(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that funding that was originally earmarked for climate-change programs will be reduced as the state faces a $22.5 billion budget deficit.
According to the Daily Wire, California’s budget plan for 2023-2024 tops out at $297 billion, and the governor insists that his administration planned ahead to budget reserve funds as a hedge against a national recession.
“That makes us very mindful of the uncertainty of this next calendar year—and as a consequence of that—we’re not touching the reserves because we have a wait-and-see approach to this budget,” Newsom said.
The governor announced that $6 billion would be cut from an initiative to encourage electric vehicles in low-income neighborhoods and replace gas-powered vehicles such as delivery trucks and airplanes with zero-emission options.
Newsom also announced a delay on funding for public universities, transit, behavioral health, building decarbonization and watershed revitalization.
But the cuts may not be nearly enough to offset projected expenses, such as the $569 billion in reparations that a woke task-force assembled by Newsom recently determined that the state owed to its black residents for past injustices. With blacks constituting roughly 6% of the state population, that amounts to about $250,000 per black-identifying resident.
The California Republican Party pointed out that despite his record spending, Newsom has failed in regards to many big issues in California—particularly homelessness and fiscal management.
“Now with a massive budget shortfall projected, it’s time for Gavin Newsom to finally get serious about smarter spending to resolve the many issues that are plaguing our state and driving long-time residents away,” said state GOP chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson.
Despite the major deficit, Newsom expressed hope that California is in a better position “than most other states to weather what’s to come, to weather a recession.”
The Legislative Analyst’s Office predicted a $25 billion deficit for the state due to “lower revenue estimates.”
Some reports indicate that California’s deficit is so large because of lower tax revenues.
During his recent back-to-back election years, first weathering a 2021 recall and then a 2022 re-election race, Newsom used the state’s surplus funds to bribe voters into supporting him through tax cuts and rebates.
Now, said the Legislative Analyst’s Office, that nest egg is gone.
“Spurred by pandemic-related federal stimulus, the U.S. economy entered a period of rapid expansion in the summer of 2020 that extended through 2021,” the LAO wrote. “Over the last year, however, evidence has mounted that this rapid economic expansion was unsustainable.”
That may prove problematic for Newsom as he gears up for the possiblility of yet another campaign season—this time, a 2024 presidential run.
But the politically savvy former San Francisco mayor is thus far leveraging it to his advantage, tightening the belt on his own past profligacy so as to appear more politically moderate.
Not only is he cutting back on climate change initiatives, Newson also recently slammed President Joe Biden—a potential primary rival—for his immigration policies, calling them a “failure” and claiming they could “break” California.
The governor also has attempted to manufacture a feud with Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis over a variety of issues after many former California residents fled the state for Florida during the COVID pandemic.
He was ridiculed on Twitter last week for insisting that California was the “true freedom state.”
California is the true freedom state.
Protecting liberty from a rising tide of oppression taking root in statehouses. Weakness, masquerading as strength. Small men in big offices.
Freedom is who we are – anyone from anywhere can accomplish anything here. pic.twitter.com/3WZMd29xTf
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 7, 2023