Government We Deserve

Tens of thousands of seniors and children would lose access to healthcare, local governments would sacrifice several billion dollars in state assistance this year and thousands of convicted criminals could serve less time in state prison. Welfare checks would go to fewer residents, state workers would be forced to continue to take unpaid days off and new drilling for oil would be permitted off the Santa Barbara coast.

“We’ve accomplished a lot in this budget,” said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, as he emerged from his office with legislative leaders shortly before 7 p.m. to announce the deal, after an all-day negotiating session of the “big five” — the governor and legislative leaders.

“It was like a suspense movie, but . . . we have accomplished a lot,” the governor said. “This is a budget that will have no tax increases, a budget that is cutting spending. . . . We’re also very happy that in this budget we make government more efficient.”

Democrats, who initially sought tax increases, said they had managed to ward off cuts proposed earlier by Republicans that would have been catastrophic to the state’s social safety net.

“We have cut in many areas that matter to real people, but I think we have done so responsibly,” said Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). “This is a sober time.”

via Budget accord reached – Los Angeles Times.

I guess in some alternate universe it makes sense for Democrats to talk up a situation in which they have a large majority and only end up giving the Republicans 80-90% of what they want. What a bunch of pussies. Yeah, 2/3 rule this and that, blah blah. But where are the ads? Where are the Op-Eds? Where are the TV appearances? The Democratic party – state, federal, dogcatching board, young democrat club at the elementary school, the whole damn thing – is just so fundamentally opposed to anything remotely approaching hardball politics that it makes me sick.  They’ve been handed these majorities through a combination of demographic changes and unbelievable Republican incompetence over the last several years but they still can’t get shit done. For whatever reason their default posture is still to cower and cringe and placate. Maybe I’m giving them too much credit and they’re really just corporate whores who’ll continue wanting to enact change responsibly, when the time is right in perpetuity as long as people are gullible enough to give them the majority. Who knows. As for the idiocy of people approving those 2/3 propositions in the first place, well. Like the title of the post says.

Oh well, hey, it’ll be like half a year, maybe more, before we have to go thru this all over again. I’m sure the economy will be fine by then.

  1. ugh, i know. democrats have the majority, and the gov has a 30% approval rating, but god forbid they try to stand up to him. i know he could still veto stuff, but COME ON. this is the best they could do? offshore drilling instead of an oil tax? tricky accounting to put off paying state workers a month? more furlough days for those same state workers (man, it’s bad working for UC, but working directly for the state has to be the worst gig going these days)? all they’re doing is ensuring we have this same stupid argument next year, when the republicans will STILL be insisting we can make up billions of dollars without raising any taxes. and the democrats will still not have a single strong leader willing to call bullshit. and we’ll all lose.

    fuck it, maybe it really is time to move.

  2. fauxpopuli said:

    That’s what I’m worried about. It’s not like this is over and it’s not like the Republicans are going to agree to a tax increase on the merits anytime soon. Unless the Dems can grow a spine we’re just going to sit back and watch them gradually give away everything that made this state at least halfway-liberal. I mean what, are they waiting for a new governor to ride in on a white house and hand out new vertebrae? Yeah great welfare isn’t completely wiped out *yet*, the gas tax thing (one method of raiding the cities) didn’t go through *yet*, blah blah. We’re borrowing money we don’t have to close the budget hole now, so wtf do we do in six months?

    Oh I guess the offshore drilling thing got defeated, so between that and the gas tax there’s like 1.2 billion of unallocated cuts that have to be done, and Ahnuld has a line-item veto. I honestly don’t know which scenario ends up worse for us.

    Also I’ve been reading that in reality we’re gonna be right back in the shitter by Oc-fucking-tober. So all this posturing and all these terrible cuts and feats of accounting trickery might only get us 3 months.

  3. fauxpopuli said:

    Oh my bad it’s already the 27th. So 2 months. Wheeee downfall of civilization!

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