State budget cuts
10 percent rumored to be on the table to tackle $14 billion deficit
California is facing a $14 billion budget shortfall for the 2008-09 fiscal year, and among the ways Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger intends to address the problem is to call for across-the-board-budget cuts.
In his State of the State address Tuesday, the governor placed the blame for the shortfall on overspending by the state.
“Our budget problem is not because California’s economy is in trouble. In spite of weakness in housing, other areas of our economy continue to thrive. We remain a powerhouse of technology, of agriculture, advanced research, venture capital, international trade and innovation, and we continue to have job growth. So our revenues this coming year not going to be lower than last year, they’re not going down. No, the situation is that we are simply going to hold steady with our revenue,” Schwarzenegger said in his speech before a joint session of the legislature.
The problem, continued the state’s chief executive is that even though revenue will remain flat, automatic formulas force spending to increase by 7.3 percent.
Schwarzenegger is expected to release his proposed 2008-00 budget today, and rumors are that he will ask for a 10 percent across the board spending cut from all departments.
Whatever cuts are proposed and made, African American legislators like Assembly Curren D. Price, want to make sure that the programs which affect families, children, education and training are not severely impacted.
“It’s very hard to cut those essential services that are already always in short supply,” Price said adding that he intends to make sure that those areas that help communities of color and which are frequently targeted for cuts (all of those mentioned above as well as heath and economic development incentives) are protected.
“We have to wait and see exactly what is released tomorrow. We have to be very specific in terms of protecting the programs and policies (we might be) in jeopardy of losing,” said Price.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal of cutting 10 percent from the budgets of most departments within the state that receive general fund money has prompted Senator Mark-Ridley Thomas to conclude that if the reductions were enacted, they would further compound California’s deteriorating economy.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—An unprecedented drop in California’s child population coupled with a growing wave of Baby Boomer retirements has major implications for the state and should drive lawmakers to adopt policies that will nurture young people with improved educational opportunities and healthcare, according to a report released today.
Discussions of the fiscal cliff also include discussions about ways to change Social Security and Medicare benefits in order to save money. One of the proposals is to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70.
After all, some argue, there is nothing magic about 65 or 67, so why not push the rate up to 70?
The difference is the kind of work we do. I can’t imagine that I will ever stop talking and writing, advanced age notwithstanding.
A quiet economic storm, or more likely a hurricane, has been brewing for several years now, and it’s gaining more strength every day. After the Dot.Com bubble burst in the early 1990s, we were shocked. Then along came the housing bubble and folks started losing their primary assets: their homes. Black people lost more than $1 trillion in wealth, when housing values dropped. Yes, it was the result of dishonesty and greed among borrowers and lenders alike, but the vast majority of us are suffering from it nevertheless.
The failure the Congress’ “Super Committee” to come to a resolution on the nation’s budget deficit is not a surprise. They were supposed to reach $1.2 trillion in budget cuts before Thanksgiving or mandatory “across the board” budget cuts would “trigger” to “automatically” reduce the budget.
I think it was a ploy all along to get past the debt-ceiling stalemate that allowed both parties to save face, in the face of a government shutdown. They kicked the can down the road, and now down the road is here.