May 24, 2012
Re "An L.A. budget, with holes," Editorial, May 18 Since 2009, the city has undertaken unprecedented structural reform while addressing each year's shortfall, including: Requiring employees to contribute 2% to 4% (from zero) of their pay for retiree health benefits, and freezing benefits for employees not contributing. The elimination of nearly 5,000 positions, resulting in the smallest civilian workforce since Tom Bradley was mayor. Pension reform and a 20% salary reduction for new hires.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 2009 |
Based on my e-mail, a lot of folks think the solution to California's state budget deficit is to round up all the illegal immigrants and truck them down to Mexico. Wrong. Even if it were logistically possible and the deportees didn't just climb off the truck and hitch another ride back up north, their absence from the state wouldn't come close to saving enough tax dollars to balance a budget that has a $42-billion hole projected over the next 17 months.
July 22, 2009 |
If the budget deal reached in Sacramento on Monday is more than smoke and mirrors, California should soon be able to stop issuing IOUs and turn back to Wall Street for short-term financing. But before that can happen, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Controller John Chiang will have to determine how much cash will be coming in the door this fiscal year, and how much less will be going out because of budget cuts.
May 15, 2012
Re "State deficit estimate hits $16 billion," May 13 Again we are facing budget shortfalls that need to be made up by more taxes. Is there an end to California's financial crisis? Do we have to go from crisis to crisis with no light at the end of the tunnel? The Greek financial shadow is looming larger because the governor doesn't have the guts to make the changes to get our house in order. No one says, "Enough is enough. " I am glad I am 80 years old, but the future my children and grandchildren will endure frightens me to no end. H.K. Rahlfs Irvine The answer to every government deficit situation: "This means we will have to make cuts far greater than asked for at the beginning of the year in schools, public safety and services.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 2009 |
Stuff's piling up in California's Capitol: "To-Do" lists crammed with issues labeled "Attention Required" and "Decision Needed." But the principal decision-makers -- the governor and legislative leaders, or "Big Five" -- have been immersed in a gigantic deficit hole, agonizing over how to get the state out. They need a solution that can be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, a Herculean hurdle.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 2009 |
It's inevitable that California public schools soon will be whacked with hefty program cuts. And that's a shame because students recently have been making significant gains. A decade of academic advancement due to class-size reduction, tougher curriculum, higher standards, testing, accountability and other reforms could be stalled -- even reversed -- by the necessity to cut spending. But there's no way around it.
April 17, 2012
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana are putting the final touches on the budget that the mayor will introduce to the City Council on Friday. All signs are that it will open a bruising debate, with the predictable calls for sacrifice to close a budget shortfall of more than $200 million. Layoffs seem a near-certainty, and the search for new revenue is an inescapable part of the solution. There is much to bemoan in all of this. No one wants to put more workers on the street in a slow economy, nor is there much enthusiasm at City Hall or elsewhere for tax hikes to prevent even greater cuts.
April 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama argued for “manageable” changes to Medicare and other social safety net programs as he released his budget proposal, a plan aimed at staking out the middle ground in the stalled deficit reduction talks. “If we want to preserve the ironclad guarantee that Medicare represents, then we're going to have to make some changes. But they don't have to be drastic ones,” Obama said in remarks in the Rose Garden on Wednesday morning. “And instead of making drastic ones later, what we should be doing is making some manageable ones now.” Obama's remarks intended to draw a contrast with House Republicans' budget proposal, fashioned by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, which would balance the federal budget in 10 years in part by transforming Medicare into a voucher-style system and cutting government spending on Medicaid.
March 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The austere House budget drafted by Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that has come to define the Republican Party was approved Thursday on a strict party-line vote, as the GOP argues that a balanced budget should now be Washington's top goal. The blueprint is merely a proposal, without the force of law, but its overhaul of the Medicare program and steep reductions to other social safety net spending serves as the GOP's opening salvo in renewed budget negotiations with President Obama.
January 8, 2013 |
Astronomers may have to brace for a much humbler astrophysics mission following the planned launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018, a NASA official told a ballroom full of astronomers Tuesday. Under current budget constraints and with future funding uncertain, such a mission might have to be small enough to cost $1 billion or less, NASA astrophysics division director Paul Hertz told astronomers gathered for a town hall at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach.