Good news and bad news. Bad news is I just found out that Gov. Jerry Brown is a secret Republican. The good news is … well, there isn’t any, actually. I just didn’t want to start out as such a Debbie Downer.
Like a true secret Republican, Brown decided it would be in the best interest of the people of California if the educational budget was slashed. How much? Only a measly $4.8 billion. Yes. That’s right. Brown infiltrated his way into the true blue party over 40 years ago, only to cut almost a month’s worth of funding from public schools, and reveal he was a GOP ninja the entire time.
I would love to give him the benefit of the doubt in this. Perhaps, in his old age, he flew over the cuckoo’s nest. After all, he is the oldest serving governor in the country. Maybe Alzheimer’s has led him to believe he’s actually Reagan (the man who preceded him last time he was governor).
It would be just grand if I could trick myself into believing that this ridiculous budget was just a series of typos — just like Brown tricked us into thinking he’s a capable human being. Unfortunately, he also wants to slash welfare programs by $1 billion, and Medi-Cal by almost $845 million.
$200 million will be slashed to the UC and CSU system. (Great. As if I’m not already paying enough for school.)
The courts will have their funding slashed by $125 million. And for those of you who are up in arms, and want to share a nice Molotov cocktail with the governor … don’t do that. He cut the forest fire service’s budget by $15 million too.
Basically, Gov. Brown wants to destroy the fabric of our society. And I know that some people are going to shoot me emails (hopefully, the only thing they’ll be shooting at me) about how tax cuts are necessary to balance our budget. After all, last year we had a $26 billion deficit, but I say unto them, “I agree.” I agree that cuts are important, but I think raising taxes is important too. Brown is only raising taxes on people who make over $250,000 per year, and only a small percentage. That only amounts to $7 billion a year gained, and it expires in 2017.
Instead of cutting the quality of education, how about we don’t spend $21,000 to replace light bulbs in the parking lot of an LA courthouse?
Or spend $52,000 for an “ergonomic review” of three Amador courthouse benches?
Or waste $210,000 to pave over an abandoned dirt parking lot in San Diego? Or spend $380.70 to repair a broken toilet paper holder in an El Cajon courthouse?
Those come free with half the toilet paper rolls you buy at Costco. But no, California decided to spend $380.70. That’s more than 11.3 percent of the labor force in California will make this year. Good job, Brown. In essence, Brown has slashed funding to a point where social services across the state are going to operate on a budget that is less than what they had in the 1980s. Meanwhile, he keeps pushing a $98 billion dollar train. A freaking train. I get that trains are cool and stuff (if you’re 5 years old), but you could pay for the entire operations of every UC campus for four years for the cost of that fancy toy. I think that if the governor spent half of much time using a calculator before he wrote up these budgets as he did practicing Democratic espionage, I wouldn’t have to have four jobs just to pay for Brown’s bloodletting of the state.
Justin Huft is a third-year psychology and social behavior major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.