Sunday, March 06, 2011

Jerry Brown putting California Republicans on the spot over state budget deficit

The Republicans in the California state legislature, not surprisingly, are stalling on coming to terms with Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrats over the state budget. Brown has asked for a legislative action that would be needed this month to put a referendum on the June ballot for a statewide vote on extending some current taxes to cover $10 billion of the projected 2011-12 budget deficit, and have $10 billion covered by permanent cuts.

But Jerry, unlike too many other Democratic politicians, is willing to call out the Republican obstructionists and tell them to put up or shut up. Dan Morain reported some good examples in Brown: It's time to take a risk Sacramento Bee 02/27/2011:

In this coarsening partisan scene, California's septuagenarian governor took the extraordinary step of entering the legislators' lair the other day, and engaging in a civil conversation about this state's never-ending budget crisis.

"When you folks say, 'No, no vote, no plan, no,' that is not America," Jerry Brown told legislators. "It is not acceptable, and it is not loyalty to California." ...

If the tax plan fails, Brown warned, he will answer with an all-cuts budget that will erase the deficit. Every state service would face reductions. Not that we should suspend skepticism, but Brown certainly seems serious.

"I don't want to be here for four years, and play games," Brown told the joint Assembly-Senate budget conference committee. "We've got to meet the moment of truth now. I would ask that all of you help me in that process."
Jerry is sticking with his Josiah Roycian theme of loyalty to the community. And he's not flinching from head-to-head confrontation with the Republicans over the deficit issue.

Former presidential candidate Brown understands ambition. Sure, legislators take risks by taking stands. But maybe they should grow some spine, as Brown urged:

"America is facing a real challenge, the trillions of deficits, over-extension all over the world. Where is the leadership? All they do is fight over who is going to be the next congressmen, the next president, the next senator.

"I have played the games you all play. I'm telling you time is running out for California and this country if politicians just keep squabbling all the time. You've got to get out of your comfort zone." ...

Brown needs Republican support to place the tax package measure on the ballot and directed most of his comments at the legislative hearing to Republicans.

When Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, complained that Democratic legislators weren't cutting enough, Brown urged: "If you can find some better (cuts), then come on down. I'll be glad to talk about it."

When Assemblywoman Diane Harkey of Orange County asked for "some pension reform, some regulatory relief," Brown urged horse-trading, a quaint concept.

"This is your chance to make (Democrats) do something they don't to do. You have to step up and do something you don't want to do," Brown said.

"We can't go there," Harkey said, keeping true to her anti-tax pledge.
[my emphasis]
This kind of confrontation with the Republican wrecker Party is what the Democratic needs to be doing over and over.

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