Our last hope - moderate Abel Maldonado - finally caved and cast his vote to approve the budget. This allows Schwarzenegger to go back to loving his "girly men" in the legislature while simultaneously redacting all those pink slips he was starting to hand out earlier this week. CalTrans will go back to removing hefty chunks of California highways just in time for vacation season this year. And Abel Maldonado will have to consider whether the Republican backlash from his "yea" vote was worth the sellout.
Now, I'll grant you this: a quarter percent tax increase in my bracket is not going to kill me. State tax increases rarely have that kind of impact on my situation. I've been working long enough that I can make ends meet most of the time. I will admit to being concerned about my state refund this year, but on the whole I was all for holding the state accountable for all of its irresponsible spending decisions over the past several years.
Ditto the Feds. Zero Accountability is what got us into fiscal trouble, and the Faux Stimulus Obama just signed will take us right back to Zero Accountability. Oh, they created a so-called "Accountability and Transparency" board, but its only real function is to politicize the various Inspectors General and place them under the control of the board instead of maintaining their heretofore independent status. Reckless fiscal policy, that. And it will catch up with the Obamatrons both in the administration and in Congress.
But back to Maldonado. Being from Santa Maria, Maldonado has the taint of elitist liberalism, though he claims to be a Republican. I can pretty much guarantee, however, that if he aspires to any office higher than the state senate, he will find himself facing a somewhat unforgiving crowd down here in Orange County. I know why the man finally changed his vote. He found himself in the position of having the whole state see him as the man who was blocking passage of money needed to fund our state-wide pork. That's an uncomfortable chair, and he wanted to go home. He finnagled a few "concessions" before changing his vote, but we're still saddled with a budget that relies more on tax increases than in reduced spending measures. Again, reckless fiscal policy that will catch up with those who voted in favor.
And exactly how do I know that this budget is bad policy? Because Schwarzenegger approves; that's how:
This is the perfect medicine for our ailing economy, and it will boost public confidence in California, reassure the financial community and allow us to start selling bonds and rebuild our state."Note to the Governator: You can't "solve" budget deficits when you're still spending more than you're taking in. Did you not read that definition when taking the state employee exams? Oh, wait...
"Now, instead of worrying every day only about IOUs and about red ink, we can start moving California forward once again. This action to solve our $42 billion deficit was difficult but courageous and just what California needs," he said.
Anyway, California has its approved budget, and everyone goes home happy. Until next year's deficit rears its head. Then it'll be every man for himself.
Maldonado will lead the way.