Posted 2 years ago on May 22, 2012, 11:27 p.m. EST by OldCrow
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Oppose Brown’s cuts in California
Statement of Jerry White, SEP candidate for US President 22 May 2012
As the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for US president, I call on workers throughout California to begin organizing mass opposition to the latest round of cuts demanded by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. With these cuts, workers in California are facing the same attack on social rights as workers throughout the world. As with their political counterparts in Spain, Italy, and Greece, the Democrats and Republicans are united in their determination to defend the corporate and financial elite by demanding a historic reversal in the wages and living conditions of the vast majority of the population. In his latest budget proposal, Brown is calling for over $8 billion in cuts, primarily to health care and social services. More than $2 billion will be cut from Medi-Cal and CalWORKs, the state’s Medicaid and welfare-to-work programs. This comes under conditions in which official unemployment is over 10 percent, and nearly 100,000 Californians were just cut off extended federal unemployment benefits. These cuts follow years of attacks against social programs upon which millions of people depend. Since the beginning of the economic crisis, $20 billion has been cut or deferred from the state’s education system, resulting in over 30,000 teachers being laid off. Tuition at public colleges and universities is soaring, and working class youth are being priced out of a decent education. Mental health services have been cut to the bone, leaving the mentally ill in jail instead of hospitals. Subsidized childcare has been slashed, leaving working mothers unable to find safe and affordable day care. With the willful collaboration of the states’s trade unions, Brown is also demanding further cuts in wages for government workers. “We are going to have to go much farther and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year,” Brown declared in announcing that the state’s anticipated budget deficit for next year had ballooned from $9.2 billion to $16 billion. Brown is packaging his attack on workers with proposals for increased revenue—aimed primarily at increasing sales taxes that disproportionately impact the working class. With typical cynicism, the governor is also proposing a slight increase in income taxes on the rich. This is merely intended to give political cover for cuts that go far beyond anything proposed by the previous governor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. At the same time, if voters do not approve the tax increases, Brown is threatening further devastating cuts in public education. What is happening in California is happening throughout the country and around the world. If ranked as an independent country California’s economy would be the 8th largest in the world, and the state accounts for 13 percent of the United States’ gross domestic product. Brown’s cuts will be used as a model for every other state, where governors of both big business parties have already enforced deep cuts in essential social services….