Governor Blames Budget Mess on Recession

FOLLOWING are selected quotes from the Monitor's interview Thursday with Gov. Pete Wilson (R) of California:

On the California budget impasse:

This election year has heightened tensions. There are a number in the Legislature who have suffered three defeats by my lights - they haven't liked term limits ... , reapportionment, and they didn't like the budget. They can blame me in each case, but neither they nor I am excused from a duty to do the public's business. To the extent they failed to do it, they risk not coming back.

On his opposition to new taxes:

It goes to the fundamental connection that seems to have eluded so many people [that] to the extent you create a situation where there is ever-present threat of tax increases on employers ... they are inclined to say finally one day, `Too much. I am going to leave California and go somewhere where I can operate at lesser cost, [with] lesser regulation, lesser burden.'

On "structural" reform of California government:

There have been more structural reforms in the past two years than this state has ever seen.... Anyone who is honest and objective can't contest that.... We have [stopped autopilot spending] with respect to the pension system, ... entitlements ... COLAs [cost of living adjustments], and have made more than a 10 percent reduction in the cash grant to welfare recipients to rid this system of disincentives to work.

On cuts to education:

These so-called cuts are not cuts at all but a reduction in the growth in spending ... [that] my administration wanted to spend on our schools before [the budget's] $11 billion projected shortfall in revenues.

"The truth is ... we have actually increased school spending by $1 billion and we have provided full funding for enrollment growth and, I repeat, at the same level as spending per pupil this fiscal year as last year.

On continued recession:

We're not looking for a rebounding and resurgent economy. The budget crisis that occurred this year ... is a function [partly] of the second year of a declining worldwide recession. A recession is a worse time to impose a tax increase because it accentuates what we already are having to deal with.

On preserving "preventive government":

[This budget] has protected funding for early mental health counseling, prenatal alcohol and drug treatment, family planning programs ... that can have enormous human dividends in addition to tax savings.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Governor Blames Budget Mess on Recession
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today