Monday, February 14, 2011
LAO identifies massive cuts if tax extensions fail
If lawmakers pursue a cuts-only budget to solve the state's $26.6 billion deficit, they could eliminate class-size reduction, require that kindergarten students be 5 years old at enrollment and hike university tuition by another 7 to 10 percent, according to a new review by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office.
There's also a stark option for state workers: reduce pay by an additional 9.24 percent (equal to two furlough days) and reduce state contributions to employee health care by 30 percent.
The Feb. 10 letter responds to Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who asked the Analyst's Office what the Legislature could do if voters or lawmakers reject tax revenues proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The LAO offered $13.5 billion in alternatives, presuming under Leno's request that the ballot taxes would not succeed and other revenue ideas like eliminating enterprise zones would fail. (end Sac Bee blog)....
These are the cuts we warned about when the Sacramento Progressive Alliance sent an open letter to Governor Brown, and letters to our Senators and Assembly persons listing alternative revenue sources to avoid these kinds of cuts. You can use that letter to go to Town Hall meetings and protest the cuts.- we did.
The LAO list is revealing. That is the kind of a state that the anti tax radicals want. There are no quick nor easy solutions. We can not simply cut our way out of the crisis; budget cuts and lay offs make the recession worse.
School funding reveals the nature of crisis. In the last two years the k-12 budget “solutions” have cut 4.6 billion dollars from the schools. We have larger classes and fewer teachers. These cuts would devastate our schools ( your grandchildren), the police, the fire fighters, the county health workers. Who is going to protect you from the West Nile Virus?
Instead of these cuts, we need to spend more state money to improve schools, to develop roads and infrastructure, and to create jobs.
Those who are well educated are more employed and paying taxes while those with less education, those who leave school, are in a prolonged economic crisis. It is well documented that our schools and our universities are in a finance crisis – in part created by the corporate subsidies hidden in Proposition 13. We need to be preparing young people for new jobs and to create new industries. Improving education, including both k-12 and higher education, makes California more likely to attract investment and the creation of new jobs and new industries.
As a consequence of the recently passed federal tax reductions, including the reduction of taxes to the wealthiest taxpayers, Washington-based Citizens for Tax Justice estimate that California’s richest taxpayers will be saving about $14 billion annually on their federal taxes. The next wealthiest 4 percent, with an average income of $310,000, will save another $6.5 billion. State taxes should be increased on these two groups to secure this available 20.6 Billion dollars to avoid these cuts. However, passing legislation to tax these folks requires a 2/3 vote, and the Republicans and the Tea Party types will protect their corporate sponsors.
To calculate the benefits that the rich in California received from the Obama/Republican compromise. Citizens for Tax Justice. http://www.ctj.org/