Sacramento budget: the dream delayed

23 July 2009 |permalink | email article

Less than a day after Gov. Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders announced a plan to close the state’s massive budget – with a vote expected tonight – all hell has broken loose.

More than 180 California cities have passed resolutions threatening to sue the state if lawmakers approve a budget plan that would seize $4.7 billion in local funds to help close the state’s massive deficit.

Judy Mitchell, the mayor of Rolling Hills Estates in Los Angeles County and president of the League of California Cities, described the budget proposal as a “Ponzi scheme that passes off responsibility to future governors, legislators and our taxpayers.”

The prospect of losing $313 million in redevelopment funds and $109 million on gasoline taxes prompted the threat from Los Angeles County Supervisors on Wednesday. The cities and the league will join the L.A. County lawsuit.

Schwarzenegger’ odd reaction was to ignore the threat, admitting only “some hiccups” and “bumps in the road” to get the budget done.

What struck me most was the governor’s initial reaction. The Los Angeles Times described him as staying largely out of sight, except for posting a brief video on Twitter in which he played with a large knife and talked about autographing state property to be sold at auction to raise money.  I mean, how insensitive is this failed leader?

Read ‘em and weep

“We are now a state that can’t. It can’t agree on its water problem. It can’t balance its budget, it can’t decide what to do about prisoners, and it’s still fussing about its immigrants. And this is not the end of our economic problems. This is the beginning.” Stephen Levy, the director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, in Palo Alto.

“No, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that people are fundamentally uncomfortable and fundamentally I think increasingly uncomfortable with an American president who seems to be afraid to defend America, stand up for what we believe in.” Liz Cheney, a former State Department official and vice-presidential daughter defending the Obama “birther” theory that the president isn’t a citizen, and telling Larry King people have reasons to question his national loyalty.




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