Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sometimes the truth

I have taken the press to task for swallowing Governor Moonbeam's spin on the budget. So I  must acknowledge an article in the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday that tries to clearly state the truth:
Brown touts his plan to solve California's $26.6 billion deficit as a mix of $12.5 billion in major cuts, $12 billion in additional taxes that need voter approval, and the rest coming from "other" solutions, which are largely internal borrowing.

But the tax proposal is actually worth more - $14 billion. Meanwhile, the proposed spending cuts involve shifting billions of dollars from their intended use to pay for other programs. Not counting those shifts, the cuts total about $8 billion.
It's still a little fuzzy to me. In Brown's budget document, the cash flow projection for the General Fund in Schedule 6D (Appendix 11, Page 192 of the PDF of his budget) indicates a proposed $87.5 billion in disbursements. On the previous page, he projects $86.7 billion in disbursements in 2010-11, and shows on the page before that $86.7 billion in actual disbursements in 2009-10 which coincides with the Controllers report for June 30, 2010.

So if we cut the disbursements from the General Fund high of $107.3 billion in 2007-08 to $86.7 billion in 2009-10, I'm trying to figure out what a proposal for 2001-12 of $87.5 billion represents an $8 billion cut from?

But this article comes the closest I've seen to laying out the facts of Brown's budget. Congratulations are in order given that this proposed budget would shuttle money around like it's on a craps table while the dice are being thrown to determine who, if anyone, will put out the fires, both figuratively and literally, the latter in the case of wildfires.

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