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Unbalanced budget pays off for California Legislature

Updated on June 18, 2012

California’s latest budget straight from house of blue smoke and mirrors

The Legislature and Governor have found ways around the spirit of the state constitution by defining what constitutes a balanced budget to include revenues that are arguable unlikely to be available this year – or ever. The budget passed by the Legislature on June 15 is not balanced, but because the Legislature declared it is balanced, they are entitled to continue to receive their pay.

You can ask just about anybody but the Legislature and they will tell you the budget is not balanced to the tune of billions of dollars. For a rough idea of how far out of whack the budget is, review a recent report of the state’s independent Legislative Analyst here . Since that report was written, the budget deficit has grown even larger and cash flow projections are even shakier.

Democratic Party leaders in Sacramento continue to play games featuring legerdemain that would make Merlin look like an amateur. Many experienced financial analysts are not fooled. California’s bond rating is among the worst in the nation, and the recently passed budget is not likely to improve the situation. This means higher cost of financing added to a job killing economic environment that wouldn’t grow a turnip much less the thousands of jobs that are needed.

The rights of the people of California are diminished every time the rights of the elected elite are improperly executed. As long as we continue to elect such people, we can expect more of the same. The Governor and the Legislatures Democratic leaders say they cannot find a way to run government on $156 billion, $83 billion in state taxes and $73 billion in federal money. In November, voters will be asked to approve a significant tax increase to keep government running at a level barely acceptable to them. If the voters approve, there will be a sales tax increase and a targeted increase in personal income taxes for added revenue of about $8.5 billion.

Historians of the Renaissance would find some fascinating comparisons between the 15th century age of despots and today’s Machiavellian plots swirling around the state capital. It seems even Machiavelli would have advised the princes of Sacramento not create conditions that cause people to refrain from starting a business through fear that the fruits of their labor shall be taxed excessively. It does seem that the princes are following one bit of advice to the letter. “…and as every city is divided either into guilds or classes, he ought to pay attention to all these groups, mingle with them from time to time, and give them an example of his humanity and munificence, always upholding, however, the majesty of his dignity, which must never be allowed to fail in anything whatever.”


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