The relationship between Democratic leaders and some of their labor benefactors has turned particularly frosty: Many of the programs union members rely on for paychecks -- and the unions rely on for dues -- have been slated for deep cuts.
For example, there are pledge forms being passed around to lawmakers by a major labor union that might have attracted takers in budget battles past. The union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, wants the legislators to sign statements of support for up to $44 billion in new or higher taxes on the wealthy, oil companies, tobacco and other industries, products and people.
Because not enough businesses and wealthy people are leaving the state now; we want to speed it up!
But so far the drive hasn't produced a single signed form, even from the Democrats who normally march into California's budget fights in lock-step with organized labor.
Gee, I guess when it gets bad enough, even Evil Party politicians can see that knee-jerk tax-raising isn't the answer for everything.
"Many public employee unions, teacher unions [are] thinking that they were thrown under the bus in the last budget," said Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-Montebello). "So now they're asking themselves: If these Democrats are not going to stand up for us, then what good is it to have them there?"
Translation: "We thought we owned these politicians, but they're not taking our orders!"
The union leaders say they are appalled that Democratic leaders are talking openly now about decimating government programs without first making a stand for bigger, broader tax hikes that could substantially offset budget cuts.
Got that? "Don't you dare think about cutting programs where some of our members get paid until you've taxed the state into oblivion!" Which is what it amounts to.
"Democrats came to Sacramento to help people," said Marty Hittleman, president of the California Federation of Teachers. "I know they did not go there to destroy government. For some reason, they are unwilling to stand up and say 'This is not what I was elected for.' "
Because cutting spending and trying to stop the idiocy that's screwed the state is to be defined as 'destroying government' so as to try to scare the politicians and scare people who don't belong to unions.
But even some of the most liberal Democrats say some union leaders are ignoring the reality of an angry public, a sour economy and a state government approaching insolvency. Moreover, more taxes would require Republican support in the Legislature, and the minority party has made clear that there will be none.
So here it is: even Evil Party "We can always raise taxes" politicians have finally faced the fact that they can't; they've brought the state to ruin(I have doubts they can prevent it at this point), and enough people are finally pissed and yelling enough about it to make them realize they can't keep doing the 'raise taxes' crap. And some unions are so busy worrying about keeping their dues flowing that they don't care how bad it screws the state(and all the jobs that will flat go away if things continue), just "Raise taxes, dammit, don't you mess with OUR situation!"
I don't excuse most of the people in CA for this; they kept voting these clowns into office, and-until now- never said "Enough, we can't take any more tax increases"; they just kept wanting goodies and wanting someone else to pay for it. Also, I think a part of the halt to tax-raising is that the CA politicians are listening to the noise from other states at the thought of having their taxes raised to buy CA out of the hole; probably lots of Reps and Sens are telling their little friends in CA "If I vote to pay your bills out of our pockets, I'll be on the street next election. If they don't drag me out of the office and hang me. So I won't be voting for your bailout."
I shall now adjourn from my analysis of crap in another state, and go cut grass.