On politics in the Golden State
January 13, 2011 | 7:28 pm
Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills) called Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget plan “Solomonesque” on Thursday for trying to tackle the state’s swollen deficit with an equal split of taxes and cuts.
But does Brown really balance the budget with a 50-50 mix of cuts and taxes? Not quite.
Brown’s spending blueprint, aimed at resolving a $25.4-billion deficit, would actually raise taxes by $14 billion, despite his claims of only $12 billion in tax increases.
Through some creative accounting, the Brown administration doesn’t count the first $2 billion in income tax increases his plan would levy because the money automatically augments the K-12 schools and community college budgets and doesn’t go toward shrinking the deficit.
Some Republicans have accused Brown of using fuzzy accounting and fiscal gimmicks –- which Brown has heavily criticized predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger for using –- to make his plan appear more politically palatable. They point out that some of the “cuts” that Brown tallies in adding up to his $12.5 billion in expenditure reductions are not cutbacks in the truest sense.
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