Thursday, February 10, 2011
Jerry Brown's budget fightGov. Jerry Brown has been working closely with the California legislature on his budget plans.
There haven't been many revisions agreed to yet. One that Jerry just endorsed is the cancellation of the sale of 11 state buildings, a sale which he had thought was a bad idea but was a carryover of one of Gov. Schwarzenegger's budget fixes. But cancelling it leaves a an additional $1.2 billion deficit for the 2012-13 year beginning July 1: David Siders, Brown kills state building sale Sacramento Bee 02/10/2011. Siders reports:
Brown's decision to abandon the controversial building sale was expected. He called it "not prudent" last year and, as state attorney general, he declined to defend the transaction against a court challenge.Building sales are generally a questionable revenue-raising device for public entities, unless the building is being abandoned by the government agency that owns it, as in a relocation of offices of a state agency completely out of the city in which they currently reside. As in this case, the rental expenses could actually be more significant in present value (cost adjusted for the price of money over time) than keeping the building and maintaining it. The rental costs generally have to cover the maintenance and capital improvements in some form, anyway.
This is a good example of what Republican budget management in California has meant in practice: taking short-term steps that reduce the budget problem for the moment but build in bigger ones for later years.
What Jerry Brown is trying to achieve this year is a process that not only cuts through those kinds of gimmicks and puts the state finances on a reasonably sustainable basis. And, in the process of doing so, beginning to delegitimize the scam the Republicans have been running here since 1978 of telling voters: "You can cut your taxes and restrict government spending and not suffer any bad consequences yourself."
The San Francisco Chronicle report Wyatt Buchanan et al, Gov. Brown drops plan to sell 11 state buildings 02/10/2011, features additional details on the cancelling of the building sale:
"Disposing of assets that are still needed, and to do so incurring tremendous rent charges, doesn't make any sense," Brown said at a news conference at the Capitol.Tags: california politics, jerry brown
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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