Before the champagne turns flat, while the legislators’
backs are still red from all the back slapping and before the newspaper
headlines declaring success are placed in the bottom of bird cages, where they
more appropriately belong, let’s take a hard look at what actually happened the
last two weeks:


Two weeks ago, (for the first time in a hundred years) the governor
vetoed the budget, declaring it a travesty. 
The controller (for the first time ever) agreed and withheld
legislators’ pay.  Then, miraculously, the
governor found over $4 billion dollars. 
Actually, he did not find $4
billion dollars.  Actually, he did not
find any money.  He simply declared
he found $4 billion.  Poof, a problem
solved.  He also agreed to stiff
education for a whopping $3 billion now, with promises that the "check’s in the
mail".  (Can you imagine what the unions
would have said if a Republican governor tried to do something like that?)  Poof, another problem solved. A little more
razzle-dazzle, nothing up my sleeve and presto, a balanced budget! 

Hey, this governing stuff ain’t so hard after all!

And what is worse, for doing Nothing, he takes two, count
them, two victory laps; one for the veto, the second for signing the trick and
gimmick laden but "on time" budget. 


If you follow the administration’s narrative, the remaining
problems are the fault of those "moronic" (their description, not mine)
Republicans.  This is absurd.

First, the budget is not balanced.  But if we are to believe the Governor and the
budget is balanced, who is right?  The
Republicans who said a tax increase was unnecessary – the budget Brown approved
does not have a tax increase; or the Governor, who said a $45 billion tax
increase over 5 years was essential?  If
the Governor congratulated the Republicans for being correct, I must have
missed it.

Second, from day one, if the governor really wanted to have a vote on the tax increase initiative, he could
have done so and there is nothing the
Republicans could have done about it.  The
Governor, and the real power in this state, the public employee unions, could
have gathered signatures and put the issue on the ballot.  Why was this not done?  Why are they not doing it now?

Third, the governor’s stated position was that on important
issues, the people should have the right to vote.  It turns out that was more an argument of
convenience than conviction.  Since March
there have been enough GOP votes to put the tax increase measure on the ballot,
provided he also agrees to allow the voters to vote on two other important
issues:  pension reform and a spending

Why didn’t this happen? 
Because Brown and his cronies did not really want it to.  They are scared that if the people’s voice was
actually heard, they would lose and the GOP’s measures would win.  How cynical. 

You think I am overstating the case?  Let’s try what I call "the Butch Cassidy and
the Sundance Kid solution."

In the movie, Butch and Sundance jump off
the cliff together
, neither really wanting to do it, but knowing it is the
only way they will get out alive.

Let the Governor and his union handlers draft the tax
initiative, let the GOP legislators draft a spending cap and pension reform
measure.  Put them all on the ballot – and
let the people truly decide. As in the movie, it won’t stop the arguing, but we
might actually get something meaningful done.