Oppose the Right Wing/Republican assault on students, unions, and the California Dream.
Students are needed to build a resistance!
The nation, including California, is suffering a severe recession. In this crisis we need to rebuild the promise of California. That promise is a good job for all, the opportunity to have a rewarding career, a decent life, and the chance for a good education. The budget cut mania does not promote good jobs nor rewarding careers. It only digs the hole deeper. Cutting k-12 and higher education makes the state economy worse.
The economic crisis has already forced the cutting of higher education, of k-12 education, and of social welfare systems.
What caused this crisis ? It was caused by the greed and avarice of the financial class and aided by the politicians of both major political parties. The major banks and corporations looted the economy creating an international meltdown. Now, they have been rewarded with bail out money. The crisis was not caused by students, teachers, public employees nor recipients of social security. We already suffer from cuts in parks, in universities, in nurses, libraries and police and fire protection.
The continuing economic decline has had a devastating impact on the California budget- and the budgets of 42 other states. Revenues have continued to plunge and legislatures have been forced to make a series of deep cuts to virtually all of the state's programs, including the university systems. Finance capital stole the future of many in this generation.
For this year Governor Brown proposes a budget with $14 billion in more cuts. In addition, the Governor proposes ballot initiatives for June to extend the current tax rates for five more years. Republicans are trying to keep these initiatives off the ballot. If these taxes are not extended, the total cut to the budget will be some $26 billion dollars. The Governor’s current budget proposal would reduce the state general funds allocated to the CSU to $2.29 billion in 2011/12, 12.5% less than the 2010/11 budget act –this on top of over $4 billion in prior years’ cuts. If the taxes are not extended, these cuts would at least double and tuition would increase by up to 50%. These cuts would be devastating for students and working families.
This fiscal crisis in the state did not fall from the sky; it resulted from the Great Recession and the looting of our economy by Wall Street and Corporate America. The proposed budget cuts will only lengthen and deepen the Recession. Some politicians claim that we can’t afford public education and good universities. However, there is plenty of money to fund basic human services if we go where the money is; the rich who have gamed the system and accumulated vast wealth in the last three decades.
While working people are loosing their jobs in budget cuts, major corporations continue to use the rigged tax code to avoid paying any federal taxes at all. If you have one dollar in your wallet, you’re paying more than the combined income tax liability of GE, ExxonMobil, Citibank, and Bank of America.
Evan worse, the very wealthy such as the Koch Brothers, are using the budget crisis they created to attack union workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana. Make no mistake about it- if they win in Wisconsin the fight will be brought to California.
Alternatives to painful budget cuts
Repeal or tax the Republican/Obama Tax Cuts for the Wealthiest 5%. This would generate about $8 billion annually in California.
Enforce the current law taxing sales of goods by out of state companies (such as Amazon) over the internet. $1.2 billion.
Tax Oil Extraction when companies take our oil out of the ground. Alaska, Louisiana, and Texas charge about 12.5%. $10 billion.
Close Prop.13 Commercial Property Tax Loophole. $7 billion annually.
Repeal the 2008 California tax cuts given to corporations. $ 1 billion.
Cut the military budget by 30%. $420 billion (nationally.) California’s share would be $42 billion.
Details of these proposals are here. http://choosingdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/01/response-to-gov-browns-state-of-state.html
Things you can do :
Attend YDS/DSA conference, with Cornel West and others in NYC. March 18-20.
Their Crisis is Our Pain: The Democratic Socialists Response to the Great Recession. http://www.dsausa.org/yds/Mar2011/conference.html
Read. Inform yourself. Join Sacramento DSA. https://sites.google.com/site/sacramentodsa/
Take Class Action. Join the protests on April 13, 2011, at your nearest California State University campus. Join with the Campus Progressive Alliance to help to plan and carry out these demonstrations.
Defend Ethnic Studies.
Defend immigrant workers.