Randy Shaw: In a tribute to the success of the generic No campaign, a Public Policy Institute poll released May 23 found support for Proposition 29 dropping 14 points among likely voters since March.
Robert Reich: The nation and Oba,ma remain hostage to the ideology of right-wing Republicans who won’t let the government spend more money. Yet if the government can’t spend more – at least this year and next, until the pump is primed and the economy is growing again – we won’t see job growth. And without job growth, the economy will remain anemic.
Sharon Kyle: Either large segments of the American population suddenly decided to engage in criminal activity or there were changes in sentencing law and prison policy that dramatically increased America’s prison population. Whatever the reason, states are spending more on prisons and less on higher education.
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.
Michael Sigman: So, to test the theory that my sense of self needn’t include the political shenanigans of the moment, my New Year’s resolutions are: a) To cut, by at least half, the time I spend following political news, polls, etc; and b) To actually do something — like organizing, phone banking or writing more for websites and newsletters.
Berry Craig: It was a tsunami of money triggered by the Supreme Court ruling that corporations could spend unlimited sums to elect or oppose candidates for public office.
Randy Shaw: As the nation asks hard questions about PG&E’s funding priorities in the wake of the San Bruno pipeline explosion, the controversial corporation has a new question to answer. Specifically, why did it spend the money to fly execs down for a golfing junket in San Luis Obispo when there was no shortage of Bay Area locations for off-site meetings?
Steve Hochstadt: When conservative Republicans controlled Washington under George Bush, they spent government money on their pet projects with little regard for the long-term budgetary consequences. Now Republicans at the national level have made the deficit one of their major points of attack against the Democrats in preparation for the November elections.
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.
Ivan Eland: President Obama’s rationale for not including these security expenditures in his discretionary spending freeze is that he is prosecuting two wars. Aside from the obvious solution of ending the two conflicts—which are part of the “war on terror” but have had the counterproductive effect of increasing retaliatory terrorism—and cutting back the defense budget, defense spending could be reduced even if the two war efforts are sustained.
“Men…think in herds; …go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses…one by one.” — Charles MackayRepublican Assemblyman Roger Niello‘s recent editorial “Performance Based Budgeting Deserves a Look,” is his bid to appear as a man who has recovered his senses. In it, he reminds us that California’s state budget process is imperfect. The [...]