Fishing for Austerity in California

Governor Jerry Brown is now learning what its like to be Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

(Reuters) - Support for California Governor Jerry Brown's plan to shut a $27 billion budget gap has eroded since he introduced it in January, a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed on Wednesday.

Democrat Brown wants to close the budget hole with a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes, and he wants voters to get the chance to approve the package in a special election. So far Republicans have opposed the special election and tax hikes. [...]

"While many Californians still favor the approach the governor proposed in January, his plan to seek a budget solution through a June ballot has become a more difficult task to achieve," Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO, said in a statement.

Sure. Why let the people vote on state tax policy? It's not like this is a Democracy.

Why not? Because Republicans know that when given a choice, most people will vote for raising taxes over closing their children's school or laying off half of the police department.

Why does Jerry Brown want to put the budget on a ballot? Because it's the only way around the requirement to pass a budget by super majority. The Governator caught a lot of heat for the financial troubles of California, but the truth of the matter is that it isn't as simple as being able to blame one man. A super majority is required to pass a budget in California, so as you can imagine, it has been next to impossible to pass legislation that actually fills the holes in the budget without obliterating essential services like education and law enforcement in the process.

The Republicans are fishing for such austerity in California so the disaster capitalists can swoop in and take a big bite.