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A Challenge to Governor Brown

Focus on the Real Financial Crisis


On Monday, Governor Jerry Brown, in his State of the State address, discussed the need for both sides to come together and “tackle our budget deficit head on and deal with it honestly and without purpose of evasion.”

But already the Governor is diverting attention away from our most critical problems with an “all-pain, no gain” plan completely ignores the long-term issues facing California.

Greg Gandrud
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman (file)

Greg Gandrud

The governor almost completely ignores the half-trillion dollar burden of unfunded public employee pension liabilities, and does even less to address the causes of our economic stagnation. Without addressing these major issues, there will be no future for California short of bankruptcy and collapse.

The governor needs to bring all sides of the pension crisis together, legislators and unions, and reach a compromise that can meet the retirement needs of pensioners at the state and local levels, while helping the state meet its obligations. The current system is absolutely unsustainable; both sides must look forward to the future to develop a sustainable pension system that will not leave the future struggling to fund the excesses of today.

You cannot revive an economy by choking most of it with one hand while handing out taxpayer dollars with the other. Reviving California’s economy is going to need more than a plan to further subsidize green technologies. One of the most toxic parts of California’s business unfriendliness is enormous and complex regulations. Continuing to avoid the stifling red tape will keep businesses flocking to our neighbor States.

Lastly, the Governor seeks to pass the buck on taxes. We send a legislature and an administration to the rotunda of the state capitol to do the business of “We the citizens.” Why do we send politicians to Sacramento if they cannot do their most primary responsibilities? When past “leaders” have surrendered their responsibilities and left us the choice to raise our own taxes, we have continuously and soundly rejected them. They already know our choice; this is a stall tactic and an attempt to shift the blame back to the voters for our continued insolvency. Enough games. Find another way.

While the roots of our crisis are easy to identify, they will be difficult to remedy. We appreciate the efforts that are needed and urge the governor to live up to the challenge he’s set for all of us in these trying times. No more dodging the issues; we must meet this debt crisis straight on and stop playing with the coins at the edge of the pile. All efforts should be on releasing the choke-hold that Sacramento has placed on our state’s economy and lay the framework for true fiscal solvency—and not just for this generation, but for all future Californians.

Greg Gandrud is the chair of the Santa Barbara Republican Party.



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