Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Anti Tax Radicals and Cranks

The anti tax radicals and the cranks are depending upon a low voter turnout today in California to defeat the propositions. They take no responsibility for the budget disaster which will follow.

Last year California had a serious budget crisis, over 34 billion in missing revenue. The legislature and the governor passed some temporary tax increases and made harsh budget cuts to get us through this year. Propositions 1 A- 1E, would continue this budget “solution” for a total of 4 years. However, the state, like other states continues to fall further behind. California is at least $21.3 billion behind at this time even with the increased taxes and budget cuts.
No on Prop 1 A
Since 2002 the CSU has lost almost $1 billion in state funding. Students have been charged more fees to make up the losses. Prop. 1A places a spending cap on the state budget that will make these cuts permanent. The CSU budget will not be restored to the levels of 2002 and tuition will continue to rise. The UC Board of Regents and the CSU Board of Trustees have already voted to increase tuition for the Fall by 10%.
Prop 1A would actually make it more difficult for future governors and legislatures to enact budgets that meet California's needs and address state priorities. It would amend the state Constitution to dictate restrictions on the use of funds put into the reserve and limit how "unanticipated" revenues can be used in good years. It could lock in a reduced level of public services, including university education, by not taking proper account of the state's changing demographics and actual growth in costs.
Yes on 1 B
California's k-12 education system is in large part in crisis because it is underfunded. Contrary to the wishes of the voters, politicians continue to fail to adequately fund our schools. Legislators only have a 23% support in the public. When comparisons include cost of living, California ranks 47th out of the 50 states in per pupil expenditures. Our schools are suffering. This is unacceptable.
California, and most other states, have a budget crisis as a result of the national economic crisis – significantly a banking crisis. The robber barons of finance capital have stolen the money, they have looted the treasury and our pensions and now they want to return to business as usual without any significant reform of the economic system. Just give them more tax payer money to bail out the banks.

The severity of the national and international economic collapse has created budget shortfalls for state and local governments. Economist Dean Baker, says "Since many states are required by their charters or constitutions to balance their budgets, states will end up using federal stimulus dollars to offset these shortfalls." It currently looks as if much of the stimulus package will be used to back fill state budget shortages which sharply limits the potential success of the stimulus.

Additional recommendations

Prop 1C: Yes –State Lottery (borrows from future lottery funds).
.Prop 1D: NO –Cuts funding for children’s services such as health care.

Prop 1E: NO –Cuts funding for much needed mental health services.
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