If the current budget plan fails to pass, what’s Plan B?

First, a word about the taxes in the current proposal. I believe there will be a backlash against the amount of taxes if this measure passes. It happens every time. After Ronald Reagan signed the tax increase at the beginning of his governorship, he was booed for three minutes when he threw out the opening pitch at the Oakland A’s first game of the team’s first season in California. Reagan commented on the booing: “I can certainly hear that a helluva lot of you paid your taxes.”

The one thing that was done differently this time from the Reagan tax hikes is that these taxes are temporary. However, I believe the taxes will slow the economy and will not bring in the anticipated revenues that have been projected.

Saying all that, I have also written in this space that the current deficit problem will only be solved with additional revenues. As much as I am sure the people will be upset with taxes, they will also be upset with service cuts, stopped construction projects, and increased costs on government debt among other things. The Republicans are in danger of being accused of closing down the government much as congressional Republicans were during the Clinton years, causing a backlash at that time as well.

For some Republicans, this difficult debate comes down to the choice of Pick Your Poison.

So what is Plan B if this measure is defeated?

Two obvious choices come to mind. Neither seem palatable to the public taste. Cuts across the board of over ten percent on state budget items largely hitting education, local government and state workers. And, resurrecting the earlier Democratic plan to try and pass revenue increases with a majority vote. I believe that plan is unconstitutional and will not pass court muster. But, that assumes the courts don’t see an opportunity to end this whole budget mess by trying to find a way to make the facts fit the law.

Perhaps there is another choice out there, but I don’t know what it is.