Tuesday, February 17, 2009

If Anyone Denies The Need For A Stimulus Bill...

Tell them to read the news today:
 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — After a frustrating holiday weekend that failed to yield the one vote needed to end California's budget stalemate, the state is poised to begin layoff proceedings Tuesday for 20,000 government workers.

In addition to the layoffs, the state also plans to halt all remaining public works projects, potentially putting thousands of construction workers out of jobs.

"We are dealing with a catastrophe of unbelievable proportions," said state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat from Long Beach and chairman of the Senate transportation committee.

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg announced late Monday that lawmakers had failed to find the final vote in his chamber as Republicans refused to support tax increases. He called a session for Tuesday and said he would put the tax provisions of the budget proposal up for a vote, even if they would not pass.

"Sure," they'll say, "it's just 'Tax-and-spendifornia'! The bastion of liberal thinking and left-wing values!"

TOPEKA | Kansas tax refunds, employee paychecks and money for schools are all on hold after a showdown erupted Monday between Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

The game of political chicken places state taxpayers, workers and schoolchildren squarely in the middle of a politically charged battle over massive budget cuts.

Republicans, who hold majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, blocked Sebelius' proposal to borrow $225 million from healthy state funds to cover shortages in accounts used to meet the state's payroll and issue tax refunds.

So Kansas may end up selling apples out of carts any day now, as well.
Keep in mind, when it comes to California, the ridiculous "Prop 13" and how that is now echoing down the corridors of bad governance. For instance, Proposition 13 has probably contributed mightily to the teetering housing market in California, by far the largest state with a continuing depressed housing market that has not responded at all to any of the Bush/Paulson bank bailout.
Too, the ludicrous Prop13 has raised sales taxes and user fees and taxes by exponential amounts in the thirty years since its passage.
Furthermore, it has had the bizarrely liberal effect of giving the centralized state government more say in how cities and localties can structure their taxes and fees, as well as property values. As an example, if a town wants to raise its school tax, it has to do so by a 55% supermajority (this used to be a two-thirds vote).
In Kansas, we have a very different picture. There, the Republican-controlled legislature is trying to prevent the governor, Kathleen Sebelius, from shifting state funds as she sees fit, in order to cover some entitlement obligations and of course, payroll. Clearly, the Grover Norquist school of governance is alive and well and terrorizing Kansans to this day.
Sebelius' reaction ought to be interesting. There are roughly $10 million available and $24 million in payroll, mostly schools and hospitals, and another $20 million in Medicaid payments due this week.
Will she take a page out of Bill Clinton's book and shut down the state, including the legislature? Stay tuned!