Monday, January 03, 2011

New Governor- same old budget crisis

New Governor; same old speeches.
Well, we have a new governor. His  inaugural speech did not say much.  Yes, there will be draconian budget cuts.  At least half of the current budget crisis was caused by the national economic crisis.  This crisis was created by finance capital and banking, mostly on Wall Street ,ie. Chase Banks, Bank of America,  Washington Mutual, AIG, and others.   Finance capital produced a $ 2 trillion bailout of the financial industry, the doubling of America’s unemployment rate and the loss of 2 million manufacturing jobs in 2008.  Millions are out of work.  You and I, and college students did not create this crisis.  Finance capital stole the future of many young people.
Budget cutting to balance the budget will not get us out of this hole.  Look at Ireland, Greece, or Spain.  Budget cuts only start a downward spiral of pain. We can not simply cut our way out of the crisis, budget cuts and lay offs make the recession worse.
School funding reveals the nature of crisis.  In the last two years the k-12 budget “solutions” have cut 4.6 billion dollars from the schools. We have larger classes and fewer teachers.  School reform has stopped- except for the politicians’ hot air.  School funding makes up a total of 30% of the state budget.  Any crisis in the state budget and any cuts in the state budget will make school budgets worse.

California will need to raise taxes to fund the schools and to repair the social safety net.  Anti tax radicals and Republicans  oppose any tax increases.   The state ‘solutions’ of the last three years depended upon receiving federal stimulus money.  The stimulus monies are almost finished and with the Republican winning control  of Congress there will probably not be more funds.
Since Governor Brown did not say much concrete, we will need to wait for the budget next week to see where are the conflicts.

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