Just in the last year, California has made cuts of over $10 billion to education, health and other vital services. No real revenues were raised, as Republicans held to a “no new taxes” pledge.
As a result, we now have a $11 billion deficit in the current year, and a projected deficit in the budget year for as much as $28 billion… a truly staggering figure.
The Governor has proposed to make cuts and, finally, raise revenues to bridge the gap. But the revenues he proposed doesn’t begin to match the $10 billion in severe cuts that have already been made. We need to raise the taxes need to prevent further cuts and maintain the education, health and other key services all Californians depend on.
As the Republican blockade on taxes doesn’t just dig us deeper in a hole… it just shifts the burden elsewhere. As a resident of Davis, California, I joined nearly three-fourths of my neighbors to vote for an increase in my taxes or $120/year in order to maintain school funding, in light of the cuts at the state level.
Regarding health care, that “no new taxes” pledge is also meaningless to the families who have to pay more in Healthy Families premiums in order to have the children covered, or those children’s families who face huge medical bills after losing Medi-Cal coverage.
That pledge will be laughable if the additional cuts proposed by Schwarzenegger go through, for example, to the hundreds of thousands of seniors who will have to pay significantly more for health coverage.
So what is the point of the “no new taxes” pledge? The result, whether in health, education, or elsewhere, is that Californians are still paying more, but just getting less.