Kevin Martinez writes that the California legislature’s new budged balances a $42 billion deficit on the backs of regular people with a combination of regressive taxes as well as startling budget cuts to services the population desperately needs like social services and education. Its Endless tax breaks and for the wealthy classes and business while children, the poor and the disabled face drastic cuts. The secretive manner in which the deal was made is also revealing. The budget was almost identical to the one proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger and he made it clear that even if a deal was not reached working people would have to pay anyway. The budget was passed with overwhelming support from Democrats who were some of the most strident supports of the Governor.

-Bill Gibbons

“I’m a Truth Addict, Aw shit I got a head rush!” –Rage Against the Machine

 

California legislature passes massive austerity budget

By Kevin Martinez
20 February 2009

After the longest vote session in state history, the California state legislature approved a budget yesterday that will balance the $42 billion deficit at the expense of millions of working people in California. The bill includes a combination of regressive taxes that will fall disproportionately on the working class, as well as staggering levels of budget cuts to education and social services.

The proceedings and the anti-democratic manner in which the bill was passed, behind closed doors and with numerous tax breaks for big business inserted up to the last minute, are the consummate expression of the contempt the entire ruling establishment has for the mass of the state’s population.

California, the eighth-largest economy in the world, has been verging on bankruptcy for several months. The state’s coffers have been decimated over the last two decades by a combination of factors, including endless tax breaks for the wealthy and big business, the gaming of the state’s energy markets by Enron and other private power companies, the bursting of the dot-com bubble, and now the meltdown of the housing market.

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