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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

California's Hoover Budget

The Legislature and the Governor have a budget deal that the Assembly and Senate are slated to vote on Thursday. The Gov says, "All around I think it is a really great, great accomplishment." Read it and weep. Higher ed got its full $3 billion cut. K-12 is cut. The cities and counties are cut. Some welfare programs didn't get completely eliminated. There are no new taxes. They didn't try to sell San Quentin to a condomium developer for the excellent bayfront views, but there is a provision for new oil drilling off the Santa Barbara county coast.

There is also the sheer irresponsibility of hitting the economy with cuts rather than spending and stimulus as it continues to sink (unemployment is at 11.6%). The Wall Street Journal got this right:
Economists said the spending cuts will bruise a California economy already slammed by rising unemployment and foreclosure rates. "It will certainly offset a fraction of the federal-stimulus effect this fall," said Roger Noll, a professor emeritus of economics at Stanford University. "That will mean the depth and duration of the recession [in California] will both be bigger than otherwise would've been the case," he said.
Which thanks to the genius of our leaders, will mean further cuts next year and/or mid year, leading to more economic recession, which may be good for Arnold Schwarzenegger's career, but is terrible for everything and everybody else.

The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that the cuts the Legislature will vote on are identical to those the Governor proposed - 20% whacked from the General Fund. California is a wealthy state and yet their plan for the future is cuts and more cuts.
By 2010, California’s public colleges and universities estimate they will be forced to reduce their enrollments by a total of about 300,000 students, nearly equivalent to the population of Pittsburgh. California State University officials anticipate a cut in enrollment of 40,000 students by the fall of 2010, which would be the system’s largest percentage decrease since World War II.
The Dems seem as clueless as the Republicans about John Maynard Keynes' 75-year-old critique of the whirlwind reaped by tight money policy. Only public opposition can put the brakes on this mind-numbingly dumb hole-digging and locked-in decline.


Aldo Antonelli said...

So why is Assembly Speaker leader Karen Bass smiling?

Chris Newfield said...

Arnold threw her some business?

Seriously, when 5 people make closed-door budget deals for 40 million others, we're bound to run into serious problems

Anonymous said...

Is the $3B cut in higher education the figure that was anticipated by UC, or does it represent a larger cut?

N (UCB) said...

At least one person seems happy about it.

Chris Newfield said...

$9 B of the $15B in cuts are from education, including K-12. UC's share is reported to be the same $637 m for 2009-10 that was expected (http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/jul09/f1attach.pdf), but I haven't found any details. not sure where the $3 B figures comes from - C

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