Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

California GOP Digs In; Preps For Battle

Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger announced he would lay off 10,000 state employees in an effort to cut the state's budget expenses as the Golden State tries to figure out how to dig themselves out of a $41 billion deficit. Supposedly there was a deal that was reached by both Democrats and Republicans, but it did not pan out. Today, the California GOP got rid of their party leader in the legislature:

A state budget deal to close a $41 billion shortfall has been put further into question early this morning after Senate Republicans ousted their leader who had helped negotiate the long-awaited plan with other top lawmakers in California.

The unusual action occurred as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic lawmakers tried for a fourth night in a row to persuade at least one more Republican senator to cast the deciding vote on the budget, a move officials said is necessary for the state to avoid insolvency.

Speaking to reporters outside his office, the ousted Minority Leader Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto, said, “It’s a shame it ended like this.”

Cogdill was one of the four legislative leaders who negotiated the emergency budget deal with the governor. Their compromise budget package, reached after three months of negotiations, contained nearly $16 billion in program cuts, $11 billion in borrowing and $14.4 billion in tax increases. The most contentious debate has been over the proposed tax hikes.

Republicans selected Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murrieta (Riverside County) as their new Minority leader. Hollingsworth is part of the conservative wing of the Senate Republican caucus and he has been adamantly against raising any taxes.

Governor Schwarzenegger did this to himself. His mismanagement of the state of California has pushed the state to the limits. A month ago he raised fees (an end-run around the solution in the 1970s regarding taxes), and now he wants to raise taxes and borrow money to shore up the deficit.

The Republicans got fed up with Mr. Cogdill, and the wheelings and dealings he pulled with Democrats to bring an end to the negotiations over the budget. He is out, and now the GOP is digging in; readying themselves for a fight with the Democrats. They know they cannot raise taxes in the state because it will not solve the deficit. California is a state that already has a high tax burden, and it was not low taxes that got them into this mess. Higher taxes will serve to do two things -- drive residents from the state, and drive business from the state.

The legislature needs to get serious about addressing the deficit they face. That means cutting taxes, shedding government programs, and government employees. Raising taxes is not the answer, and will provide little in the way of revenue to fix the problem. Point of fact, it is the excessive spending on government programs that do not work that got them in this mess, and the tax hike approach is nothing more than feeding the addiction the legislature has, which is rampant spending. The GOP has sent a signal to the legislature and the governor that it is time to end the spending, and tighten the belt.

Arizona is going through this right now, though our deficit at the moment is just a little over $2 billion. Governor Jan Brewer has told the AZ legislature that the budget worked out between them, and the outgoing governor, Janet Napolitano, was no good. So she is hammering out a new one that includes deep spending cuts. She could go a little further in cutting taxes, which would help the state. Not only would it put more money in our pockets, but it might entice businesses to the state, and persuade others looking to leave to stay instead.



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