The Governor is finally talking about raising some revenues to prevent the devastating cuts currently in discussion in budget cuts, according to Jim Sanders at the Sacramento Bee.
It’s a good thing that the Governor has put a tax on the table, which will raise crucial revenues needed to prevent ugly cuts. It shows progress from the Governor’s “cuts only” approach in May.
Some issues that need to continue to be discussed:
* The sales tax proposed is not enough–it would only raise $4-5 billion. The Legislative Conference Committee’s budget raises $9 billion–through the upper-tax bracket and other means–and still makes severe cuts–so severe that around a quarter of a million children would still lose health coverage. The additional $4 billion more in cuts would be truly devastating.
* The Governor’s proposal is temporary, and the tax increase would go away after a couple of years–or even become a tax cut, further staving key public services… As if the health and education needs of Californian will somehow decrease in three or four years.
* The Governor is also seeking “budget reform,” which has included spending caps and proposals to give himself unilateral power to make cuts. It’s a short-term gain for a long-term limitation of health, education and other vital services that are important to California’s future.
There’s clearly more discussion needed. But one hopes that this development signals that there is some movement away from a “cuts only” approach. There’s just a lot more movement that is needed, and not much time.