Gray Davis? Arnold Schwarzenegger? Jerry Brown II? It's deja vu all over again.
Brown took to YouTube over the weekend to deliver the bad news that the state deficit has hit $16 billion, far greater than the $9 or so billion he predicted at the beginning of the year.
Despite the alleged economic recovery, it looks like extra revenues haven't been flowing to Sacramento at the rate the governor expected:
Despite that, Brown said state spending has been cut to the bone. That's another way of asking you to vote for his November initiative that would increase income taxes on those earning $250,000 or more a year and increase the state sales tax by a quarter cent.
He noted that the red ink was at $26 billion when he took office last year. Davis and Schwarzenegger both grappled with deficits in the double-digit billions that did nothing for their political careers.
Democrats have linked arms around the likes of education, which takes up a bigger chunk of California spending than just about anything else, while Republicans have tried to block tax increases.
In the video Brown argues that “state spending is now at its lowest level in decades,” and that not much more can be done besides increasing taxes.
Associated Press says he'll propose a budget that anticipates your approval of his November tax increases. If not …
… a list of unpopular cuts would automatically kick in. The results mean three weeks less of school, higher college tuition fees and reduced funding for courts.
At a 10 a.m. news conference today he will release a revised budget plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
[Update at 11:49 a.m.]: Brown this morning said he would slash $8.3 billion from the new fiscal year's budget while maintaining cash for education and public safety. That, however, would rely on you approving his November tax increase initiative.
We can't balance the budget with cuts alone; that would just further undermine our public schools. The budget I am proposing will boost funding for education, protect public safety and prevent an even deeper round of trigger cuts.
His cuts include a 38-hour, four-day work week for state employees and a $1.2 billion reduction in Medi-Cal spending.