Experts Expound

Experts Expound

"On the budget crisis, the governor is sending signals to the Legislature –"be creative" and " find new revenue"– that suggest a major change is in the wind. Is this the year, finally, that lawmakers in both parties agree that tax increases are necessary?

No.

Hell no.

Yep. You don't need a Ph.D. in math to see that cuts alone won't do it. Revenue is the key. I think they all know it and are scrambling to find it before June. B

In April, the answer is no. If September arrives without a budget, the answer will be quite different.

From Day One taxes were on the table. Closing Sutter's Fort and one out of five state parks rather than raise taxes? Be serious!

They'll never call it a tax, but Republicans will decide that they're better off siding with public safety groups and educators, who will demand revenue, than with tired old fringe organizations like Howard Jarvis, who would let all the bridges collapse before they'd man up on taxes.

Lots of fees, assessments, and the closing of loopholes, but no tax increases.

No. But fees and loopholes will be.

Both parties? That would mean that the Governor would be the lead for Republicans in the Legislature. That is not the case. Where does Maldonado fit in on the party label?

Both parties? You're assuming the governor's signals generate thoughtful consideration inside either GOP caucus. Bad assumption.

It is obvious that the remaining deficit can't be dealt with through cuts alone. But it is just as obvious that the no-new-taxes Republicans in the Legislature will not agree to tax increases. This could be one of the messiest and most protracted budget years ever. Welcome to Davisland, Arnold.

For all their tax-pledge bluster, they already privately agree — the GOP just needs a gut check on whether they want to be blamed for a shutdown of government in September when cash starts running out.

It means the state Legislature needs to stop worrying about public employee unions and figure out how to bring the private sector in like those free market bastions the UK and Australia did long ago.

Nope. The Republicans just aren't there yet. Add another $3 billion or $4 billion to the deficit, a budget deadlock running through the November election, an electorate that by then may actually care about the mess, and the poor dudes and dudettes that get elected this fall may actually do the nasty deed.

If they don't realize that you can't cut your way out of this mess then we will be celebrating Christmas at the Capitol without a budget. Republicans should get wise agree to a reasonable tax and negotiate for long term budget reform or something that will make a difference long term.

There are many novel approaches and answers besides that too familiar "Raise Taxes!" Cutting the size of government would be a great start. Selling off or privatizing pieces of the government that should be private would be another. Finding ways to cut waste — would be a third. And oh yes, shall we discuss civil service benefits or would the unions work to stop the legislature from preventing states ultimate bankruptcy. I say eliminate all mandates, cut taxes, and put people back to work.

The people from whom we sought opinions: Elizabeth Ashford, Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, Morgan Crinklaw, J. Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio, Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O'Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Gary South, Kevin Spillane, Rich Zeiger.

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