That’s what California’s once and present Gov. Jerry Brown said as he revealed the $8.3 billion in cuts he’s proposed in a belated move to plug the $15.7 billion deficit in the Golden State’s budget:
LOS ANGELES — Struggling to contain mounting state budget shortfalls, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday proposed $8.3 billion in spending cuts, including slashing state employees pay and spending on social programs and prisons. He warned that California would have to impose another $6 billion in cuts on public schools and higher education if voters fail to improve his initiative this fall to raise sales and income taxes.
Mr. Brown said the state was facing an estimated $15.7 billion shortfall, up from $9.2 billion in January. He blamed the worsening state budget situation on the slide in California’s economy, which has led to less revenues than he had projected just last year, and court decisions preventing the state from imposing cuts voted on this year.
Also among his proposals were a 16% increase in school spending, a quarter-cent hike in the sales tax, and an income tax surcharge to wealthy voters.
Gone unremarked upon are why California’s tax revenues are coming in lower than they expected and how the proposed changes will affect that. Under the rubric that if you tax something you’ll get less of it, presumably the governor believes that California’s problems are too much retail sales and too much income. Maybe this time will be different.
For more than a century two of the primary pillars of California’s economy have been farming and housing construction and sales. Housing will need a major bounce-back to regain its prior pride of place.