Friday, June 11, 2010

County, city, state budget cuts- How is that working out for you?


County, city budget cuts loom
Sacramento County is cutting its sheriff patrols, closing mental health clinics, closing parks, and closing emergency health care clinics.  There has been an almost 30% decline in sales tax revenues in the past two years. Property tax funds are a   large  share of county budgets, and plummeting real estate values have meant even less income for counties to pay their bills .   The  on going  state budget-crisis state  cuts funding for counties yet  the state still requires them to provide costly programs. The reality is that almost all of California's counties are facing significant budget shortfalls resulting in cuts in programs, services and staffing.
Sacramento City is closing fire stations on a part time basis, closing senior centers, and reducing police protection.  Both the county and the city are depending upon major concessions from labor unions to respond to declining revenues.
In the last two years California’s  k-12 schools have received over a  $16 billion  cut back in  state funding.   California presently ranks  44th  of the states in per pupil spending and last among the states in class size.   This year in the budget  the Governor proposes to reduce  k-12 spending by another  $2.4 Billion.

National Assessment of Education Progress [NAEP]:
• California is tied for 47th among states in fourth-grade reading. (NAEP, 2008-09)
• California is tied for 46th in eighth-grade math. (NAEP, 2008-09)
Finance; • California spends $2,131 less per pupil than the national average, ranking the State  44th in the country. (National Education Association [NEA], 2008-09)
• California spends less per pupil than each of the largest 10 states in the nation –almost $6,000 less per pupil than New York. (NEA, 2008-09
Taxpayers are getting only what they are paying for- a Mississippi class education system. The reality is that almost all of California's counties are facing significant budget shortfalls resulting in cuts in programs, services and staffing.  And, some 42 of the states have severe budget crises including those with non union workers and low benefits such as Arizona, Texas, and Oklahoma.
In order to help the economy grow, national, state and local governments need to maintain and to create jobs.  This policy is called Keynesianism.   Interestingly candidate Meg Whitman proposes exactly the opposite – cut jobs and reduce taxes for the corporations.    We have had Republican/corporate governors for 22 out of the last 28 years.  They have been pursuing the tax cut mantra.  How well has that worked out for you?



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