by i understand on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:29:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with split roll (5+ / 0-)

          I don't agree with lifting restrictions on residential property taxes. In the mid 1970s average annual property tax increases were between 60-70% and in some cases as much as 200%. Prop 13 passed because people were furious - and rightly so. That is totally unsustainable.

          "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

          by Shane Hensinger on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:35:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  real estate also soared during that time (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Capt Crunch, KJG52, spritegeezer, stagemom, IM

            but noone thought it was unfair that people of certain generational cohorts got to cash in on that sudden unearned wealth. spare me the crocodile tears about the mythical old ladies taxed out of their homes, when noone gives a damn then or now about people who lose their homes for any other economic reason.

            •  Well there's that perspective (0+ / 0-)

              Which sounds like a sure-fire winner when telling people they need to agree to double or triple their property taxes.

              "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

              by Shane Hensinger on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:09:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  the state tripled my tuition (6+ / 0-)

                and gutted my school district's funding year after year so those people could not pay their fair share of the load, and none of them seemed to mind much. i guess some generational cohorts are more important than others.

                •  Causing others pain because you were caused (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sombra, Bailey2001

                  pain is a very poor basis for public policy.

                  "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

                  by Shane Hensinger on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:18:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  causing the rich to pay their taxes (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    KJG52, Willa Rogers, IM, sukeyna

                    so that the poor and middle are not squeezed is a time-tested basis for sound public policy. we've tried reaganism and the howard jarvis asset bubble way, and it wrecked the state in painful, unequal and long-lasting ways. i'm done with that failed approach, and don't care much about your equity when it's hard for most people in this state to even pay the rent.

                    •  Homeowners are "rich?" (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      sombra, KenBee, Samulayo, limpidglass

                      To be squeezed to help people pay the rent?

                      I don't understand where you come up with this stuff.

                      "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

                      by Shane Hensinger on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:28:33 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  However, keep in mind that living in a house (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bryduck, Shane Hensinger

                      that doubled in value because of the sale of a house down the street doesn't make you rich. This is especially true when the market is volatile and when there's no readily available source of less expensive housing nearby to transfer to.

                      It would be like saying someone is rich because their rent doubled. And that's how the dramatic rises made people feel, like renters.

                      Volatility in your bills as was seen in the 1970s is not a good thing. Prop 13 was passed for a reason. But I agree with you that it was not good governance, that it was designed not to help homeowners but to help apartment building landlords. To craft a better solution requires acknowledgement of the original problem that led voters to vote yes.

                      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                      by elfling on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:54:10 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's the thing. It's not/doesn't have to be (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        elfling

                        either Prop 13 or no Prop 13. There are an infinite number of laws that could take the place of Prop 13 and protect the 90-year-old grandmothers of above without bankrupting the rest of the state's interests. It shouldn't be "homeowners v. the world" as it is now.

                        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                        by bryduck on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:03:49 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Absolutely. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          bryduck

                          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                          by elfling on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:04:28 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  There's also the future 90 year olds to consider (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          bryduck, Shane Hensinger

                          It's likely I won't be able to stay in my house when I retire, because of the high property taxes I am paying now.

                          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                          by elfling on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:05:41 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  But that's not an abnormal (0+ / 0-)

                            situation; "retiring to Florida/New Mexico/wherever it's cheaper to live" used to be an acceptable end-of-working-life outcome. Only the rare few who made millions or had a large enough pension could afford to stay in the same house in which they lived during their working lives.

                            "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                            by bryduck on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:16:11 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you weaken your argument (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shane Hensinger

              when you use the word "mythical" because there absolutely were people who were looking at huge tax increases and needing to move for that reason alone.

              The rest of your point is well taken.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:47:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Another problem with prop 13.... (9+ / 0-)

      is that a 2/3rds vote is needed in city and county prop elections if its aim is to raise revenue through taxes. In 2012, prop J in Los Angeles (a plan to extend sales tax to fund mass transit) won 66%+ of the vote but not 66.7%. Prop 13 is a travesty.

  •  Whoo-hoo! And why am I so giddy you ask? (24+ / 0-)

    because this will SHUT UP my east coast right-wing relatives who just love to pile on my beautiful adopted home state.  They're all just jealous anyway, lol!

  •  Do you think that California will use (25+ / 0-)

    its supermajority to pass Single Payer healthcare?

    It seems tht this would make for a far more business-friendly climate for the state, not to mention free up consumer spending.

    You get to keep and bear arms and we get to well-regulate you.
    ~~ @LOLGOP

    by smileycreek on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:11:21 PM PST

  •  Oklahoma is in the same boat now (14+ / 0-)

    With the rethugs firmly in control we are determined to cut every safety net to the bone, give tax breaks to millionaires and turn government over to the one percenters.

    Our governor has sent back the funds to set up a health exchange and will not implement the ACA Medicaid portion for the working poor. She literally only listens to the 1%. I have first hand knowledge of this.

    This state will be gutted and fileted while the rethugs are in charge and then we will sit back in amazement and wonder how things got so bad. The very next step is to push the tax burden down to the lower and middle class and cut taxes for millionaires. It's like Girls Gone Wild except it's Republicans.

  •  If progressive people can build on this in Cali (12+ / 0-)

    then they might just be able to rebuild a social safety net and return their school systems to their former top status.

    •  Yes, but as digby says in the quote from story (8+ / 0-)

      above that rarely happens. Love to see it so!

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:16:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so who cut the safety net that Brown is not (0+ / 0-)

        restoring?

        Seems specious to claim dems fixed calif when the safety net is still austerityville and important items aren't being worked on....except for Brown's water boondoggle.
           Not to pick a fight but why was that aspect talked around instead ofr explained a bit further, sounds ...well....

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:22:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think schools are (and should be) (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grrr, Capt Crunch, KenBee, IM

      top priority -- we're not going to go anywhere till we can turn around the economy and that means getting smart people who can use critical thinking skills to solve the Big Problems.

      California needs to be leading the way in new ideas -- I'd especially like to see more development in green energy, Solyndra's woes notwithstanding.

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:50:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of the reasons for Silicon Valley being here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cali Scribe, elfling

        was the top quality education system.
        It pays in the long run to have a top quality, inexpensive, educational system.

        •  Growing up and living (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IM

          in the Silly Con Valley (what I've called it since the dot-bomb bust), I definitely understand. (Of course much of the ultimate blame stemmed from lack of long-range planning; when companies were spending their money on foosball tables and high end office chairs instead of R&D, you're going to run into problems eventually.)

          Schools in my home town district, Palo Alto Unified, usually ranked amongst the top, especially Gunn and Palo Alto Highs. (I went to the one that wasn't ranked, the late great Cubberley High, which probably explains my life in a nutshell.)

          "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

          by Cali Scribe on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:48:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  yes that for sure, funding envo intiatives (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093, Cali Scribe

        instead of that corrupt water tunnel project.

            It almost reads in a cynical way that we are screwing the safety net recipients so we can keep tuition down and keep spending money to expand facilities...and when i say tuition down I mean to point out that UC students are not the people most likely affected by austerity measures...ie, a bit of class sumpin sumpin, while they continue to expand and expand.
          And yeah, I get it. I was mocked to my face by Reagan himself for my protesting his first efforts to impose tuition on the UC and State colleges. And I missed a midterm to do it, so no lectures about the education economic engine jabber, I get it.heh. Like I say, if I hit him when I had him I'd be out by now.

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:32:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Eternal Viligence (16+ / 0-)

    I have lived in California during the 8 years of Ronnie Raygun, 8 years of George Deukmejian, 8 years of Pete Wilson and 7 years of the Governator. That's 31 out of the last 45 years. In fact there have only been 4 Democratic Governors since WWII. Two a father and son with the son being elected 3 times and one who was recalled. Calif. has been Red before. We can't let it happen again.

    •  Correction (6+ / 0-)

      There have only been 4 Democratic Governors in the last Century.

    •  Got to admit those Repubs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jakedog42, Capt Crunch, KenBee

      weren't the same crowd like we have to put up with in Congress -- witness the fact that much of the Clinton economic boom coincided with Pete Wilson in Sacramento. And for the most part they've had to deal with a Democratic controlled legislature. If a Dem governor and a Dem legislature can actually get shit done and turn this state around, we might have a shot at convincing the voters that the prospect is nothing to be scared of.

      (Sounds like we're the same age; I came in during Pat Brown's first term in 1959.)

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:55:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Romney is parked in LaJolla (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      limpidglass

      he's the rotten mold on GOP-CA;

      he's not here for his health you can bet on it;

      he's pulling strings with the GOP permanent  majority crowd Pete Wilson etc etc , NEOCON CA military staff officers, current and retired are the ghosts/defense industry money behind GOP permanent majority politics;

      Treasury secretaries from Goldman Sachs, Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson bear much of the blame for a financial services industry that went rogue and caused the worst financial crisis in generations.

      by anyname on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 12:15:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does Jerry Brown's Sister Have a Kid? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, louisprandtl, jakedog42

    I know Jerry doesn't. Apparently, that's the only way the Democrats can get an effective governor elected in California.

    We will never have the elite, smart people on our side. - Rick Santorum

    by easong on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:23:42 PM PST

    •  Gray Davis was right! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      limpidglass
    •  Actually, kathleen ran against Pete Wilson (0+ / 0-)

      but, i can't remember what gender her kids are.

      "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

      by blueoregon on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:30:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Got some pretty strong candidates (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      redheron

      now in the pipeline; if Brown decides to only stay in for one term, I'd love to see Debra Bowen run for Governor. And I think DiFi could've beat Arnie if she'd run for Governor instead of staying in the Senate -- a corporatist Democrat would work better as a Governor than a Senator IMO.

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:58:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Does DiFi = Diane Feinstein? (0+ / 0-)

        Because I'm not happy with her as a Senator. She hasn't even come out in favor of changing the filibuster situation. And like you said she's a corporatist. I would hope we could do better than that.
        Arnie is never going to hold political office again.
        Not familiar with Bowen.
        The name I hear bandied about is Kamila Harris. Not too sure what I think about her.

        •  Yeah, that's the DiFi (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          anyname

          we know and hold our noses to vote for.

          Bowen is termed out as Secretary of State, so she'll either need to find another office to run for or go out and get a real job. ;-) (I'm kidding -- she's done a great job of keeping our elections as clean as possible, including ditching the election machines in the majority of the state (our precinct has one solely for use by the disabled if desired...and I've never seen anyone use it.)

          Harris is another possibility; she's a good progressive (opposes the death penalty which is tough when you're the Attorney General), and it would be good to have both a woman and person of color in the Governor's Office if only for the potential for head-explosions amongst the Reactionary Right.

          "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

          by Cali Scribe on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:54:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The other lesson is: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kareylou, ahumbleopinion, mrsgoo

    Republicans can get the nation they want --a nation with no government to impede the grifters-- simply by sitting on their hands or actively obstructing good governance. And that is their intention in Congress.

    Do not think you can negotiate with them. The best you can do is stand up to them and point out their treason and perfidy to the very purposes of government.

    They hate government and defy their oath to uphold the constitution with every vote.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:27:33 PM PST

    •  I don't think that Repug (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      limpidglass, blueoregon, anyname, bryduck

      politicians hate government; they love it because it allows for the ability to increase power and get money.

      A lot of Repug voters don't like government.

      •  Yes. Republicans in office (0+ / 0-)

        only say they hate government. They use the rhetoric to win the votes of the idiots who think government is evil, and then use the government to help their cronies and their true agendas, whatever they are for those individual pols.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:06:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  regarding Digby's comment, (15+ / 0-)

    let's recall some of that decade-old history.

    Governor Gray Davis spent lots of money on strengthening education in California; he proposed a plan to have every child in California reading by age 9. And then Enron funded a recall campaign to boot him under the pretext that he was responsible for the electricity crisis (it was actually their fault, of course); the anti-taxers provided much of the foot soldiers. His successor Schwarzenegger instituted tax cuts, including in the vehicle tax.

    Al Gore ran on using the Clinton surplus to bolster SS (the much maligned "lockbox") and Medicare. He won the presidency but was forced out by the Supreme Court. Bush then blew the Clinton surplus on tax cuts and wars.

    In both cases, Democrats who proposed spending a budget surplus on expanding public services were ousted from power by what amounted to coups. Their Republican successors, on the other hand, knew what they should be spending that surplus on--enriching the 1%.

    Jerry Brown is a smart politician. He got the message, and that's probably why he's whistling this tune. Because he wants to keep his job, and he probably thinks he can do more as governor than as ex-governor.

    Because that's what he'll be for sure if he opens his mouth and says anything more radical than what he's saying now.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:29:30 PM PST

    •  And don't forget Enron was repaid by (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stagemom, Leap Year, mrsgoo

      Arnold by excusing the court imposed fines for the blackouts.

      "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

      by blueoregon on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:41:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  i don't buy it, not in 2012 in CA (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grrr, DBoon, Willa Rogers, IM

      brown is too cautious for the current electorate, which is less white and far less anti-tax and anti-public services than the political eras that shaped his own keen sense of strategy.

      times have changed, in CA more than the rest of the country. we picked up seats in 2010, after all, while the tea party was winning everywhere else.

      •  Where are you coming up with this? (0+ / 0-)

        Where is the evidence that people want to repeal Prop 13? Where is the evidence people want to lower the majority threshold to 50%+1? There has never been a poll showing either and Californians have rejected attempts to repeal the 2/3 majority requirement before.

        "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

        by Shane Hensinger on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:11:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  my above comment was not responding to you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ShoshannaD, elfling

          it was responding to jerry brown's caution generally, and his fear of the electorate of the 70s, 80s and 90s. it's worth pointing out that the left's proposal for funding education, which had no austerity cuts and bigger tax hikes on the rich,. polled better than brown's austerity + sales tax + smaller tax hike on the rich proposal. he's misreading the electorate of the present, even moreso that of the immediate future, IMO. things are moving faster than people realize, esp. in the supposedly conservative central valley and inland empire, which elected a bunch of democrats this past election.

          my opinions on prop 13 and a simple majority for taxes are my own, i was not claiming that was majority opinion yet (although i believe it will move in that direction). people said the majority budget was leftist fantasy until it passed in 2010, if dems want a governable state majority rule needs to be a long term strategic goal to lay the foundations for right now.

          the fact that an older, whiter, more conservative electorate rejected those changes in the past does not mean that californians will never ever want to change them later on. the state is changing faster than people realize, and the swing is not because of white middle-aged homeowner independents changing their minds every election cycle, it is because of huge generational shifts and demographic shifts that are replacing economically conservative voters with economically liberal ones.

      •  coups tend to be undemocratic, (0+ / 0-)

        pretty much by definition. So it matters not what a majority of the electorate wants, but only what the 1% want.

        They are resourceful and creative. The next coup need not be by recall; they are perfectly capable of devising some other means.

        True, the GOP holds no statewide offices nor a legislative majority, they don't have a lot to work with. But they do have unlimited funding, often from out-of-state sources as we've seen.

        Brown could try to raise taxes and propose new spending, and then we would see once and for all who really runs the state. I think we'll find out it's not the people of California, though.

        I agree that sitting on their hands is a recipe for disaster. The economy will get crappier, and the Democrats will lose the supermajority, and there will be another round of Republican hostage-taking in the legislature and more austerity that flushes the surplus down the drain.

        On the other hand, if they initiated a new round of spending on public services, we would see a quick, vicious, and well-funded corporate counterattack materialize very quickly.

        I am by no means convinced that the divide-and-conquer approach wouldn't work on this electorate. Just look at the narrow defeat of Prop 37. It cost Monsanto $50 million, but they got it done.

        That's the problem with being in power at the wrong time. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

        "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

        by limpidglass on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 02:11:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  But Brown's always been this sort of character (0+ / 0-)

        He was the cautious spender back when he first was governor. Remember how he sold the governor's mansion and lived in a bachelor pad instead?

        My hope is he focuses reducing our state debt and building up a rainy day fund(so we won't have future cuts to social services) first.

        "Unfortunately when the Republican party needs to be a big tent party it seems to me we are doing everything we can to become a pup tent party. " — Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R)

        by lordpet8 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 01:49:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  if Jerry is a smart politician (0+ / 0-)

      who has got the message and acting to keep his job he is a narcissist; his age will be a great liability next election and he is risking turning over the state to the REpugs;

      Whitman is making 15 Mil this year and you can bet she will be supporting the next CA corporate GOP candidate to run against Jerry; and so will Mitt Romney....

      why do you think the fungus among us is parked in La Jolla waiting to influence the next governor's election for the GOP; Mitt has sons with political aspirations too y know!

      and he thinks he is on a mission from GOD..... how much worse can that get?

      Treasury secretaries from Goldman Sachs, Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson bear much of the blame for a financial services industry that went rogue and caused the worst financial crisis in generations.

      by anyname on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 12:22:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a question (0+ / 0-)

    I was talking with a friend of mine a couple of days ago who is quite intelligent and generally fairly left-leaning.  I mentioned that we, in California, no longer have a deficit.

    She said that her husband, again another very bright generally left person, had read that actually Jerry Brown had borrowed funds from somewhere (she was hoping it wasn't China) to cover the deficit. So it is an illusion that we have eliminated the deficit and we are still in the red.  Did a bit of research and couldn't find anything about that.

    Any info/thoughts?

    Thx/sh

  •  The tired old Republican jack-assery (11+ / 0-)

    and braying about "lower taxes" is sounding mighty screechy and tiresome, to more and more ears.

    What did Prop 30, which passed in November, do? Let's just stand back a moment and reflect on this one, because it's really remarkable. It sure doesn't sound ambitious on the face of it: Prop 30 increased revenues to prevent further cuts to already-ravaged public infrastructures, chiefly public education. (Yikes.) How did Prop 30 increase revenues? In part, Prop 30 instituted an old-style PROGRESSIVE TAX on wealthy tax-payers. You know, the kind we used to have before the oligarchs got to be so good at controlling political messaging.

    At the federal level, Barack Obama recently raised taxes on wealthy tax payers, also. Many in this venue say he should have gone a lot further, gotten a lot more. The fact remains, this was the first PROGRESSIVE tax hike in a great while. And I'd rate Obama's de-coupling of "taxes on the wealthy" and "taxes on everyone else," a notion that will infuse the whole culture, as pure genius.

    The new taxes, federal and state, please me absolutely no end. Once again, California is leading the way.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:36:18 PM PST

    •  I expect Obama's tax hike is going to have (5+ / 0-)

      a multiplier effect that will accelerate the recovery beyond its raw revenue numbers, particularly in states with Democratic governors and legislatures.  Californians, it seems, are going to start feeling better quickly after a long, long night.

      "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

      by Mogolori on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:44:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  tax hikes take money out of the economy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        karmsy, wsexson, midwesterner

        they slow down the economy, or at best (assuming the people taxed aren't spending it) they have a zero effect, unless the money is spent on stimulus.

        In California's case, tax hikes are necessary to raise revenue to pay for stimulus, since states can't go into the red; the federal government doesn't suffer from that restriction and so can institute stimulus without any corresponding tax hikes (cf. the New Deal).

        Deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility are not what we should be practicing now. It's time for stimulus and public spending to rebuild infrastructure and services and fight climate change.

        Unfortunately, the modern Democratic party takes deficit reduction as an article of faith, regardless of the situation. But as I said in another post, look what happens to Democratic politicians who don't toe that line and propose new spending.

        "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

        by limpidglass on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:01:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  May be true. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ahumbleopinion

          You may well be absolutely right about the need for a stimulus (particularly when so many public-sector jobs have been destroyed).

          What I tried to emphasize in my comment above, though-- what I find terribly exciting--is the new rhetorical de-coupling by President Obama of "tax breaks for the wealthy" from "tax breaks for everyone else." One is to be excoriated; the other is to be defended. This meme is brand-new, and it will catch on, believe me. In time, even Fox News watchers won't question it.

          It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

          by karmsy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:12:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'd say it redistributes the money (5+ / 0-)

          rather than taking it out -- if you're spending that money on infrastructure, the money is going to supplies to repair and build infrastructure (supporting those businesses) and to the workers who will be repairing and building the infrastructure (who will then put that money back into the economy themselves). So instead of having that money go into a savings account where it does little good, it actually ends up in the pockets of people. Even if you're paying a portion of it to bureaucrats to administer the programs, those bureaucrats need to buy things eventually, as do their administrative assistants and other staff members.

          "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

          by Cali Scribe on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:05:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Tax cuts for the rich are more likely to take (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          karmsy

          money out of the economy if they result in a reduction in government services or investment. The Bush tax cuts which disproportionately benefited the rich in large part ended up being invested in other countries, stashed in tax havens and off shore accounts.  If the taxes had been collected by the government they would more likely have been spent on infrastructure, education, other government programs in the US.

          “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

          by ahumbleopinion on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:38:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting thought (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        karmsy

        but even if we confiscated all of the rich people's money, we'd still be in a big fiscal hole.

        I guess it is a good start though, and getting to a destination starts with the first step.

      •  especially the case with our real estate bust (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mogolori

        having been one of the biggest and earliest crashes in the country. we're coming out of that, and the recovery from that depression should help a lot.

    •  And to the... (7+ / 0-)

      right-wingers who claimed all this would do would cause all the rich people to move out of California, I pointed out that Mitt Romney was moving to California after the election to live in La Jolla.  :-)

    •  and prop 30 passed with a 10% margin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grrr

      it was a pretty unambiguous signal, esp. along with the corporate tax one (i forget the number) passing with numbers in the high 60s.

  •  Digby is exactly right. And we enable it because (8+ / 0-)

    we are the "we're for tax cuts too!" party. But we will never be able to out "tax cut" Republicans.

    We have to start making the case for a reasonable level of government and progressive taxation. At some point it would be nice to have a Democratic leader do that.

  •  Yikes! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, jan4insight, ShoshannaD

    When will people start noticing the obvious? Republicans talk about fiscal responsibility, Democrats come a lot closer to actualizing it. How many times do we have to painfully prove this point?

    To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate--that is strength undefeatable. (Helen Keller)

    by kareylou on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:46:28 PM PST

  •  Seems to me that the case you make (0+ / 0-)

    is actually spending cuts under Republicans AND tax increases under Democrats are the answer to deficits.

  •  Democratic Super Majorities help! (4+ / 0-)

    Finally, the budget is fixed. This has been a nightmare for years. Hopefully, CA can play a role model for the US again.

  •  Similar story in today's Arizona Republic, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chas 981, Cartoon Peril, Leap Year, mrsgoo

    comparing AZ to Massachusetts—the rightwing low-tax philosophy against the progressive viewpoint. Yes, our taxes may be a bit lower in AZ, but we suffer in every measurable category: healthcare, education, crime, household income.

    In most cases the differences are not minuscule—it's like #1 vs #50. Crime, for example:

    Arizona has almost four times as many adults in state prison as Massachusetts: (40,627 vs. 11,316). Because, nationally, it costs about $26,000 per year to house a non-violent offender, this means Arizona spend hundreds of millions on incarceration more than Massachusetts, one of the very few areas where Arizona public expenditures exceed those of Massachusetts.

    Are we safer as a result of these staggering costs? The murder rate per 100,000 was 6.2 in Arizona vs. 2.8 in Massachusetts in 2011, well over twice as high. These differences in murder rates are substantial. The two states have nearly identical populations, but 405 Arizonans were murdered in 2011 compared with only 185 Massachusetts residents.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:59:58 PM PST

    •  Ínteresting read. Hopefully it will get some (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mother Mags

      attention.

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:40:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You just need more Joe Arpaios, (0+ / 0-)

      that's all. He can solve all your problems.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:09:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Looks like the LA Times (0+ / 0-)

    is showing that there is a long way to go. The budget plan will address some of the money that the state owes. There seems to be some disagreement in how much is owed (which can be a scary thought if one dwells on it)!

    I hope that the non citizens and the poor don't take too much of the brunt of the cost cutting. I just don't think that they have much downside to slide too.

    http://www.latimes.com/...

  •  And then you get the stupid... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, Shane Hensinger, grrr, IM

    comments in that article.  This one is to a state employee asking about getting money back from the furlough days.

    Tom . . . no doubt you need to feed your family. But answer this question: What would your wage as a groundskeeper (aka, grasscutter, gardener) be in the real world of private enterprise?  Maybe 50% of what you are paid in cash and benefits as a state employee.  What would you do then?  Work two jobs?  Get an education with skills that would allow you to be employed at a higher wage?  Or stand in line for a welfare check each month?

    You have no right or expectation to be "reimbursed" for your furlough days. You should be thankful that you have a job in a state with 20% unemployment, and are earning 100% more than your private enterprise peers.

    Could you be paid more as a state employee? Of course, but which overpaid politician or politician's staff member would you want to have give up their money to feed your family? Or do you think it will come from taxpayers like me, trying to run a business (or two) amid some of the most repressive anti-business laws and regulations anywhere in America.

    When the last business leaves California, where will the taxes come from?

    You have to stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about the future of California.  Your union leaders have misled you into believing you deserve more than what you already have, which is more than you should be receiving.

    I've seen this from other conservatives after the story of California finally being in the black came out; they simply claimed that more and more businesses would leave California because of how unfairly taxed they were.

    We need some pushback to these right-wing talking points.

    •  "When the last business leaves California..." (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grrr, mrsgoo, lordpet8

      ... others will come in because Californians need things too.  Suckers!

      The scene on November 6, midnight: Barack Obama holds up newspaper reading "Romney defeats Obama" as he heads to give his second term acceptance speech.

      by alkatt on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:30:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They've said that for the last 40 years (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alkatt, mrsgoo, IM

      If it was true there wouldn't be any businesses left in California by now.
      Really - for the last 40 years I've heard that line.
      My response to that is laughter. I treat them like they just told me the Earth is flat.
      Laughter and derision for believing something so stupid.
      That usually shuts them up really quick.

  •  California is always 10 years ahead of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Capt Crunch, IM

    rest of the country with respect to social progress and other trends.  Remember how Gavin Newsom said gays and lesbians could marry legally--wasn't that back in 2003?  And now we have several states with marriage equality.

    It's a mistake for Pat Brown not to repair the social safety net, however.  Politicians need to realize we're not all selfish, self-absorbed, hateful people who think that those who are suffering deserve to suffer.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:12:24 PM PST

    •  Pat Brown is dead (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kpelligra

      Pat Brown was governor in the 1960s.

      "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

      by Shane Hensinger on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:45:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It may be that Jerry is being cautious for now. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sukeyna, ahumbleopinion, ehstronghold

      He may not be making ANY moves too quickly, for fear of having to immediately take them back. Watching Congress play Russian Roulette with the country's economy does not inspire confidence.

      As a University employee in California who hasn't seen a cost of living increase in 3+ years, who voted for a tax increase, and accepted the alterations that are going to hurt my pension, I am glad for the Moonbeam's caution.

      As a sometime Union Steward I believe that many of us who are middle to lower middle class workers in this state might feel a bit betrayed if after all the sacrifices we have made, the social safety net cuts were just reversed all of a sudden. Many people simply wouldn't understand what happened to them. Wether or not it would be reasonable for them to think so, I think they would feel punked. If Jerry then had to back track on cuts again because congress is useless, I think it would be a disaster for this state. I hope he takes a while to do anything. Certainly not until after the asinine debt ceiling melodrama that is coming soon to a theater near you.  

      I am proud of Jerry, and proud of my state. I would suggest that he has proven that he knows what he is doing in a vast field of idiots that don't. But then I am biased. I wish we could clone him.

  •  A Rightwing Party and a Conservative Party. (0+ / 0-)

    That's how it's happened to the entire country.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:24:56 PM PST

  •  The other talking point... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom

    I'm seeing from right-wingers is that Prop. 58 required a balanced budget, so this proposal from Brown is nothing worthwhile.  Except doesn't Brown also say we'll have a budget SURPLUS, rather than a deficit, which was a different thing altogether from a balanced budget itself?

  •  California is like a capital ship-of-the-line; (7+ / 0-)

    it's been hammered, torpedoed, strafed, and bombed almost to oblivion by the bastard Republicans --- and it's still very much in danger of sinking.  Brown's first-and-foremost prioroty is to stop the sinking by fixing the budget.  That's pretty much done.  The pumps are not just keeping up with the inflow; they're gaining, but the ship's still listing quite badly, and she's still dead in the water.

    Next is to effect at-sea repairs to start sealing the leaks and righting the ship.  That's going to require a budget surplus that can then be directed at the most immediate of repairs: riding out future tuition needs without increases and maintaining current levels of basic services with a decent pay-raise for those service-providers (promarily first-responders and other municipal/state employees)  That's still a god year or so away, because of the damage done to California by "the Party of Norquist."  Then start building those services back up to where they ought to be.

    Once you know you can keep the ship from sinking, then you start working or restoration of propulsion --- moving forward with a rebuilding of the safety net.  All the while, Californians must do all they can to eliminate the horror of the GOP.  The ultimate goal must be the complete political eradication of the Republican brand; the proverbial driving of the vermin into the sea-depths.

    Proponents of gun violence own guns. Opponents of gun violence do not own guns. What part of this do you not understand?

    by Liberal Panzer on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:57:27 PM PST

  •  We never will get credit from the electorate... (0+ / 0-)

    ...for being "responsibly even-handed." It is always tempting to to take the foot off the accelerator when the economy is looking better. Always tempting to accept the notion that the rich deserve "relief" from the "heavy taxes" put in place a few years previous to get things in balance.  

    Balancing the budget is only a by-product of the real need to tax our "economic winners" well above their "comfort level": too much money in their hands has a corrosive effect on the entire economy.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:59:36 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the diary! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm a native Californian and resident of Orange County.
    Here in Orange County a significant contribution to the creation of the new super majority was the defeat of Chris Norby and election of Sharon Quirk-Silva.
    What I would really like to see is:
    1. Elimination of the super majority requirement for... everything
    2. Repeal of the non-residential elements of Prop 13
    3. If possible a financial transactions tax.
    4. Increased spending on education - by a bunch
    5. Single payer healthcare
    Off the top of my head that's my wish list.
    I think the last three items are dependent of the realization of the first two items.

  •  So..... (0+ / 0-)

    ....when did spending cuts and freezes become the cornerstone of "progressive governance"?

    If that is the case, I can only hope that our federal government becomes as progressive as California's.

  •  I read in the Times that somehow this was (0+ / 0-)

    was misleading as it was borrowed funds that will be repaid at a lower than expected rate?  The Times said Brown was being "creative" with his numbers.

    I think it just hasn't been enough time...it's only a few days.

    Also, why deny the social re-build??  If we are fiscally sound, let's get our programs funded pronto!  It does no good to get a black budget and let those who need services suffer.

  •  The laboratory of Keynseian democracy is open! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo

    This is a chance to look back to the 30,  and late 40's through the 60's and reproduce the evidence that reasonably high tax rates and revenues along with intelligent investments can make Cali a prosperous superpower in it's own right. A quick recovery, if we can manage it, will show voters in 2014 that most of the economic 'wisdom' of the last 30 years have been crap that enables the wealthiest at the expense of everyone else. Here's hoping that a surge in unions and higher wages for all are in Cali's future in the next few years. Let's lead the nation back to prosperity.

  •  Another key element of the chronology: (0+ / 0-)

    Pete Wilson and the CA Republicans' Prop 187, which slowly gound down the Rs' Statewide office appeal (not that there aren't pockets of wingnuttery and occasional Ah-nold eruptions)  

    http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/...

    http://www.latimes.com/...

    "..The political class cannot solve the problems it created. " - Jay Rosen

    by New Rule on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 03:34:12 PM PST

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