Paul Hogarth: When it comes to crafting state budget policy, Sacramento’s leadership never bothers to consult the grass-roots – cutting deals with big business and a small handful of unions, and then expecting the rest of us to take our marching orders.
Randy Shaw: He didn’t tweet a photo of his “package” to an unsuspecting woman, but California Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of the state’s budget did much worse harm to Democrats and the public by setting the stage for massive education and public service cuts.
James Clark: The state’s death penalty is an ineffective waste of tax dollars that we simply can’t afford, yet while the Governor and Assembly slash everything from preschool to geriatric care, the state remains poised to spend $1 billion on the death penalty over the next five years.
Ivan Eland: To keep with the bipartisan spirit after the Gabrielle Giffords’ assassination attempt and also to avoid partisan fighting over spending priorities, which will bog down and probably eventually kill any significant budget cuts, all government programs should be cut by 15 percent from last year’s budget level, including heretofore sacred defense and entitlement programs.
Robert Reich: The President has to reframe the debate around the necessity of average families having enough to spend to get the economy moving again. He needs to remind America this is not 1995 but 2011 — and we’re still in a jobs crisis brought on by the bursting of a giant debt bubble and the implosion of total demand.
Tracy Emblem: California taxpayers should carefully consider the cost-benefit analysis, because when we cut public funding for these institutions, we cut our state’s economic advantage and future prosperity.
Walter G. Moss: Florida’s new governor, Rick Scott, is demonstrating why most of us who consider ourselves progressives dislike the politics of Tea-Party-backed candidates. For many of us, compassion and empathy are central political values, and Scott’s first budget proposal, unveiled on February 7th, reflects little of either value.