Brown Meets Budget Deadline, but Big Headaches Remain
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For the first time in decades, California has a budget before the next fiscal year begins tomorrow. Today, Governor Brown signed a state spending plan he called "honest but painful," full of cuts to core functions of government, but also based on revenues that may never come through. Will the "Amazon tax" push companies out of the state? Can redevelopment agencies legally be abolished so the state can take their money? Are the rich really making that much more than expected? Also, the man who flew from New York to Los Angeles on an expired boarding pass in somebody else's name. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, playing chicken with the US economy.
Banner image: California Governor Jerry Brown delivers a keynote address during the 2011 Pacific Coast Builders Conference on June 23, 2011 as State legislators scramble to revise a budget that Brown vetoed. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Stowaway Slips Past Security, Flies from NY to LA ()
A Nigerian man named Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi got through the TSA checks in New York City, flew Virgin Airlines on an expired boarding pass in someone else's name and arrived in Los Angeles last Friday. He was arrested while trying to fly to Atlanta. Andrew Blankstein is covering the story for the Los Angeles Times.
The State Budget: Balanced or Not? ()
As a share of the state's economy, Governor Brown says, the $86 billion state budget he signed today is lower than any since 1973. There are massive cuts in core services. But Republicans refused to extend tax increases, and the deficit still required $12 billion in new revenues to be "balanced," as the constitution requires. Four billion of that is based on projections that wealthy taxpayers are doing better than anybody expected. Still more comes from so-called "use" taxes the state hopes to collect on Internet sales from companies like Amazon. Currently, those taxes depend on consumers, few of whom ever report online purchases. Another device is dismantling local redevelopment agencies and taking their money, but those agencies claim that's illegal because of Proposition 22, approved by the voters last November. Will any of that money really materialize?
- Christopher Thornberg: Beacon Economics
- Declan McCullagh: CNET.com, @declanm
- John Howard: Capitol Weekly
Lessons from Greece in US Debt Crisis ()
Despite public outrage and yesterday's riots over austerity measures, Athens was quiet today as the Greek parliament put the final touches on spending cuts and tax increases designed to unlock $17 billion in aid from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. If the US doesn't bite a similar bullet, will its "full faith and credit" be suspect in the eyes of the world?
- Nick Malkoutzis: Kathimerini (English-language edition), @NickMalkoutzis
- Zanny Minton Beddoes: Economist
- Jacob Kirkegaard: Peterson Institute for International Economics, @PIIE_com
- Ron Fournier: National Journal, @ron_fournier
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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