In Sacramento, the knee-jerk response to any crisis is to blame the Republicans. But if Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders can’t cut a deal to win the two GOP votes in the Assembly and two in the Senate needed to qualify Brown’s tax-increase extension for the June ballot, Democrats must take their share of responsibility for fudging a deal….
Some Republicans argue that Brown is so beholden to public employee unions for supporting his candidacy that he cannot say no to them. The governor has yet to prove them wrong.
In this, Brown does no service to the left. As San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi has argued, the more municipalities pay into pension systems, the less cash they have for social services liberals support.
Also, younger workers pay a penalty when cities lay them off in order to pay benefits for retired city workers.
Republicans tell me that Brown won’t give at all on the idea of putting pension reform and a solid spending cap on the ballot. The Brownies counter that the GOP can’t focus.
They should talk. The latest PPIC poll found that while 54 percent of likely voters supported Brown’s plan in January, support now has slid to 46 percent. Brown has to convince voters he’ll be tough with labor, too.
After Brown signed the painful spending-cuts part of his budget last week, he said, “I find it shocking that elected representatives can so cavalierly say to the people, ‘Shut up, you have no right to weigh in on this.’ “
The same goes for a pension reform and spending cap: What’s wrong with letting the voters decide?
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