Friday, December 19, 2008

Schwarzenegger Vows To Veto Democrats' Budget Plan

SACRAMENTO (AP) --Democratic lawmakers on Thursday pushed through an $18 billion package of cuts and tax increases to reduce California's burgeoning budget deficit, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said it didn't go far enough and immediately said he would not sign it.

He said lawmakers sent him a "terrible budget" that didn't make deep enough cuts or include the kind of economic stimulus he wanted to boost California's ailing economy.

"This proposal that they've sent and this package that they are sending down does really only do one thing, and this is punish the people of California," he said at a news conference shortly after the vote.

Democrats and Republicans have been unable to compromise on a way to address a deficit that is expected to hit $42 billion in the next 18 months. Schwarzenegger first called them into a special session to tackle the problem on Nov. 5.

In a sign that the impasse was taking a toll, a state panel on Wednesday voted to stop lending money for an estimated 2,000 infrastructure projects statewide through June, an unprecedented move that the board said was necessary because California can no longer afford the work.

California has not been able to borrow money for months and faces a cash shortage in February.

The package passed Thursday would have generated another $9.3 billion in general fund revenue by replacing gasoline taxes with a variety of fees.

It would have raised the taxes Californians pay on gas by about 13 cents, replacing an 18-cent-a-gallon excise tax and a fluctuating sales tax with a 39-cent-per-gallon fee; raised the state sales tax by ¾ of a cent; tax oil produced in California; boosted personal income taxes by a 2.5 percent; and collected taxes from independent contractors upfront.

The shortfall for the fiscal year that ends in June is nearly $14 billion, about 10 percent of the state's $144.5 billion budget. But that hole is expected to grow in the next fiscal year unless lawmakers cut spending, raise revenue or do a combination of the two.

What? Are these Californian Democrats nuts? They want to raise taxes in this faltering economy? The state has the highest taxes in the country and apparently that is not enough to keep a balanced budget!?! What is this bullshit? Cut the fucking spending! You're the largest state in the country. Get your act together. You have an 18 billion dollar deficit. Then cut 18 billion dollars worth of spending! Its that simple.

What are they spending all this money on?

Raising taxes in this faltering economy will NOT fix California's problems, it will only make them worse. The only logical solution is to drastically cut spending.

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