Sunday, June 24, 2012
Unfair and unbalanced
In an especially egregious display of chutzpah, cartoonist Lisa Benson gives her cross-eyed view of California's budget plight. Our state has, of course, suffered from the Great Recession brought on by the feckless policies of the Bush administration (and a bolder Obama administration should have pushed a larger and more effective stimulus in its initial recovery effort). In addition, the Golden State has been saddled with a Republican minority in both houses of the state legislature that knows only the word “no.” They are essentially useless obstructionists (like their counterparts in Washington).
Benson, however, persists in presenting the Republican elephant as the steady representative of fiscal sanity. Look at how he sits there on the budget teeter-totter, a modest “No New Taxes” valise by his side. In shocking contrast, the profligate Democratic donkey has loaded up his end of the seesaw with a huge steamer trunk of “Spending.” (Benson is blissfully untouched by the reality that state spending is and has been flat since the Bush recession took hold: $90.9 billion in General Fund expenditures in 2008-2009 and maybe $92.6 billion in General Fund expenditures in 2012-2013—a less than two percent increase in four years.)
How can such an unbalanced seesaw remain level despite such evident Democratic irresponsibility? Benson hastens to inform us that the California state budget is being supported by “Gimmicks” and “Borrowing” and “Programs.” Wait a minute? Programs? I guess Benson ran out of clever labels for the baggage that is supposedly propping up the state budget. (I thought Programs were part of Spending. Silly me!) This entry sets a new standard for inane cartoon commentary on the California political scene. Pure propaganda. One almost has to admire its audacity.
But I don't.