Thursday, May 28, 2009

Harold Meyerson on California's Budget Woes

California has been much in the news recently. The state is in the midst of a serious budget crisis (a $21 billion deficit), and last week the voters there rejected all of a series of initiatives that would have required certain budget cuts to address the problem (the only initiative that passed was a cap on legislators' salaries).

In this morning's Post (here), Harold Meyerson gives the history of, and context for, Proposition 13, which froze property taxes in 1978 and which has caused California to become almost entirely dependent on income taxes. Meyerson blames Prop 13, in part, on the "parsimonious" Jerry Brown, who he says sat on a $5 billion budget surplus, eventually so angering Californians that they passed the initiative.

236. This is fascinating -- I always thought of Jerry Brown as one of the classic free-spending liberals, who never saw a government program he didn't like (he is certainly portrayed that way in the other articles I've read about him). Is Meyerson's allegation accurate -- that, in reality, Brown was a "non-spending" liberal?

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