The following statement was adopted by the State Executive Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party on January 30, 2011.
The Peace and Freedom Party rejects the 2011 budget plan presented by Governor Jerry Brown. The Governor proposes to cut education and other vital social programs while extending regressive tax increases. We can have a budget that provides for education for all Californians and ensures a social safety net if we look to the wealth that exists in this state for adequate funding.
Brown’s proposed cuts will make a higher education inaccessible to working class students. A $400 million cut to community colleges will accompany an increase in fees from $26 to $36 per unit. While the CSU and UC systems will lose $500 million each, CSU students will face a 10% tuition increase and UC students, 8%.These increases are in addition to the huge fee hikes students have been steadily facing, in a state which promises free higher education to all qualified students.
K-12 schools are already experiencing an increase in class size. The Governor claims that public school funding will remain intact. In fact, the proposed budget further reduces per pupil spending.
The Peace and Freedom Party opposes all of the cuts to vital health and social services.. The 25% reduction to CalWORKS,and cuts in child care and child development programs will make it more difficult for young people with families to get a decent education. The severe cuts to Medi-Cal and In Home Support Services are unconscionable.
The Governor refuses to consider progressive tax increases like an increased tax on the highest incomes,a split roll property tax, or an oil severance tax. Instead he proposes to extend the regressive taxes that the voters in California have already rejected, like a 1% increase in sales tax and reduction of the child exemption credit.
Why can’t we fund our budget by taxing wealth? Why do we have to take away from people who will die in the streets because they can’t afford a $10 co-pay when oil companies don’t have to pay a severance tax and the high brackets are lower than they were under Pete Wilson? Why is capitalist accumulation sacrosanct and human survival expendable? It’s class war, and this governor and legislature are on the wrong side.
We challenge the legislature to reject Brown’s cuts and propose progressive tax measures to meet our needs. We encourage everyone to organize now to demand a fair budget, and build a political party which represents the will and aspirations of the people.