I try to refrain from speaking out on national political issues. I generate enough controversy when I address local subjects.
But Friday’s story from Sacramento is still upsetting me. Perhaps you’ve seen it.
Gov. Jerry Brown in a radio interview urged the state legislature to deal with the state’s deficit. He told the legislature “to man up” and balance the state budget because the deficit is probably bigger than he estimated in June 2011.
Balancing the budget is a great idea. But “man up?” Where did that phrase originate? I’m not exactly your garden variety Casper Milquetoast “politically correct” sycophant reporter.
But I am the father — not the mother — of three children. I realize battles and gun fights can cause great bodily harm and put lives in danger. But I have never witnessed (three times) a situation as painful as natural childbirth.
Why don’t we say “woman up” or is that too many syllables? But of course, Gov. Moonbeam could never be criticized for a “War on Women.” That’s the Republicans’ province, nary a word or chirp from female senators Boxer and Feinstein.
Which is my point, politics is much easier if we adhere to stereotypes. Why think about the issues, when we are busy deciding our favorite Idol or Voice contestant? We have more important diversions than government services and how to pay for them.
While Brown is a hypocrite to fully attribute the deficit to the legislature, his instincts are correct. The Democratic majority legislature, in the Assembly and the Senate, refused to adopt his budget last June.
Instead, after he vetoed the legislature’s deficit-laden proposal, the Democratic leaders pored over economic analyses and determined the State’s revenues would increase by $4 billion more than anyone else thought.
Overnight, they financial wizards found a phantom $4 billion. Ten months later, with only two months left in the fiscal year, politicians realize the phantom $4 billion is still hiding with Jimmy Hoffa and Lee Harvey Oswald’s compatriots rather than in the state coffers.
Since fall, State Controller John Chiang has issued monthly estimates forecasting this disappointing result. Now Gov. Brown piles on.
As I said, I share his desire for the legislature to actually produce a genuine balanced budget — revenues equal expenditures.
But he can not blame the legislators solely for this doleful result. He was complicit with it when he signed the budget balanced on phantom revenue.
Which brings me to another current pet peeve. The county is being divided on the issue of the “Buffet Rule”. The idea originated when multi-billionaire Warren Buffet, said his tax rate is less than his secratary’s.
I’m all for tax fairness. There are many tax breaks, whose benefits I question; but the argument is that the federal deficit is caused by all these wealthy tax scofflaws taking advantage of tax breaks.
The biggest tax break is the deduction for interest on homes. But as I said, more fairness is better.
As Reuters reported, and I’ve read elsewhere, “The Buffett tax would raise $47 billion from 2012 through 2022 if imposed on taxpayers earning more than $1 million … according to a March memo from the Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan body that estimates tax changes for lawmakers.”
This is hundreds of billions of dollars short of balancing the federal budget.
May be all legislators should “Girl up”!