Gov. Jerry Brown has no patience for 'dystopians and declinists'
Gov. Jerry Brown spoke some Latin, quoted former Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and compared his attempt to get GOP support for higher taxes to “asking the pope to legalize birth control" during an appearance at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Thursday afternoon.
He lashed out at the "dystopians and declinists and their noir view of California," and called his tax measure a moral question for voters.
In a combative 15-minute pitch for Proposition 30’s temporary increases in levies on sales and upper incomes, Brown said he had made good on campaign promises from two years ago, when he vowed to steady the state's finances, end budget accounting gimmicks and increase taxes only if voters give their OK.
"We have a structurally balanced budget," Brown told the crowd of about 150. "It will either be balanced with cuts to our schools, colleges.... Or it will be balanced with funding to our schools from Prop. 30." If the measure fails, schools and universities are slated to take $6 billion worth of spending reductions under the budget signed by Brown this summer.
Critics say the governor is holding schools hostage in hopes of passing his tax plan. The governor then launched into a detailed list of state spending reductions already made, including $500 million to courts, 25% cuts to public universities and $9 billion less in school funding from 2007 levels.
With polls showing the vote could go either way on the measure, Brown said he was cautiously optimistic that his measure would be approved. Brown will make another Bay Area campaign stop Friday before returning to Los Angeles to stump for the measure this weekend.
-- Anthony York in San Francisco