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Ed Driscoll

Jerry Brown’s Fiscal Kabuki Playhouse

February 2nd, 2013 - 6:54 pm

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As I wrote back in 2010, when an archliberal California politician made an inspection tour of Texas to see why its economy is booming:

Far left California politician Gavin Newsom tours Texas to discover why it’s eating the formerly Golden State’s economic lunch, vows not to change a thing.

OK, that last past is mine, but really, what part of its strangling morass of legislation will California politicians ever reduce in order to stem the tide of businesses and jobs from fleeing the state?

A headline today at the Draw and Strike blog gives a clue (which of course are in very short supply in Sacramento): “California Governor Jerry Brown Tries To Copycat Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Economic Miracle In Texas By…………………..Waving Around A Piece of Paper At A Press Conference:”

That’s right. Brown called a press conference and announced CA’s $27 billion deficit from just last month has now been ‘erased’.  Note the deceptive headline of the NYT’s, as if this balanced budget has already been achieved.

Back From the Fiscal Abyss, California Balances Its Budget

It needs to be remembered these guys were over $7 billion off in their budget deficit projections last year.  Not only that, they grew their budget deficit from $9 billion at the start of 2012 to over $27 billion in just one year.  They kept jacking up their tax rates then watching the revenues drop as taxpayers and businesses fled the state in droves.

So one state cut it’s budget and went through a brief period of making do with less, and is now reaping the fiscal rewards of that, while the other kept spending like drunken sailors and jacking up their taxes and borrowing to make up the shortfall.  The NYT’s sees only silver linings and blue skies for CA, while pointing out TX has a real problem on it’s hands.

What I suspect is that Brown is engaging in this Kabuki Theater here to convince the lending institutions that have been threatening to cut off the state’s credit & borrowing ability  to continue shoving more money into CA’s state treasury so they can spend it.

It’s an attempt to fool credit raters and banks into thinking the politicians in Sacramento have AT LAST gotten serious about dealing with their over-the-top spending problem.  I don’t think any of them will be fooled, and they will instead take the wiser ‘wait and see’ approach to discern if Brown & Co. actually follow through on this proposed budget for 2013-14.

That’s wise. The Weekly Standard notes that in his weekly radio address today, “Obama Blames Economy on ‘Bad Decisions.’” It often seems like Sacramento leftists have been making those since the days when Obama was merely a freshman at L.A.’s Occidental College, chilling on his barf couch. There’s no reason to believe they will begin to do anything different anytime soon.

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