Hiding The Scissors: California Democrats Refuse To Identify Spending Cuts

Jerry Brown and his fellow California Dems have proposed to end the state's fiscal crisis through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. Brown has even been making furrow-browed pronouncements about how there ain't gonna be any smoke mirrors in his budget. And, true to form, Democrats are already planning a June special election where voters will be able to approve tax increases. But what about the spending cuts? Gosh, suddenly everyone has become the soul of discretion:

Democrats are divided over whether to reveal to the public exactly what might be cut from the state budget if voters do not approve tax increases and extensions to help close California's $25.4 billion deficit.

Gov. Jerry Brown has challenged Republicans in the Legislature to put taxes on the ballot in an attempt to stave off what he says will be deeper budget cuts. But Brown so far has refused to tell people exactly what they would be deciding.

He has said he does not want to appear to be threatening voters.

The state Senate has requested that the Legislative Analyst's Office prepare a list of possible cuts, but members of the Assembly have avoided the subject.

But, actually someone let the cat out of the bag Monday and said spending cuts will come from education and the prison system. Sure, why not. It's not like those are the sorts of things that the voters want the state to be doing.

On Monday, Gil Duran, a spokesman for Brown, said generally the cuts would be made in public and higher education, public safety, and health and social services, but he was not specific.

Pension reform or shrinking the bureaucracy - let alone closing destructive agencies like the Air Resources Board - aren't even on the table. No, it's schools and prisons.

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, who had to run a gauntlet of harsh media attacks on his character and business record, is going straight at the one thing Jerry Brown won't touch.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is planning sweeping changes that has public unions howling but corporations thrilled.

Budget Plans

  • Cut property and corporate income taxes by $2 billion
  • Transfer Medicaid recipients to managed-care plans
  • Require existing public employees to contribute 5% of their salaries to the retirement system
  • Put new public employees in 401K plans

Republican governors are taking on the bureaucracy and unsustainable pensions. Democrat governors are raising taxes and slashing services, all so Blue State voters can continue paying for the "retirements" of able bodied adults in their fifties. At least now we can have a side-by-side comparison between left and right governance.

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