Gov. Brown signs another fraudulent budget
By John Seiler
When he was inaugurated on Jan. 3, 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown solemnly promised in his address to the people of California:
“First, speak the truth. No more smoke and mirrors on the budget. No empty promises.”
Instead yesterday, for the second straight year, he led the Legislature in a drive-by attack on Californians by signing a fraudulent budget. The fictional budget, for fiscal year 2012-13, which begins on July 1, also shows that voters were misled into thinking that passage of Proposition 25 in 2010, majority vote on the budget, would lead to more sensible budgets.
Prop. 25 was supposed to hold legislators’ feet to the fire by canceling their pay if they didn’t pass a balanced budget by June 15. But after their pay briefly was suspended by Controller John Chiang for their delinquency in June 2011, a judge threw out that part of Prop. 25.
So, all that remains is the part that the powerful government-worker unions wanted when they hoodwinked voters into approving Prop. 25: majority vote to pass the budget instead of two-thirds, meaning minority Republicans were cut out of all budget discussions.
And because there was no penalty for tardiness, the Legislature passed the budget two weeks late.
The biggest flim-flam in the budget is that it assumes voters will pass Brown’s $8.5 billion tax increase on the November ballot. That’s like taking out a mortgage on a house assuming you’ll win the lottery. If you did that, you would go to jail for lying to lenders. But legislators do it and don’t even get its pay docked.
The second flim-flim is that there are “cuts” in the budget. Actually, it’s supposed to cost $92 billion, assuming the tax increase passes. But that’s $6 billion more than the just-ending fiscal 2011-12 budget. So, if we just kept the previous year’s budget, there would be no need for the tax increases. Instead, spending will rise by 7 percent. It’s such profligate spending that got the state into trouble in the first place — and that happens every time the state enjoys even a modest recovery.
The reason why was explained yesterday at Chapman University’s economic forecast, held at The Hilton in Costa Mesa, which I attended. One speaker was Esmael Adibi, director of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research at the school. Adibi said that politicians don’t save money even in good times because then they don’t get the credit for giving it to the special interest groups that brought them into office.
By contrast, if money is saved, it just gets spent by their successors, who then get the credit for giving the funds to their special interest groups. So why save money? This create the vicious tax-and-spend cycle that especially plagues spendthrift states like California.
An especially cruel sham is that the budget includes a $250 million cut in tuition to University of California and Cal State students should the tax increase fail. That’s a shameless bribe to students to get them to vote for the tax increase.
It’s also a fraud perpetrated on the kids because the $8.5 billion tax increase will kill the jobs they otherwise would have gotten when they graduated. So, for $250 million, the kids strap an $8.5 billion tax increase to their young lives. That is, they’ll get just 3 percent back for themselves. Now you know why even university students in California graduate innumerate. That way they won’t figure out how the state is ripping them off.
And according to the Orange County Register:
“A third trailer bill could force doctors who treat patients eligible for both Medi-Cal and Medicare to accept low reimbursement rates. That bill enrolls 627,000 poor, elderly and disabled Californians in Orange and seven other counties in managed care plans, to save the state money on their health care.”
That only will force underpaid doctors to leave the profession, or move from this diseased state to a place of freedom. Effectively, that part of the bill enslaves the doctors in another socialized medicine scheme.
As this year plays out, the governor and Legislature will have to adjust the numbers to deal with fiscal reality. If the economy begins slowing, then the budget legerdemain will be revealed sooner than otherwise. In sum, the new budget is another installment of the state’s long running budget illusion circus.
May 24, 2013