Why Won’t Cities Fight Real State Budget Cuts?

Jerry Brown

Paul Hogarth: While some may see Jerry Brown’s proposal as a “power grab” by the state that tells local governments how to spend their money, the truth is that it can prevent some devastating budget cuts that have been afflicting localities for years.

Jerry Brown’s Budget

Ron Wolff: California’s “new” (but experienced) governor is bringing some urgently needed honesty and fresh thinking to the budgeting process in a state weary of smoke, mirrors, a two-thirds requirement in the legislature for tax increases, and the ravages of a recession imposed largely by external forces.

How Redevelopment Agencies Subvert Democracy

Randy Shaw: As mayors, developers and Agency staff try to fend off Governor Brown’s proposed transfer of redevelopment funds to local governments – earning far more media coverage than cuts to programs serving more vulnerable Californians – little has been said about the fundamentally undemocratic nature of redevelopment agencies.

Labor’s Last Stand in 2011?

Shamus Cooke: The stage is set, and the main actors in Congress and in the corporate establishment are ready to perform, having rehearsed behind closed doors for the coming assault on organized labor’s most powerful sector, public workers.

Big Brother Is Watching You Recycle

wendy mcelroy

Wendy McElroy: If households can be forced to assume these labor-intensive tasks, then selling recyclables—especially such goods as aluminum cans—is more likely to be profitable.

A Look Into Lamar Smith’s Anti-Immigrant Agenda

lamar smith

Andrea Nill: Described as a lawmaker who is “less interested in getting in the spotlight and more interested in driving immigrants out of the country,” Smith will undoubtedly use his leadership position to push through his anti-immigrant agenda.

Free Speech about Saggy Pants

baggypants

Steve Hochstadt: The most unfortunate recent development in American politics is that Constitutional questions cannot be discussed calmly. Too many people care less about defending our Constitution than using it as a club to smash political opponents.

The California Budget Mess Backstory

oil addiction

Adam Eran: So the origin of California’s tax reductions, and even its current budget deficit, is arguably oil price inflation. If we want a stable economy, and government without deficits, we need to stop kidding ourselves that spending is a the root our budget problems, and attend to our energy addiction.

Americans Need a Job

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Tracy Emblem: Workers are the backbone of America but the backbone has been aching for some time and needs immediate and serious attention – through job creation policies.

Prop 25 Most Essential Part of November Ballot

prop 16 results

Paul Hogarth: Proposition 25 was put on by labor unions and the Democratic Party, and political consultant Roger Salazar has been retained. Liberal bloggers and other progressives are skeptical, with some going so far as to claim it doesn’t make sense to get a majority for the budget – if raising taxes we need would still require a two-thirds vote.

Despite Spending $46 Million, California Rejects PG&E

“No on 16” revelers pay a 1:30 a.m. visit to PG&E Headquarters.

Paul Hogarth: Outspent over 1,000-to-one by a monster utility company, consumer advocates defeated by a 52-47 margin an odious measure that would have cemented PG&E’s monopoly. To call this a David & Goliath victory does not give it justice.

Bush Recession Comes Home to Roost

tax chart

Adam Eran: Tax cuts caused the current budget deficit, not crazy spending. Local government revenues fell 57% after Proposition 13. Even more egregious, the consume-atives™ (they do not conserve), now complain that State funding for local governments to fill that revenue hole meddles too much in local affairs.

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