‘Cuts-only’ budget cuts to the quick

Californians don’t have a problem with taxes; tax breaks are the issue

Dan Kier is an activist with the Beyond War Coalition. Evan LeVang is a leader of the Butte County State Budget Coalition.

The Butte County State Budget Coalition, a broad-based group of organizations and concerned citizens, has been educating the public about the true human and economic costs of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s cuts-only budget. Our proposal for a state budget solution balances program reductions with limited new revenue sources.

In response to our efforts, our State Assembly representative, Dan Logue, R-Marysville, dodges the issues and misrepresents the intent of the voters of California. He would have us believe that the failure of Prop 1A indicates that Californians won’t consider asking corporations like Chevron to share in balancing the state budget.

While Logue spins a far-right fairy tale with a straight face, many polls across the state indicate people voted no on Prop 1A for a variety of reasons, but mainly out of frustration with legislators avoiding their constitutional responsibilities. Polls show the vote was not a blanket rejection of taxes.

We are calling for a state budget solution that is based upon shared responsibility and shared sacrifice. We say that no person or corporation should be exempt from paying their fair share. Unfortunately, the governor’s budget lavishes tax breaks and loopholes on the largest and most profitable corporations doing business in California.

California is the only oil-producing state (out of 22) that does not tax oil extraction.

We believe it is reasonable that these inequities be part of the debate for reaching a compromise solution. Logue, in lock-step with his Republican colleagues, claims that the failure of Prop 1A precludes this debate from even taking place.

The public must understand that the cuts-only budget, demanded by the governor and his political accomplices, will literally destroy our social safety net. It means the elimination of life-sustaining health and support programs for hundreds of thousands of frail elderly, disabled, chronically ill and working poor Californians. Thousands of jobs will be lost.

The human and economic carnage cannot be underestimated. Will Californians stand idly by while hundreds die and thousands more become homeless and destitute? We hope not.

Prop 1A was anything but a referendum on taxation in general and was widely opposed by the left, right and center.

Logue continues to insist that the voters of California willingly sacrificed their social safety net in order to protect the profit margins of huge corporations. The Butte County State Budget Coalition finds that absurd and demands responsible leadership in Sacramento that truly represents the interests of the majority.