In California

How progressives balanced the state’s books.

Actually the answer is quite simple. Progressive Democratic activists identified the straitjacket of rules that had the state tied up in knots, and devised a systematic plan to change them. Through massive organizing, they transformed the electorate and sidelined Republican obstructionists. Now, with surplus money on hand, they’re getting ready to fight a new battle over the next few years: whether to focus on budget balancing and debt reduction, or to continue to boldly invest in California’s future. National Democrats, mired in a series of endless fiscal showdowns in Washington, ought to pay attention: California suggests a way to overcome continual hostage-taking and government-by-crisis.

7 Responses to In California

  1. imhotep January 29, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Jerry Brown for president. Forget Hillary who can’t prioritize anyway. To say nothing of the fact that Paul Ryan loves her financial acumen and wishes that she were the president instead of Obama. What does that tell you?

  2. Adams January 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    I just hope this doesn’t mean DDay went over to TNR. That would be tragic.

  3. A.Nihilist January 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    They also balanced the budget by cutting spending to the bone. It happened under Swartzenaggger (I’m not even gonna try and get the spelling right anymore) and continued under Brown. Progressives in the end got a minor budget rule changed, but for all their “massive organizing” they didn’t succeed in stopping cuts to the disabled, poor, and elderly. Not to mention teachers, librarians, police, and firefighters being cut out of their jobs. Not a great model for the future.

    It’s great the CA has a surplus, for now, but let’s not overhype the roll of progressives in the state. The establishment of the Dem Party still rules, and it’s a one party state. And the CA establishment is as bad as Washington’s (remember all those pro labor bills that Brown vetoed?).

  4. lless January 29, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    Also, let’s not lose sight of the pea. Initiative was the greatest driver of the California straight jacket. Prop 23 is still on the books and Brown has no appetite for taking it on. You still need a two thirds majority to raise a tax. They may clunk around without a deficit in the short term, but the debt is still out of whack and the deficits are cyclical. Austerity budgets will deepen the unemployment problem. I don’t see much to model after here.

  5. Not Anonymous, though may as well be. January 30, 2013 at 5:43 am #

    And how can we forget the outrageous issues of Brown appointing a Banker as ‘Jobs Czar’ and the forcing of all on disability, or unemployment, into BofA prepaid bank card contracts; which has finally been announced to be illegal, though it appears no one will be doing anything about it anytime soon:

    Wall Street Banks Seize Opportunity to Profit from Nation’s Unemployed – Fee-heavy check cards pushing external costs on jobless In five states

    California, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland and Nevada — unemployed people aren’t offered direct deposit at all. The [National Consumer Law Center] report says that setup is illegal under a federal law that bars states from requiring benefits recipients to open an account at a particular bank.

    A person really should read up a lot more before they make glowing commentary about politicians in a state they don’t live in (or near) who are responsible for some pretty nasty actions against those at the very bottom of the totem pole; such as reading up about his previously Rethug wife and the fact that she’s been said to take quite the part in the Governor’s office. Jerry Brown clearly isn’t who some think he is, at all.

  6. Not Anonymous, though may as well be. January 30, 2013 at 5:50 am #

    (very sorry, I messed up on closing the bold tag, and the second paragraph is a quote from the link (I guess blockquote coding doesn’t work).)

  7. Not Anonymous, though may as well be. January 30, 2013 at 6:03 am #

    (jeez, not sure how I did it, but I messed up the link title to, “In five states” should actually be the beginning of the quote, and not part of the title.)

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