Transcript: Gov. Jerry Brown’s remarks on the 2012-2013 California state budget
Transcript of Gov. Jerry Brown’s remarks on the 2012-2013 California state budget released on Jan. 5, 2012:
“Thank you for coming here on relatively short notice.
“As you know, there are no secrets in government, and our budget was released earlier than we were planning. But there it is and we’ll do the best we can to explain [and] elaborate on exactly what it is.
“I want to just explain a couple of things about this chart.
“All these budget numbers are a little confusing, but the big thing is this: We had a structural deficit of $20 billion and that’s been around for a while. We’ve taken that from $20 billion to around $5 [billion].
“By structural deficit, we mean all things being equal how does it look every year, and the way it looked was we were going to have a deficit in a couple of years of $21 billion and then this year we’d have almost $20 billion again.
“So we’ve done a lot of cutting. That’s the big thing – the big takeaway from this. We’ve got the structural deficit down.
“Now it just so happens that if we don’t do anything, we’ll have a budget this year deficit of $9.2 [billion]. That’s a function of we didn’t get the Medi-Cal cuts, there’s some revenue disappointments. So it’s a little bigger but those are all unexpected things.
“Next year, if we don’t do anything, things get a little bit better, we’re down to about the $5 [billion] and then we’re down to about $2.9 [billion in 2014-2015].
“With the tax program, we will eliminate the budget deficit finally after years of kicking the can down the road, and we’ll begin to pay back the wall of debt. And that’s one thing I’m really committed to.
“We see what’s going on in Europe. We see the pathetic fiscal state of Greece. And there’s no doubt it is possible for a government to dig such a hole that you can’t climb out without social turmoil and even breakdown. So that’s why I’m going to push very hard to take the money that we’re going to receive this year and also the tax measure and eliminate our deficit and then pay down the wall of debt so we’re much solider [sic] fiscal shape.
“Now going forward, because we’re going to assume that we’re going to get the temporary income tax and the temporary sales tax, we have to put in trigger cuts. Otherwise, the budget would not be balanced – would not be financeable.
“So they key point here is not only are we putting some big cuts. We’re cutting welfare by almost $1.5 billion. We’re making some very painful reductions. A mother and kids are getting the same welfare check in real dollars that they got in the 1980s. Same for the elderly, the blind, the disabled. Child care cuts. This is not nice stuff. But that’s what it takes to balance the budget and that’s assuming that we get our tax revenues.
“If we don’t get the tax revenues, then on the introduction, if you go to page 11, you’ll see where the trigger cuts and they’re to schools, they’re to courts, they’re to university, and they’re to some state public safety services.
“So the good news is California is recovering. The fiscal health of the state is improving.
“And we now have a plan that returns government closer to the people, number one.
“Number two, it balances the budget.
“Number three, it pays down debt.
“And I think people in California can feel more confident that they know about their state finances.
“At the same time, we are going to have some bold moves – investments in high-speed rail and water, greenhouse gas reduction, alternative energy.
“So we’re not going to just stay put. It’s not a stand pat plan here. This is a strong, confident investment in the future of California.
“There are a few people – some of them, you know, who are hankering after life in Texas – who call California a ‘failed state.’ We are the innovative state. We’re the state of Apple computer, of Facebook, of Hewlett-Packard, of Hollywood, stem cell research, international trade, diversity. This is a state that’s dynamic, it’s creative, and it’s prosperous. This year, we’re adding about $90 billion in new revenue to the gross state product.
“But we got our challenges. We got our problems. And this is an honest budget that got started a little earlier than I expected, but I think it’s a good sign of things to come.
“We can’t wait. The people can’t wait. Let’s get it done. Let’s get the taxes, the cuts, and California will be in a better spot.”
- gov.ca.gov: Video of Gov. Brown’s press briefing on the 2012-13 California state budget
- California state budget website: http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Press conference Q&A with Gov. Jerry Brown on the 2012-2013 California state budget
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Press conference Q&A with Ana Matosantos on the 2012-2013 California state budget
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