This just in from Mark Standriff, Communications Director over at the California Republican Party…
(Alternative working title: There’s nothing very funny about THIS Leno)
During last summer’s budget debate on the state Senate floor, it was particularly disturbing to hear Senate Budget Chairwoman Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego) attempt to equate tax cuts with spending increases. I suppose from a balancing-the-books-on-a-squeaky-unicycle point of view, it makes some sense to look at tax cuts and government spending increases in the same light. Setting aside the fact that tax cuts actually spur economic growth while spending increases only increase spending, each makes it difficult to immediately balance a complex budget. That’s the problem with confusing the never was with the already has.
But our lawmakers are supposed to be fiscally savvy. They are our public servants. When drafting the state budget, it’s their job to surmise how much tax revenue there will be, then wisely set up a plan for spending the available amount.
What isn’t their job is to whine about the possibility that (gasp) some taxpayers may be allowed to keep a bit more of their own money, on the premise that (darn it all) “that’s rightfully ours and we were planning on spending it!”
So it was pretty disturbing, and not just a bit disheartening, to hear the brand-new Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mark Leno (D- San Francisco) already reciting Ducheny’s “but that’s our money” mantra.
Spouting off such nonsense is one thing when it comes from a public union hack or a pointy-headed academic who’s never had to deal with real-world choices. But we’re in real trouble when this kind of government-first, people-last hooey is coming from the chairman of the legislature’s budget committee, someone who has real power to determine how much California taxpayers pay and how our money gets spent.
So here’s a message to Leno, Ducheny, Paul Krugman, and all you other fans of the sun-rises-and-sets-on-the-government’s-assets crowd. Your poor planning is not my fiscal emergency, and no, you don’t get to dip into my paycheck to balance your books. You’re being paid to do your job, and your top priority as lawmakers is to make do with the resources in front of you. Out here in the real world, we do it every day. It’s called coping. It’s time you learned that little life skill. Most of us find it comes in pretty handy from time to time.