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More Pain to Come

Increased budget deficit means big cuts with or without tax initiatives

by Brian Leubitz

With the recent announcement of a bigger than expected deficit, Gov. Brown has announced bigger than expected cuts are coming in his May revision of the budget.

The gap grew, the budget revision states, because Brown over-estimated tax revenues by $4.3 billion and the federal government and courts blocked $1.7 billion in cuts the state wanted to make. The remainder of the difference reflects an increase in the amount of money the state is mandated to spend on education under a complex voter-approved formula.

To close the wider gap, Brown has heightened the cuts he wants to make to Medi-Cal, to $1.2 billion, and maintained another $1.2 billion in welfare and child-care savings he proposed in January.

He also wants to slash payments to people who care for the disabled by 7% and reduce the state payroll through a shorter workweek or wage concessions. He proposed $500 million in cuts to the state's struggling court system, including a one-year freeze on all new construction projects.(LA Times)

That's just the best case scenario there. As horrendous as that may be, if the tax measure in November doesn't pass, Brown is set to do a triggered cut of $5.5 billion and $3b other cuts.  

At this point, the waste is gone. We are cutting vital services that won't just magically reappear when times get better. We are fundamentally changing how we treat each other, and we are letting social darwinism run amok. It's a tragedy of immense proportions, and no saviors are riding in from the horizon.





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