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Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco
by Burt Prelutsky
by Mark Steyn
They Ever Learn?
by Ray Haynes [politician]
If you ever
want to understand government, take a look at the budget process.
was the budget deadline. It is a soft deadline. The state Constitution
requires that the Legislature pass a budget by June 15, and
that the Governor sign it by June 30 of each year. There are
no penalties if the Legislature doesn’t act by June 15,
so that deadline is rarely met. In fact, the only time it has
been met since I have been in the Legislature was the 2000-01
budget, which increased state spending from $66 billion to
$79 billion in one year. The very next year, the state found
out it had a $28 billion deficit. The moral of this story?
On-time budgets are not all they are cracked up to be.
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][go to Haynes index]
the Democrats in the Legislature really wanted to have an on-time
They talked about it in the press. They
gave great speeches on the floor about the “unique” opportunity
that the Legislature had this year to pass an on-time budget.
They tried to push Republicans into believing that passing a
budget on-time was critically important so that the Legislature
could “preserve” its reputation. (What reputation
an institution with a 21% approval rating has is beyond me, but
they wanted to preserve that).
In my experience, every time my Legislative colleagues start
going through this drill, they are getting ready to drop a budget
bomb on the people of the state of California. As the 2000-01
budget proved, that bomb can go nuclear in a very short time.
As the events of this week showed, it did.
This week the Speaker
announced that they wanted to spend $30 million this year,
up to a total of $300 million in the next
3 years, for an expansion of the “Healthy Families” program,
to cover low cost health care for people who are not eligible
for the federal S-CHIP (state child health insurance program).
There are only two groups of people not eligible for that program—people
earning $51,000 a year or more who do not have health insurance,
and illegal aliens. Since most people earning over $51,000 have
health care, 90% of this money (paid for entirely by the California
taxpayer) would go to illegal aliens.
Republicans said NO.
A howl went up from
the Capitol. Republicans hate children. Republicans are holding
up the budget process. How could these “Wascally
Wepublicans” be so hard hearted?
First of all, the “Healthy Families” program
was intended to help only those who found it hard to pay for
own health insurance. Second, it was intended to be paid for
by the Federal government, which promised to pay for two-thirds
of the cost of the program. Finally, it was only supposed to
help US citizens. This new program violated all three of those
In 1998, when the
state passed “Healthy Families,” I
predicted it would blow up the state budget. I was actually wrong.
In 1999, California government spent about $10-$20 million advertising
the program. Not enough people were signing up for the program,
so now we spend $120 million—all to expand the program,
that is, to make it cost more to the taxpayer and encourage more
people to mooch off the government. Evidently, this increased
spending on advertising was unsuccessful. People are still not
signing up enough, so the Legislative Democrats want to include
illegals as eligible.
In the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 budgets, the state created its
budget crisis by greatly expanding the health and welfare programs,
increasing expenditures in that area by 41%. A lot of those new
expenditures went to cover services for illegals. Unless Californians
quit voting for them, Democrats will continue to push dumb ideas
that lead to budget crises. CRO
Haynes is a California Assemblyman repesenting Riverside
and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.