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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Governor Jerry advocates fiscal discipline

Uploaded: Mar 6, 2014

Governor Jerry Brown has always loved to keep people—friends and foes—off balance and guessing with his approach to politics and governing.
During his current term, he enforced a fiscal discipline on his fellow Democrats to help bring a structural deficit into balance—the major tax increase on wealthy folks and the temporary sales tax increase also helped greatly. When he was first governor back in the late 60s and 70s, the state piled up a huge surplus and property taxes, as values soared, potentially were going through the roof.
After Proposition 13 passed with more than 60 percent of the vote, he embraced the cuts and changed his stance.
Last weekend, appearing on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, he said that you have to "be tough on spending. No matter how liberal you want to be…fiscal discipline is the fundamental predicate of a free society."
Too bad Congress can't get the message. While states have to more or less live within their means (California borrowed a gob of money during the recession and in its aftermath), Congress continues to spend and increase the already staggering national debt.
Returning to the governor, some of his actions meet match his words, but other actions belie them. Consider his embrace of climate change and the radical changes in California and its economy to meet the goals if reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Electrical rates are going to soar in a state that already has very high rates.
And then toss in his refusal to be rational about the absurd high-speed rail project. The Obama Administration already has given the state several breaks on deadlines to break ground that were specified in the 2009 stimulus bill. As long as a reasonable decision by a Superior Court judge in Sacramento holds, the state cannot expend bond funds because it does not have a rational business plan to demonstrate it can fund and operate a usable segment.
The first segment is nowhere to nowhere in the San Joaquin Valley—chosen simply because advocates thought it would be the easiest to get going. There has been significant local opposition and the public, which narrowly approved the bonds in 2008 based on a project that looks nothing like what now is proposed, now is firmly opposed and wants a do-over on the vote.
That hasn't stopped the governor and his Democrat allies from trying to push it ahead although clear thinkers like Senators Mark DeSaulnier and Joe Simitian (who both were very familiar with the project and its funding) from voting against allocating bonds. It passed the Legislature without votes to spare.

Two notes in response to reader comments: Dave Duffield—yes, after PeopleSoft was taken over by Oracle, he moved to Incline Village. He has since returned to Alamo when he founded Workday—not sure whether he kept the Incline Village home.
Thanks also to Greg's sharp eyes—it should have been downturn, not downtown as he correctly pointed out in the Workday post.

Comments

Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 6, 2014 at 11:15 am

Brown only keeps people "off balance" who ignore the long term realities he deals with. Republicans in this state have always just kicked the can down the road to be dealt with in the future. That was a hallmark of Schwartzenegger's budgets starting the day he took office, long before the recession. Complaining about dealing with global warming and transportation infrastructure now rather than kicking those cans down the road is more of the same.

The thing about Brown is - and always has been - he doesn't just look at "What's in it for me today?" That baffles a lot of people.


Posted by DA truf, a resident of Bordeaux Estates,
on Mar 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Moonbeam will now be referred to as Laserbeam as he sets his sight on obstructionists. He will not be so polite with his opponents and foes during his fourth term in office as Governor of the Great State of California.

Italy: In January, three members of the movement against the high-speed train line were ordered by a court to pay close to €200,000 ($275,558) in damages for blocking construction work. Leader Beppe Grillo along with other radical militant activists, attempting to stop construction of the high speed rail project, were sentenced from four to nine months.


Posted by Lill Respect, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm

"Governor Jerry" ... really Timbo? You\'re on a first-name basis with the estimable, Honorable Mr. Brown?


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