Tuesday, June 30, 2009

CSU and the budget

California State University (CSU) is facing a $583.8 million dollar budget cut for the 2009-10 fiscal year. CSU faculty are being asked to take 10% less pay by accepting two days of furloughs per month for 2009-10. Justification for this request is to protect 3,700 full time equivalent lecturer positions (9000 Instructors) from lay-off. CSU Faculty, like state workers, are being asked to bail out the state by accepting less pay because of massive budget deficits. State worker unions and the California Faculty Association must stand firm against the CSU administration and State government officials. Giving concessions undermines the wages for working people across the board. It also means protecting the incomes of the rich, and most powerful corporations in California.

The budget crisis in California has been artificially created by cutting taxes on the wealthiest people and corporations. The current “crisis” is a shock and awe process designed to undermine wages and unions in the state and force labor concessions to protect corporate profits.

According to the California Budget Project, tax cuts enacted in California since 1993 cost the state $11.3 billion dollars annually. Had the state continued taxing corporations and the wealthy at rates equal to those fifteen years ago we would not have a budget crisis today. Even though a budget crisis was evident last year, California income tax laws were changed in February of this year to provide corporations with even greater tax savings—equal to over $2 billion per year.

Half of all state revenue comes from personal income taxes paid by working people, and another third comes from sales and use taxes. The result is that as a percent of income, taxes hit the lower paid workers the hardest. Corporations only pay for about 1/10th of the state budget. The rest of us are bailing out the rich by accepting massive budget cuts at a time when less spending will only exacerbate the economic situation.

Unions and working people need to say no to massive state budget cuts, and fight for every service and job possible. We must say no to voluntary furloughs and push for new taxes on the wealthy and largest corporations. CSU Professors should be the leaders for working people in the State. We must stand firm on no concessions, no furloughs, and no cuts in classes for our students.



Peter Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University.

California State Budget Crisis Not Caused by the Recession


The budget crisis in California has been artificially created by cutting taxes on the wealthiest people and corporations. The current “crisis” is a shock and awe process designed to undermine wages and unions in the state and force labor concessions to protect corporate profits.

According to the California Budget Project, tax cuts enacted in California since 1993 cost the state $11.3 billion dollars annually. Had the state continued taxing corporations and the wealthy at rates equal to those fifteen years ago we would not have a budget crisis today.

Half of all state revenue comes from personal income taxes paid by working people, and another third comes from sales and use taxes. The result is that as a percent of income, taxes hit the lower paid workers the hardest. Corporations only pay for about 1/10th of the state budget. The rest of us are bailing out the rich by accepting massive budget cuts at a time when less spending will only exacerbate the economic situation.

Unions and working people need to say no to massive state budget cuts, and fight for every service and job possible.
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