Arnold Beats Up Cripples To Balance Budget

Random Lengths News | June 1, 2007
He's Back! The pre-post-partisan Arnold Schwarzenegger, that is. Between his initial January budget and his May Revise, the document he's crafted to set California's priorities not only takes money from the elderly, blind, and disabled, it also raids money from public transit funds -- at the same time that Schwarzenegger continues posturing as a leader on global warming -- and raises money from one-time revenue sources (selling the state's student loan program, and raiding public transit funds) in order to close the deficit.

No Democrat worked more closely with Schwarzenegger last year than Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. But Nunez called the budget "mean-spirited," and said, "As a friend, I am saddened and disappointed that the Governor has returned to an agenda that reminds me of the 2005 special election with a budget that punishes middle-income and low-income families."

Furthermore, the non-partisan legislative analyst Elizabeth Hill, citing "overly optimistic assumptions in the budget," has warned that Schwarzenegger overstated California's reserves by 75 percent, while his reliance on one-time funding sources threatens to leave the state facing multibillion-dollar deficits for the rest of the decade.

May Revise budget highlights includes:

* Cuts the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) Program's state cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for a savings of $185 million by reducing monthly grants to the aged, blind and disabled by $23 for individuals and $46 for couples.

* Retains the cap on state participation for In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) wages at the January 10, 2007 levels. IHSS workers assist the aged, blind and disabled. Under current law, the state's revenues would trigger an increase from $11.10 per hour to $12.10 per hour for a total cost of $14.1 million General Fund.

* Retains $431 million in reductions to CalWORKS, including suspending the 2007 COLA and eliminating all assistance to as many as 190,000 underprivileged California children.

* Adds an additional $210 million to the $1.1 billion take-away from public transit proposed in January—funds from both capital projects (about $900 million) and operations (about $400 million) at a time when the local MTA has just passed astronomical fare increases. This is money paid at the pump specifically for transportation spending.

* Continues the elimination of $6 million for UC labor research.

* Sells the Ed Fund -- state student loan program -- to generate an estimated $1 billion in one time revenues.

* Continues to reflect a 10 percent fee increase for CSU students and a seven percent fee increase for UC students.

* Retains proposed elimination of $19.3 million for academic preparation programs at UC and $7 million for programs at CSU.

* Repeals the Teacher Tax Credit -- effectively raising taxes on California's teachers.

* Continues plan to repay Wall Street $3.1 billion, including $1.6 billion in early repayments of the Economic Recovery Bond, which forces the cuts to children, seniors and the disabled; but announces a plan to lease the California State Lottery, also with the intention generating future funds to pay off the bonds ahead of schedule.

Random Lengths News

Founded in 1979 as a counterbalance to the conservative, corporate- owned daily paper, Random Lengths News draws on the rich history of the Los Angeles Harbor Area. The name harkens back to a description of the lumber that used to...
More »
Contact for Reprint Rights
  • Market Served: Metropolitan Area
  • Address: 1300 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro, CA 90731
  • Phone: (310) 519-1442