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 Caricature of Themselves
A 4% cut? Children will starve, old people will die...
[Ray Haynes] 7/15/03
I want to let you in on some insider secrets. When we Republicans
get together, our favorite comedic routine is to caricature
about Republicans. We all chuckle as we mimic things we think
Democrats say about Republicans in private. “Republicans
want old people to die, and children to starve.” “Republicans
want to kick puppies, and shoot Bambi.” “Republicans
want to make kids drink dirty water, and die of emphysema.” And
so on. Little did I know that I would actually hear these
words passing the lips of my Democrat friends in the Legislature
just this week.
The Assembly Republicans
put up their budget proposal for a vote in the Legislature.
It was a modest thing, motivated by
the thought that when you face unprecedented budget deficits,
it might be a good idea to reduce spending a little. Not much—just
4.2 cents of every dollar we are spending now. Heck, our proposal
was still at least $8 billion more than the state spent in 1999-2000.
We began with the
concept that the state should get the most bang for its buck.
The federal government matches state money
put into health programs. The state legislature has unilaterally
created a lot of health programs that overlap the federal programs,
but the state doesn’t seek the federal matching funds.
Assembly Republicans thought it would be a good idea to shift
the dollars spent on these overlapping programs to, in essence,
double our money without sacrificing benefits. There would be
no effect on the actual availability of health care; we would
just move the money to a federal program, which was exactly the
same as the state program, where we would get matching money.
You would have thought we were killing kids and old folks in
member actually likened us to Stalin, claiming that murdering
by the thousands was easier than killing
them one by one, because people would be desensitized to the
killing. No joke—those words actually flowed from a Democrat’s
mouth. Old people were going to die in the street. We were going
to cut off dog food for disabled people; children were going
to end up starving and ignorant. The Speaker of the Assembly
actually said we would make children sick, throw dead foster
kids bodies on the street, and help violent husbands continue
to abuse their wives and kids “rather than ask a millionaire
to pay a penny more in taxes.”
know about you, but I lived in California in June of 2000,
the year the state spent $66 billion on its state government
($8 billion less than the Assembly Republican plan). Heck, I
was here in 1993, when we spent $40 billion (about half what
we spend now). I don’t remember seeing dead foster kids on
the street, or even state police lining old folks up and shooting
them. They spent $77.8 billion this year. We asked them to reduce
spending. That caused lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Four cents of every
dollar of state spending—Isn’t
there at least that much waste in government? The Democrats say
no. Yeah, right! Old people will die. Yeah, right! Children will
starve. Yeah, right! Polluters will run rampant, and rape, kill,
and pillage. Give me a break.
You can’t argue with this kind of fear-mongering. It is
not intended to be a rational debate; it is intended to inflame
people. You now know why a budget plan seems so far away. You
can’t reason with someone who has no sense of proportion,
someone with cartoon characteristics. In this debate, the Democrats
have become caricatures of themselves. You had to see it to believe