Governor Jerry Brown and the Democrats in the state legislature are failing to responsibly govern California. State Controller John Chiang said earlier this week that California would need “additional cash management solutions” because state tax revenues are $2.6 billion less than what Governor Jerry Brown and the Democrats assumed in their slapdash budget last year.
This by no means is a surprise.
In November 2010, California voters passed Proposition 25, an amendment to the California Constitution which allows for a simple majority to pass the state’s budget. With that, and the re-election of Brown, the Democrats assumed complete control over California’s budget. As they say, with great power comes great responsibility. So far, the Democrats have proven themselves incapable of handling the responsibility of a simple majority budget.
California’s impending insolvency is just more fallout from Governor Brown and the Democrats exercising their new powers. The Democrats currently control both the executive and legislative branches of government, but are having some serious trouble managing this on their own. Instead of trying to engage Republican leaders for ideas, the Democrats simply insist on having only one point of conversation: taxes. Raising taxes on already struggling Californians seems to be the Democrats idea of cooperation.
What’s more interesting is that last week, the Democratic Speaker of the House John Perez and Senate President Darrell Steinberg sued to block withholding of lawmakers’ paychecks, the people’s recourse for holding lawmakers accountable in return for granting the majority party their simply majority budget power. This week, the Democrats are demonstrating why that lawsuit is so important to them. Contrary to what they would have you believe, the Democrats are only concerned about their pay, and clearly not with the state’s ability to provide services to those who truly need them.
If they were truly concerned, they wouldn’t have put together the “smoke and mirrors” budget that they did last summer – the budget was filled with many political solutions, but nothing to restore confidence in the economy.
So thus far the priorities of the Democrats have been:
1) Taxes Increases
2) High Speed Rail
3) Green Jobs
None of these are priorities for Californians, yet the Democrats continue to insist on them. Californians are beginning to expect this from the Democratic leadership – instead of using their power to bring real reform to California, they’ve decided to pursue their own agenda. I imagine that this November will be a real wake-up call for the Democrats, when they realize that Californians have moved on from supporting the Democrats and their “more-taxes-solves” everything approach to governing California.