The Spark

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

A Vicious Attack on Public Services

Jun 22, 2009

The state of California is busy cutting services right and left. State jobs are being eliminated. State workers are being forced to take two furlough days a month, amounting to a nearly ten% pay cut. School districts are laying off teachers and other school employees. Public schools and colleges have cancelled summer school.

The politicians say this is only the beginning. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says no state program will be spared. He is proposing layoffs of state workers, more cuts in education, health care and transportation, taking money away from local governments.

Democrats, who control the legislature, agree with the Republican Governor. “We are going to cut,” said Darrell Steinberg, the California Senate President. “The cuts will be deep and painful,” said Assembly Speaker Karen Bass. A legislative panel pretended it opposed Schwarzenegger’s proposals – but actually approved them. The panel only reduced the outrageous amounts of cuts the Governor had proposed – but the cuts are still outrageous nonetheless.

All politicians, both Republican and Democrat, keep saying voters “chose” cuts in the May 19 special election. That’s a shameless lie – the only choice the politicians gave voters on May 19 was: “Cuts or ... More Cuts”!

And why all these cuts? Supposedly because the state has a huge budget deficit. But if the politicians were really worried about the budget deficit, they wouldn’t have passed two billion dollars in new corporate tax breaks last February!

Steinberg, the Democratic Senate President, is now proposing to postpone that tax break. Apparently, he considers it wiser to hand the billions over to the rich later – and more quietly – now that the public has heard about it!

This “budget crisis” is nothing but a smoke screen. California politicians are trying to use the economic crisis as an excuse to cut down, drastically and for good, the level of services that the state provides to the population.