Government Spending

Jerry Brown Wakes Up From 72-Year Dream; Teachers Unions Hand Him Rohypnol

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You will jog for the master race!

The L.A. Times has the story:

"We'll present a budget on Jan. 10. It will be a very tough budget, but it will be transparent," [Brown] said. "We'll lay it out as best I can. We've been living in fantasy land. It is much worse than I thought. I'm shocked." […]

People involved in the meetings expect him to enact an austerity budget in the spring, then hold a special election in which voters can decide whether to raise taxes or other revenues in order to restore services. He pledged during the campaign not to increase taxes without voter approval. […]

"This is really a huge challenge, unprecedented in my lifetime," Brown told hundreds of educators, union representatives and parents who had gathered at UCLA. "I can't promise you there won't be more cuts, because there will be." […]

"The day of reckoning is upon us and I'm determined to bite the bullet, get it done in whatever way the consensus of California can be built," he said.

Great! So how are the politically powerful teachers unions reacting to the news?

No surprise that people who play the Grinch card are more likely to litter their political cartoons with explainer text

Educators responded by calling for an end to cuts, asking for greater discretion at the local level as to how dwindling dollars are spent, urging the state to seek more federal funding and requesting legislation that would allow them to increase local property taxes with 55% of the vote rather than the current requirement of two-thirds.

"We can't take any more cuts. You really need to look elsewhere," said Bernie Rhinerson, the chief district relations officer at the San Diego Unified School District. "We are at the cliff." […]

"There is no more meat on this bone to carve, the only thing left is amputation," said David Sanchez, president of the California Teachers' Assn. "If we do what Mr. Grinch wants us to do, the possibility of shutting down schools is a reality. Is that really what we want to do?"

And in L.A., the union is reacting like this.

As a longtime Jerry Brown fan (and onetime voter!), and a longer time Californian, I wish him the best. But that state looks hosed.

Thanks to commenter Virginia for the tip. Reason on Jerry Brown here.

NEXT: Why Do People Believe in Fantasies?

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  1. If he had no idea how bad it was, he was campaigning with his head up his ass.

    Otherwise, he was lying. (SWEIN)

  2. “There is no more meat on this bone to carve, the only thing left is amputation,”

    That sounds like one hell of an idea.

    1. Preferably around the third vertebra.

    2. Dumping a bunch of administrators sounds like a good start. But you know how it will go: the districts will cut *necessary* functions first in an effort to get the public angry. If the budget gets bad enough, you might see some school districts reduced to nothing but administrators and union spokesmen.

  3. I love the newspeak term austerity budget. Aren’t normal budgets supposed to be “austerity budgets” meaning living within one’s means?

  4. Can it be true? Will ‘governor moonbeam’ be the one to make the tough cuts cali needs? Will the loony liberal put the budget back in order after the macho conservative governator failed?

    I sure hope so although part of me still thinks there is some trick here to get a tax hike in. Or maybe not a trick, they’ll just make the cuts in particularly unpleasant ways and hope the voter run screaming to the ballot box for tax increases.

    1. It will be the first time in history someone ran as a liberal and turned out to be the opposite.

      1. He laid the foundation for this mess, now he can place the dynamite charges to bring it down. My prediction is that he will talk tough, but back off.

      2. Clinton turned out to be a moderate, or at least he played one on TV.

        1. Only after the dems lost congress.

    2. Brown is one of those odd guys that just might be able to do it.

    3. Color me skeptical. It looks like he’s going to focus on convincing voters to increase taxes themselves so he gets to fix the problem without cutting services or taking the blame for raising taxes.

      By ‘convincing’ I mean making every cut to the budget as painful as possible for as many people as possible.

  5. The real shock was when Repubs won the House back and he realized that there was no hope for a Federal bailout.

    1. Winner winner chicken dinner!!

      With a $28 billion hole and no Fed backstop, expect pension funds to be even more underfunded (funding goes negative?) than in previous years. Virginia uses the same budget trickery. The logic appears to be to deplete pension funds to the point where a market-exposed defined contribution plan looks better to the union than a bankrupt defined benefit plan and they reform themselves.

  6. Only Nixon could go to China. Only Brown can put it to the teachers’ unions. Just sayin’.

    1. Yep. I predict a huge outcry when “their” governor stabs them right in the back. And a big smile from your humble Jeffersonian.

    2. I tend to agree with this. Arnold failed to get cuts because he was “an evil Republican”.

    3. They are going to tear him limb for limb and put his head on pike.

      The Operative: It’s worse than you know.
      Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: It usually is.

    4. Mr. Merritt, we’ve hashed out the Nixon in China argument on Brown around here a number of times already.

      There’s no reason to think the unions will accept cuts if they don’t have to. …and they don’t have to!

      You’ve seen what the UAW has done to various cities in Michigan! These unions are more entrenched than the UAW.

      I’d say they won’t capitulate until there isn’t any more money coming in–but why would they stop then?

      I think a lot of rational people have a certain bias–they sometimes wrongly assume that other people are susceptible to reason.

      What if they aren’t? What if the parasites kill the host–and eat the host? The fire department doesn’t bother putting out fires in Detroit anymore–not unless it threatens an inhabited building.

      And the UAW hasn’t changed a bit! Why would the government employees unions capitulate–they’re more entrenched than the UAW. California will be a smoldering ruin before the government employees capitulate. We may pull out of this mess yet with growth coming from something unexpected, but it won’t be because the government employees capitulated.

      That won’t happen in our lifetimes.

      1. Maybe. But the one bit of leverage that school districts may have is firing large swaths of their teaching staff (i.e. union employees).

        Class size reduction limits for K-3 grades could get in the way of that, though. Maybe it will lead to a new kind of grade inflation: elementary schools with grades 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 5, etc.

    5. You haven’t been watching the Fat Man in New Jersey, have you?

  7. After considering the effects of inflation, etc., recent spending in California on schools, compared with spending levels in the 1970s “Golden Era” of California public education, is like a teacher starting out in 1970 at $20,000/yr. in 1970 dollars and making $197,374/yr. today in 2010 dollars, then bitching about not being able to make ends meet.

    It’s not that we’re not spending enough. The teachers should be asking, where has the money gone, and then tarring and feathering those who have sopped it up like gravy for all these years.

  8. “We can’t take any more cuts. You really need to look elsewhere.”

    We suggest not cutting us.

    1. Does CA require a permit to hold a riot?

      1. Is that like paying taxes on illegal drugs?

      2. Only in LA – but it’s more of a courtesy function so the cops can be sure to get out of the way in time.

  9. I expect cuts in “key” areas in order to encourage the tax increase.

    As the other thread said, he is talking about cutting 25% across the board, instead of cutting out the least useful programs.

  10. …urging the state to seek more federal funding…

    We’ve pillaged all there is here, now we want yours, too!!

    1. Hey, hands off our loot. Maybe VA or DE have some spare cash.

      1. Go fuck yourself, Maryland.

        1. Yay, a round-robin purse-snatching contest!!

  11. They are going to tear him limb for limb and put his head on pike.

    Exactly.

    “The race is not always to the swift, nor victory to the strong; but that’s how you bet.”

  12. “We can’t take any more cuts. You really need to look elsewhere,” said Bernie Rhinerson, the chief district relations officer at the San Diego Unified School District. “We are at the cliff.” […]

    In that case all we need is a little push!

    1. Judging by the title of the office, DISTRICT RELATIONS OFFICER would be my very first cut.

      1. As a pander to the environMENTALists, I’d eliminate all driver’s ed programs.

  13. From now on I only want to hear from union math teachers.

  14. Those who can’t learn teach.

  15. Just think of the danger – LAUSD could end up with bad schools! Oh, wait.

    They could start by firing the Superintendent. I saw him on that show where they go in and fix up schools in bad shape. They were grilling him because his office had turned down the show’s request to help fix up one of the rundown schools. What a knob.

  16. As a longtime Jerry Brown fan (and onetime voter!), and a longer time Californian, I wish him the best. But that state looks hosed.

    Hosed?! But, but … high-speed rail!

  17. California Circle Jerk:

    The Teachers, Firefighters, Police, Prison Guard, and Nurses unions circling a kneeling Jerry Brown*.

    *can also substitute with Taxpayer

  18. I walked out of my office the other day here in NYC and a handful of student-punks were out there agitating London-style for “free CUNY”. (That’s the city university). I had to laugh.

  19. Educators responded by calling for an end to cuts, asking for greater discretion at the local level as to how dwindling dollars are spent, urging the state to seek more federal funding and requesting legislation that would allow them to increase local property taxes with 55% of the vote rather than the current requirement of two-thirds.

    Because of course, the best solution to continue California’s shitty schools is to have the other 49 states fund them. Fuck off and die, California education union fuckwad.

  20. “If we do what Mr. Grinch wants us to do, the possibility of shutting down schools is a reality. Is that really what we want to do?”

    Yes.

  21. When California falls into a Somalia like mire, will the statist blame that too on Anarcho-Capitalism? Oh yeah, I recall David Brooks has already blamed libertarianism for California’s problems, so that it is a definite ‘yes.’

    1. Well, yes they will. Don’t the California Democrats (who control everything by the way) blame California’s problems on Prop 13?

  22. “The day of reckoning is upon us and I’m determined to bite the bullet, get it done in whatever way the consensus of California can be built,” he said.

    I’m uhh, no expert here, but wasn’t it the “Consensus of California” that got California into the mess it’s in right now?

  23. I only see one way out: California will go bankrupt. Even if Brown proposes these cuts, the California legislature is so bent over to public sector unions, they will never pass it.

    1. Our anthem to Jerry Brown

      I’ll tell you now, you can’t win this
      ‘Cause you’re way too slow
      I’ll tell you now, I’m gonna take this
      Did you come here to watch me, watch me burn?

      I’ll let it show that I’m not always hiding
      Come all the way down and watch me burn
      I won’t let it show that I’m not always flying
      So on the way down, I’ll watch you burn

  24. Draw up a list of pension beneficiaries sorted by obligation. Send swat teams into their houses to find something illegal. Use asset forfeiture, RICO, waterboarding, and such till they surrender their pensions. Keep working down the list till the budget crisis is over.

  25. People involved in the meetings expect him to enact an austerity budget in the spring, then hold a special election in which voters can decide whether to raise taxes or other revenues in order to restore services.

    So, he’ll cut all the more helpful functions of government, leave the waste and graft and unnecessary bullshit, and then hold those important functions hostage to convince taxpayers to give up and let the parasites keep feeding.

    We’re screwed until the taxpayer gets a line-item veto.

    1. So, he’ll cut all the more helpful functions of government, leave the waste and graft and unnecessary bullshit,

      Unfortunately, that’s California’s current position. It has already hit the reef, capsized and filled with water.

      What’s next is the pounding by the surf.

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