California’s fiscal crisis provides a stark look at the difference between today’s left and right
The situation in California is critical with government there facing a 19 billion dollar shortfall and the budget yet to be passed. It pits an admittedly "moderate" Republican governor against a Democratically dominated legislature and their differences on how to close that huge budgetary hole.
The lack of a budget is forcing furloughs and the possibility of the state again issuing IOUs instead of payments to vendors, etc.
Until the governor and legislature negotiate that budget, not much will change. And the fight is classic:
Schwarzenegger has proposed slashing spending to balance the state’s books, an approach rejected by Democratic lawmakers. Their leaders in the state Senate and Assembly are trying to draft a joint plan likely to include proposals for tax increases to rival the governor’s budget plan.
There it is. Where the governor sees government as having to yeild and reduce itself, the legislature views government – at the size and scope it now occupies – to be a nonnegotiable necessity and entitled to more taxpayer cash to preserve it as is.
Funny that the "conservative" position in this fight – i.e. the attempt to maintain the status quo – is that of the "progressive" party in California.
However, the cut spending/more taxes fight is, in a nutshell, the difference between the two parties right now. I used to say there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two (and on many issues that’s still true) but in terms of how to balance a budget, the “reduce government/ reduce spending” approach seems to now be solely owned by the GOP.
Whether or not they’ll actually do that should they again find themselves in the position of power to do so is obviously another question entirely.
In the case of the Democratic party – they’re now a wholly owned subsidiary of government unions, and their pandering to these unions is both short-sighted and destructive. The party that used to be able to claim the mantle of the working man’s party is now almost exclusively the government union worker’s party. And of course that means keeping government large and well funded.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this fight comes out – but even with Schwarzenegger representing the GOP side of things, it is clear which side is the taxpayer’s friend.