CRP Blog

Monday, December 15, 2008

Republican Legislators Move Budget Process Forward

Working to break the budget deadlock in Sacramento, Republican legislators introduced a comprehensive proposal to narrow the state's gaping budget deficit by $22 billion without raising taxes.

Democrats immediately attacked it as "ideology and posturing," in the words of liberal Democrat Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.

Let's pause for a second to recognize that the most overused trick in Sacramento is to avoid debating something on the merits by classifying it as "ideological." Nothing the Democrats do is "ideological," only what Republicans do - at least, according to liberal spinmeisters in the Capitol.

The Republican plan moves the process forward by putting a compendium of solutions from a wide variety of sources on the table. That is, it includes elements first suggested by Republicans, Democrats, the Governor, the Legislative Analyst, and others.

While some of the other parties in the process may complain about the proposal in one way or another, the reality is that by offering more solutions to increase revenue (without new taxes), and ways to bring spending in line with the real world, the Republican legislators are putting more tools in the toolbox to solve the problem.

The Republican plan also includes measures that will actually help the California economy, which is already at a competitive disadvantage when compared to other western states with lower taxes and more rational regulatory structures. Specifically, Republicans want to return some sanity to a long list of job-killing regulations.

The Democrats just can't help themselves so, as if on cue, they reflexively attack the Republican plan for reviving the economy. Of course, the Democrats' idea of "stimulus" is more government overspending. If overspending was the key to a healthy economy, we’d be roaring ahead right now instead of facing skyrocketing unemployment.

Meanwhile, the party of "change" argues for keeping the status quo instead of embracing the Republican stimulus ideas to lessen the regulatory burdens on the private sector by claiming they're only designed to help "business" and "companies." I don't quote Barney Frank much, but in this case I'll remind the Democrats of what the ultra-liberal member of Congress from Massachusetts told "60 Minutes" this weekend in defending the Big Three baiout: "the world isn't made up of companies, it's made up of people." In other words, measures aimed at helping employers compete help…people - that is, people with jobs who want to keep them, or those who are looking.

Republicans are working to solve the state budget crisis in ways that won't further damage the overburdened California economy, and Democrats should get on board.

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