The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's first budget:
Attacks the children, protects the wealthy    

Jan 19, 2004

Arnold Schwarzenegger, California's new governor, proposed seven billion dollars in cuts in social services and education for the 2004-2005 budget. These are huge cuts. What is most striking about this budget is how many of the cuts will affect children.

The biggest cuts are in health and welfare, almost three billion dollars. Schwarzenegger proposes to cut hundreds of thousands of children of the working poor from the state health insurance program, and to increase what those in the program will have to pay for vision services and dental. Thousands of children with cancer and other expensive medical conditions will not receive any aid. The 481,000 poor families with children still on public assistance will have their allowances slashed from $704 per family per month to $669 on average.

The next biggest cuts are to kindergarten through high school education. It will lose two billion dollars in one year. This translates into more students per teacher, fewer supplies and books – that is, worse conditions for students to learn.

Schwarzenegger says that these cuts are necessary in order to overcome the budget deficit – especially since he promised not to raise taxes. What he doesn't now say is what he said in the campaign when he promised not to do anything "to hurt the children." That's a promise he obviously has no trouble breaking.

Let him break his promise – to the wealthy! Raise taxes on the very wealthiest and the big corporations. Close all those billion dollar tax loopholes.

Schwarzenegger argues that tax increases on corporations will cost state jobs.

If that were true, then there should be plenty of jobs, since corporate taxes have been cut drastically. Today, they pay less in taxes in actual money than they did just 20 years ago, when the economy was much smaller and they made much lower profits.

Clearly, lowering their taxes didn't create jobs.

Why should the politicians be allowed to protect the big companies while they attack the most vulnerable: the children! Those with the deepest pockets should shoulder the burden of the budget crisis. They created it!