This post originally appeared at Speak Out California
How do California’s Republicans think California should solve the state’s budget crisis, which results from people being laid off and losing their houses? They are demanding nothing less than mass layoffs of state employees.
Every single budget compromise that has been negotiated has been rejected by the Republicans. They say there is one, and only one, budget solution they will vote for: mass layoffs of state employees and contractors. They want the state’s teachers fired, construction employees fired, firefighters fired, DMV workers fired, medical workers fired and mass firings from the rest of the state’s departments. And when they are done with that they demand cutbacks in medical care for the elderly, disabled, blind, and everyone else.
How are they getting away with this? Why aren’t these few members of the legislature being recalled by enraged citizens? Part of the problem is the way this is being presented to those citizens by the information sources. The issue is presented as “the Legislature” and “politicians” who “won’t compromise” as if “both sides” are at fault. They report on the people who are working hard to solve the state’s problems as if they are squabbling children and the public takes away the idea that government is a distant unsavory game that should be avoided. Take this Merced Sun-Star headline, for instance: “Our View: Governor, Democrats and Republicans need to compromise.” The editorial begins,
“As California’s financial troubles intensify daily, leading Democrats continue to blame Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for failing to win Republican votes for a budget solution.
. . . Democrats will have to offer concessions if they want their counterparts to compromise on tax hikes. So far, Democrats have failed to make even the most reasonable of concessions to save California from insolvency.”
The editorial just misinforms the public about what is going on! Repeatedly the Democrats have compromised, giving up more and more, but the Republicans have refused to compromise in any way. They just say, “No taxes” and that is that. THIRTEEN paragraphs down, the second to last paragraph, begins,
“To be fair, Democrats in the last special session made some real concessions — agreeing to $8.1 billion in cuts to state programs — in their elusive search for a budget deal.”
Oh, really, to “be fair” they mention this, in spite of the headline and the rest of the editorial, any members of the public who are still reading can learn that the Democrats have offered BILLIONS in cuts to state programs to try to get the Republicans to move even an inch away from demanding mass layoffs.
California will remain ungovernable and will slip further into economic distress as long as a small minority is able to block budgets, and as long as the public’s sources of information continue to mislead.
Click through to Speak Out California