As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

State Republicans' Big Idea - Fix The Budget By Breaking The Law

This is really kind of incredible, what "law and order" Republicans have been reduced to.

Saying the ailing economy is putting enough stress on taxpayers, Senate Republican leader Dave Cogdill said Tuesday that Republicans will oppose any tax hikes to bridge California's budget deficit.

Cogdill suggested the deficit, which he pegged at $16 billion for the fiscal year beginning July 1, could be wiped out through service cuts and tapping into the reserves of voter-approved initiatives intended for early childhood education, mental health services and transportation [...]

Democrats, meanwhile, are likely to oppose Cogdill's suggestion to borrow money from three initiative-created funds: the county-based First Five commissions for children, established by Proposition 10; Proposition 63 to expand mental health services; and the Proposition 42 gas sales tax for transportation purposes.

Sen. Darrell Steinberg, the Senate's incoming president, said "no way" will he allow proceeds from Proposition 63, which he sponsored, to be used to defray the budget deficit.

"The voters of California passed an initiative which specifically prohibits the state Legislature from taking the money to balance the budget," said Steinberg, D-Sacramento, adding that such a raid on the initiative would be "unlawful."

The idea here is that if we only overturned three initiatives and defied the will of the people, and broke standing law in the state of California, then everything would be fine and we could place a gold brick in everybody's mailbox.

In other words, the Republican budget strategy is based entirely on embezzlement.

Frank Russo got out of a Yacht Party press conference and they basically said the same thing. From his notes:

This is their play: You need to have “reforms” in order to save money and balance the budget without raising taxes. All the Democrats do is talk about raising taxes. We are the only party that is talking about reforms and something other than taxes. The dems literally have no proposals. We’ve been criticized in the past for not being specific and forthcoming with our proposals (I lambasted them last year mercilessly for this) so here we have these ideas.

Take a look at the ideas and you find they are proposals to change the substantive laws in a number of areas and they are using the 2/3 vote requirement and the extreme financial emergency we are in as leverage to get things passed that they otherwise don’t have the votes for.

This is not a budget fight - it's a hostage negotiation. The Yacht Party is playing the part of the hooded figures negotiating the terms of surrender. And big ups to Don Perata for signaling yesterday that he's extremely bullish on surrender, for his part.

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