Jerry Brown is not thinking about being a one term governor. Introducing his 98 year old aunt sitting in the audience at his swearing-in ceremony, Brown told the gathering that those who were hankering for his job would have to wait. He has good genes and plans to be around for awhile, he said. Those thinking that Brown might consider stepping down after one term better reconsider.
Brown insisted — twice — that he had no mental reservations in taking the job. Probably a good idea, since anyone who wants to be governor of California probably should have his head examined.
When he reiterated his three principles espoused during the campaign, his pledge to only raise taxes with a vote of the people got the softest applause. My interpretation — most in the audience would rather see tax increases with no vote of the people, just raise the taxes!
Taxes, of course, are the crux of the budget crisis that Brown hopes to solve. Taxes are the glue that holds government together. When government tries to do too much without the necessary revenue government unravels.
The new governor recognizes this. Toward the close of his 16 minute address, Brown noted that he reviewed past inaugural speeches and found consistent themes. He said that there are constant conditions that government deals with. Problems can be solved; conditions reoccur. How much people pay in taxes and how that money is used is a reoccurring issue on the political landscape.
Brown will focus on the tax “condition” as he wrestles with the budget.
As noted above, some in government are quite wiling to increase taxes. Whether Republicans go along (and ultimately the people) is yet to be determined.
Brown made his pitch for the end of partisan warfare. In this same auditorium four years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger had a similar message for the legislators to come together for something he called post-partisanship.
That didn’t work out so well.