Brown’s Bum’s Rush

jerry brown 051611

The Legislative Analyst's Office report on Gov. Brown's revised budget proposal performs a very important public service: it calls Brown on his stubborn insistence that the state's only option is to hurry up and decide between his temporary tax extensions and a budget full of devastating cuts.

The LAO notes that there are all kinds of other options, including different kinds of tax proposals, other cuts, and various internal borrowing and fund transfers that are often labeled gimmicks. Writes the LAO:  "[Brown's revised budget] states that, 'Absent the balanced approach proposed by the Governor, the options are either an ‘all cuts’ budget or a combination of gimmicks and cuts.' Clearly, this is not the case."

The LAO also emphasizes that the legislature should pursue revenues and cuts that are "ongoing", rather than temporary, to address the deficit. What the analyst doesn't say is that the best kind of ongoing change is one that Brown has not put on the table: a rewrite of the state's budget system, so that California doesn't stay stuck in its never-ending budget crisis.

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