imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

California budget compromise takes from the poor, gives to the rich

by Henry Sunday, Aug. 17, 2008 at 5:14 AM

Finally an article about California. Reprint from It is good somebody somewhere is writing something about here.

Reprinted from

By Rafael Azul

16 August 2008

As state leaders negotiate over cuts in California’s state programs in order to resolve an anticipated budget shortfall of as much as billion out of a 4 billion state government budget, it is increasingly clear that whatever compromise is arrived at between Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democrat-controlled State Assembly, the living standards of working families will be sacrificed in the interest of the very wealthy and the banks.

Health, educational and public recreational services will be reduced. Regressive taxes that disproportionately impact the poor and working class will be raised. Other likely measures involve forced borrowing from cities and counties, and tax giveaways to subprime lenders.

In his 2008 state-of-the-state speech on January 8, Schwarzenegger proposed substantial cuts on education, health, emergency services, and veteran services to make up the bulk of the deficit, then expected to come in at billion. The Governor also demanded the power to impose budget cuts in the middle of a fiscal year, a budget cap and a ‘rainy day fund.’ A portion of tax receipts would be set aside during boom years in anticipation of recessionary years.

The Governor’s speech last January officially opened up the debate on the budget. California Democrats control 60 percent of the legislature and Republicans control 40 percent. California law requires a two-thirds majority to pass the budget. This means that the final budget cannot be approved without the votes of both Democrats and Republicans.

California Republican Assembly and Senate members have pledged to oppose any tax increase. However, it is expected that a slim majority would be crafted by Governor Schwarzenegger, consisting of six or seven Republicans and their Democratic Party counterparts that would be willing to impose a one percent increase in the State sales tax. This increase has been projected to reduce the deficit by .6 billion. The rest of the deficit would be made up by the State borrowing from cities and counties, and from the banks, using future State lottery receipts as collateral, together with major cuts in social spending.

On July 30, Schwarzenegger signed an executive order that, if enforced, would reduce the wages of 140,000 State employees to the federal minimum wage, .55 per hour. The order also calls for the firing of more than 20,000 part time state workers—10,300 were fired on the very day that the order was signed.

Both measures would cut State spending by about 0 million per month. The order was opposed by State Comptroller John Chiang, whose office issues state payroll checks. Last Tuesday, the Governor sued Chiang in State Court to force him to comply. Chiang has pointed out that the antiquated computer system used for the State payroll cannot be reprogrammed in time, resulting in a delay as long as 10 months before such an order could be implemented. Most State employees will not know what their wage will be until their paychecks are distributed on August 29.

Money has run out on a billion reserve fund earmarked for community colleges and health clinics. Those institutions will have no state funds until a budget is approved.

In addition, last month the State cut Medicaid reimbursements by ten percent to clinics and pharmacies, effectively condemning many of these businesses to bankruptcy. The state also intends to cut 400,000 from Medicaid by lowering the eligibility income from 107 percent of the poverty level to 61 percent. According to Ned Wigglesworth from the California Medical Association in Sacramento, this means that a person earning the State minimum wage, a yearly income of ,500 would not be eligible to obtain health care.

A study released by Health Access California suggests that the Medi-Cal benefit cuts will extend to more than 1 million residents—bringing the total number of uninsured Californians to 6.5 million. This represents the largest cut in health care in state history, and among the largest rollbacks nationally.

This cut will not only impact those directly being cut, but will also resonate throughout the health care system. According to a Sacramento Bee report August 15, a separate study estimates that the huge growth in those without insurance would increase the cost of medical care for insured California families by more than 0 per year. Research consultant Peter Harbage, who prepared the study, explained that when a hospital treats rising numbers of uninsured patients on an emergency bases, “the hospital, like any other business, is going to try to recoup its cost by charging other people more.”

In comments over the budget proposal in January, Schwarzenegger cynically claimed that the state could not continue to burden the few “rich people,” as if they were overtaxed. The state has a reputation of having one of the most progressive income taxes in the nation—a term used to describe a type of tax that proportionally takes more money from the wealthy than from the poor. In reality, when one factors in California’s 7.25 percent state sales tax, the bulk of the tax burden falls on the poor and on working families.

This was confirmed in a study conducted in 2007 by the nonprofit California Budget Product that estimated that the poorest 20 percent of Californians, those with an average income of ,100, pay 11.7 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes. The study found the middle 20 percent pay 9.5 percent. Those in the wealthiest 1 percent, meanwhile, pay only 7.1 percent, despite the supposedly progressive nature of the income tax. The disparity is even more acute when federal income and payroll taxes are factored in.

Part of the source of this disparity is that sales taxes only affect consumption and do not tax savings. Low-income people consume almost all their income trying to make it from day to day, and most poor households have no savings. The extremely high cost of living in California, driven in large part by the hyperinflation of housing and rent costs during the housing boom, coupled with a high proportion of low-wage service jobs, only sharpens this crisis.

In contrast, wealthy individuals are taxed neither on their often enormous savings, nor on the many luxury items, such as yachts, that are explicitly exempt from California sales tax.

The current budget proposal both reflects and reinforces this gross social inequality in California. An alternative way of raising .6 billion is to raise the state income tax by a mere 0.7 percent on yearly incomes exceeding 1,000 and by 1.7 percent for those incomes in excess of 2,000, merely reinstates income taxes that had been lowered in the late nineties. One could solve the budget deficit by taxing Californians .00 for every 0 they spend. Alternatively, one could tax higher income Californians through the income tax by taxing couples 70 cents for every 0 they earn in excess of 1,000 and another .00 for every 0 they earn in excess of 2,000. A Public Policy Institute of California poll found that nearly two-thirds of Californians favor the second choice. In contrast, less than 40 percent approve of a sales tax.

The proposed sales tax increase will exacerbate an ongoing trend. In California, the top one percent of the population has an income that averages 50 times the income of the middle twenty percent. Since 1995, its income has increased by 108 percent, compared to 9 percent for the middle group. The top one percent continued to gain despite real losses for all the other income groups.

Governor Schwarzenegger favors the sales tax increase, despite its unpopularity. It has been described as a sledgehammer approach targeted against those with the least ability to pay. Coupled with a reduction in state services, the new budget threatens to impose a massive reduction in the living standards of the working class, particularly its poorest layers, while further enriching the living standards of wealthy Californians.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

The Shortwave Report 08/31/18 Listen Globally! A30 11:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy