Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Schwarzenegger's Budget Cuts - Angers Republicans

Senator Tom McClintock was on our Tuesday Live show to talk about California Gov. Schwarzenegger's budget cuts. Republicans are not happy!

As the Senator says,
"Abraham Lincoln finally had enough of Stephen Douglas’ obfuscations when they met to debate in Charleston, Illinois. He said, “Judge Douglas is playing cuttlefish – a small species of fish that has no mode of defending himself when pursued except by throwing out a black fluid which makes the water so dark the enemy cannot see it, and thus it escapes. It sets in motion events that will require even more painful cuts later precisely because of borrowing and accounting gimmicks. The first law of holes is very important. If you're in one, stop digging. That means stop borrowing, stop Enron-accounting ... and start dealing honestly with the budget."

With our state facing a $14.5 billion deficit, Schwarzenegger last Thursday proposed slashing payments to schools by 4 billion dollars, releasing 22,000 of "low-risk" inmates from prison early, and closing 48 state parks including Candlestick Park, Hearst Castle (see list here) as part of his to 10 percent cuts virtually across the board plan.

The Gov. says, "I do not believe in tax increases. I think the people of California are sending to Sacramento plenty of dollars," however, the governor did include two new fees in his plan - an $11 per car fee for registering vehicles, and a 1.25 percent levy on commercial and residential insurance policies.


-Parents would see spending on public schools drop by about 10 percent -- 4 billion dollars, including from special ed and after school programs.

-We would see 22,000 prison inmates who are deemed low-risk released into our cities up to 20 months early.

-Millions of low-income and disabled residents who rely on Medi-Cal for health care would lose dental coverage.

-Hikers could no longer use the largest state park in Northern California, Henry W. Coe State Park. Candlestick closed. 48 parks and beaches closed in total.

-The governor's budget also calls for significant cuts to health and human service programs. Medi-Cal, the health care program for the poor, disabled and some seniors, would suffer a $1 billion hit - but the actual toll would be double that because the program generates matching federal dollars. The cuts mean that doctors and hospitals who treat Medi-Cal patients will receive about 10 percent less for their work, even though the state's reimbursement rates are already among the lowest in the nation. And more than 3 million adults would lose dental coverage.

-Child protective services would be cut by 10 percent, as would payments to keep disabled people in their homes rather than institutionalized.

-The budget plan also eliminates payments for children whose families are considered at risk for homelessness.

Additionally the governor is proposing to issue $3.3 billion in bonds, and shift $2 billion of tax revenue that would otherwise be counted in the 2009-10 fiscal year to the coming fiscal year

And let's not forget that he is proposing a multi-billion new Hillary-care type of health care plan for the state. Where's that money going to come from - borrowing? hmmmmmmm

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