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Ray Haynes

Mr. Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website at California Assembly]

A Budget Solution That Works
Our budget solution works. Nothing the Governor has done has worked
by Assemblyman Ray Haynes 5/3/03

There have been so many times during this budget debate that I want to stand up and yell “I told you this would happen.” My Democrat colleagues said I was wrong two years ago, and again last year, when I told them we were headed for a budget disaster. In May 2001 and in May 2002 I said that we needed to reduce spending drastically to balance our budget. In May, 2000, I said spending had increased too much, and that even the slightest drop in revenue could create a budget disaster. The Governor and my Democrat colleagues didn’t listen. They ended up spending money they didn’t have, and have nearly caused the collapse of our state government. Had they listened then, we would not be in the trouble we are in now.

They, however, don’t want to hear that. They don’t want to hear that their lack of self control started the budget problem, and their economic policies hastened the state’s collapse.

After three years of failed economic policies, the electricity market collapse, skyrocketing worker’s compensation rates, ballooning state government, shrinking private sector employment, and record budget deficits, these same shortsighted politicians say our problems can only be solved by tax increases. They are wrong again. In fact, I will predict, right now, that if their tax increases are adopted, our economic and budget problems will get even worse.

That is why the Republicans in the Assembly proposed this week to balance our state budget without raising taxes. It can be done with a series of program, bureaucratic, and spending reductions, combined with some borrowing to fix the excesses of the last two budget years, if the legislature gets serious about solving the problem. Insisting that taxes go up, however, is neither serious nor responsible.

Our budget proposal protects education, cuts state bureaucracy by ten per cent, eliminates some foolish programs, caps state spending, and institutes long term solutions to our shrinking state economy. It does not raise taxes or increase spending. It holds spending for two years, until revenues catch up, and then lets spending rise in a limited fashion, to protect us from further legislative splurges. The only thing the Republican budget does that is questionable is borrow about $10 billion to cover the deficits from the last two budget years. That is a little like taking out a second mortgage on your house to pay off credit card debt that is driving you into bankruptcy. I am not a fan of borrowing money. I have opposed every general obligation bond since I was first elected – even writing the ballot opposition statements on occasion. This is an emergency. The political will to enact the budget cuts necessary to avoid tax increases or borrowing just does not exist in the Capitol today – at least not in the Democrat majority. Tax increases will further devastate our weakened economy and further discourage business expansion in this state. Borrowing isn’t an ideal solution, but it is the lesser of those evils that are likely to be acceptable to the majority party.

Governor Davis has said our budget plan is based on “fuzzy math.” This is the same guy whose math expertise led to two “balanced” budgets that were really about $50 billion out of balance. Thus far, his budget writing skills have taken us from a $12 billion surplus to a $35 billion deficit. Perhaps he should get his direction on the budget from those who have actually demonstrated over the last three or four years that we know what we’re talking about. His policies, enacted over our objection, created the problem; our solutions might eliminate it.

Our budget solution works. Up to this point, nothing the Governor has done has worked. Not that I am saying “I told you so.” I wouldn’t do that. But Governor--look at your history, and look at ours. You might have been able to run for President now, if you had listened to us before. If you listened to us now, you might actually serve out your entire term as Governor. You might want to think about that before you criticize this plan.


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