Hard to argue with many of the sentiments that Jerry Brown expressed in his interview published over the weekend by the Los Angeles Times about his vision for a fourth term.
He talked about ending the “gold rush for new programs and spending” that legislators would seek giving an uptick in revenues. This page has written about that many times – take care of the spending side even if we need a spending limit to enforce controls. Brown says he wants to use common sense and the power of his office to control spending.
Brown spoke of the tens of thousands of laws put on Californians in the last half-century. Referring to too many building restrictions “like Gulliver being tied by these Lilliputians, with more and more little strings and ropes.” Many on this site have written about pulling back on regulations that hamper a growing economy. Limitations should be put on the number of laws passed annually. Some time and thought should be given by the legislature to reducing many laws on the books. As I have mentioned before, it is unfortunate on one level that the term often used for a legislator is lawmaker.
Additionally, Gov. Brown spoke of more local control and restricting the reach of state bureaucracy – both good ideas.
He also said firmly: Hands off Proposition 13. “Prop. 13 is a sacred doctrine that should never be questioned,” he is quoted in the Times article. “That doesn’t mean that we can’t look at our tax code in various ways.”
My column a few weeks ago supported Proposition 2 on this year’s ballot as a spending control and budget insurance policy while at the same time promoting tax reform.
Of course, important issues were not mentioned in the article that would have been nice to hear about. The burden to state and local governments from pension and health care costs for government employees for example.
Then, there was the enigmatic expression in which Brown said he was saving some of his campaign war chest millions for potential ballot measures in his second term without revealing what those ballot measures might be.
Enigmatic and full of surprises is a good depiction of Jerry Brown.
Focusing on the issues reported in the Times article, an agenda of reducing regulations, fewer laws and tax reform would boost the economy. The big question, if Brown gets elected and holds tight to such a program, can he accomplish those goals with the majority in the legislature?
For the time being, it seems that on a number of issues, at least, I’m traveling on the same train as Gov. Brown–well not THAT train!