Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 at 10:50 am in California.
California legislators—yours and mine—passed a state budget this morning that will close the budget gap without, get this, raising taxes or cutting services much. How do they do this? Through a series of accounting tricks. Such as this one: counting revenue expected in the next fiscal year as coming this year. Another? They’ll be boosting tax withholdings for workers—even though the money will be refunded later in the year. In sum, it’s no long-term solution, just a game of smoke and mirrors. “They basically punted the ball down the field,” Mike Herald of the Western Center on Law and Poverty told the Contra Costa Times, “and delayed all the pain and anxiety until next year rather than deal with it now.” And, in any case, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has threatened to veto the plan…so I wouldn’t say we’re quite there yet. As the details emerge over the next couple of days and weeks we’ll be able to get a clearer sense of how it will impact Alameda.