California governor Gavin Newsom released a revised budget for the state of California on May 14. Because of the statewide lockdown, he projected a 54 billion dollar deficit over the next two years and said he was left with no choice but to propose cuts to state spending. Who are the targets of his spending cuts? Working people, high-needs students, the elderly, and people with disabilities, of course!
Newsom is proposing to cut state spending on education by 7 billion dollars over just the current fiscal year, including 6.5 billion dollars of funding intended particularly for high-needs students. State workers – including essential workers – are facing a 10 percent pay cut. And, maybe most callously, Newsom is cutting spending for the elderly and disabled – at a time when these populations are more vulnerable than ever. Newsom is eliminating the cost-of-living adjustment for this year paid to the elderly and those with vision and other disabilities, as well as programs that provide in-home nursing to the elderly.
Newsom is wringing his hands about all these cuts, saying that he’s being forced to make them because of the budget shortfall and that if the federal government would just provide more state funding, he would restore these programs. He’s urging us to trust Nancy Pelosi to get more funding for California. He’s trying to wash his hands of our needs.
What hogwash. California has the fifth largest economy in the world. We’ve provided hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to large businesses over the past few decades. We’re home to some of the largest and most valuable corporations in the world. There’s more than enough wealth to cover our needs like education, decent wages, and assistance for the elderly. Newsom just doesn’t want to touch business profits to find that money. We can’t trust Republicans or “progressive” Democrats to defend our interests. At the end of the day, both parties serve capitalists – at the expense of the working class and poor. The only way we can defend ourselves against these cuts is by organizing ourselves and fighting back against Democrats, Republicans, and their corporate masters!
Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons