Jerry Brown's Inauguration Part II: His 3 Big Points
Here's three points to take away from his inaugural speech.
1. BROWN'S THREE PLEDGES: Speak the truth with no smoke and mirrors. No new taxes unless the people vote for them. Return, as much as possible, decisions and authority to the cities and schools closer to the people.
In exchange for his pledges, Brown is asking for Californians to show loyalty to the state, placing California above their individual needs. He wants a "devotion to California above and beyond narrow perspectives" because he, likely many others, appear frustrated by citizens constantly asking for services without showing up with the money to pay for them.
Brown's big plan to ask for a trio of tax increase extensions has resulted in repeated remarks about California's wealth. Brown emphasized a point on Monday that each Californian produces more than the average American or average member of any other state. The governor's plan is to figure out how to tap deeper into California's wealth.
Most revenue-raising maneuvers are tough for the state government because of a requirement that two-thirds of the Legislature support such moves. As illustrated below, at least five Republican legislators must support the Democratic majority's plans to reach that two-thirds threshold this year.
2. MORE THAN WASTE AND INEFFICIENCY: "A tough budget for tough times."
Various insiders in Sacramento have begun to reveal some of the spending cuts Brown will propose in his budget next Monday. Brown plans to tackle inefficiency by getting state agencies to focus only on certain main objectives and forget about almost everything else. Waste can be dealt with by slashing the budgets of the state government and forcing them to do the same with less money.
He's also expected to propose shutting down things like redevelopment agencies--some of which have been found misuing money. But a large part of his plan will likely rely on plain-old cuts to state parks, libraries, universities and grade-school education.
For the first time, Brown is trying to make the middle class feel the pains of California's decade-long fiscal crisis. While the upper class faces more regulations and higher taxes and the lower class deals with service cuts, it's been the middle class that defines elections yet sees little effect of Sacramento's malfeasance.
"The message of the cuts Brown wants to make are directed at middle-class voters because many of them don't feel the direct hit of budget cuts normally," said Bill Whalen, a Stanford University Hoover Institute Fellow. "He's trying to get their attention."
3. GREEN JOBS: "Break the barriers that are holding us back."
Matching the rhetoric of his campaign, Brown vowed to get rolling on create jobs for Californians in the green energy sector. He plans to use state regulatory bodies to crack down on companies and start installing carbon caps called for under law to get more solar and wind energy production started.