As part of the budget negotiations, Republicans have asked that a spending limit be part of the ballot package to reduce future runaway spending. You would think they would get a sympathetic ear from Governor Jerry Brown.

Listen to what he had to say … a while ago, sure, but all the following are excerpts from his Second Inaugural Address, delivered January 8, 1979.

Why the anti-government mood? I asked this same question four years ago and now I believe I understand. Simply put, the citizens are revolting against a decade of political leaders who righteously spoke against inflation and excessive government spending but who in practice pursued the opposite course.

Brown echoed a theme we hear today: Live Within Our Means.

Government, no less than the individual, must live within limits. It is time to bring our accounts into balance. Government, as exemplar and teacher, must manifest a self-discipline that spreads across the other institutions in our society, so that we can begin to work for the future, not just consume the present.

And, he took on those who always demand more from government, calling them false prophets.

… false prophets have risen to advocate more and more government spending as the cure – more bureaucratic programs and higher staffing ratios of professional experts. They have told us that billion dollar government increases are really deep cuts from the yet higher levels of spending they demand and that attempts to limit the inflationary growth of government derive not from wisdom but from selfishness. That disciplining government reflects not a care for the future but rather self-absorption. These false prophets, I tell you, can no longer distinguish the white horse of victory from the pale horse of death.

He even addressed another aspect of the present day budget negotiations: reduce regulation so that private effort can thrive.

As government makes itself more productive, it must also strip away the roadblocks and the regulatory underbrush that it often mindlessly puts in the path of private citizens. Unneeded licenses and proliferating rules can stifle initiative, especially for small business.

And, Brown argued for a spending limit, one he ultimately supported (Proposition 4) in a special election he called later in the year.

Finally, in order to ensure that we permanently slow the inflationary growth of government, I will support an appropriate constitutional amendment to limit state and local spending. Such measures are difficult to draft but are justified today in order to recapture a sense of the common interest as opposed to the narrow and special interests that combine to push spending beyond what is reasonable.

It is time to mount the "white horse of victory" again and bring back a spending limit reform.

You can read Brown’s entire Inaugural Address here.