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Gov. Jerry Brown weighs in on federal debt-limit talks

Gov. Jerry Brown, right, signs the AB 130 Dream Act bill by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, left, at the Los Angeles City College Monday in Los Angeles.

During a news conference at his San Francisco offices to discuss his nomination of Goodwin Liu to the California Supreme Court, Gov. Jerry Brown was asked Tuesday if he had been doing any contingency planning in case there was no agreement on raising the federal debt ceiling.

As Democrats and Republicans skirmish in Washington, D.C., there has been widespread worry about the effect of federal inaction on the state level, where governments are already cash-strapped because of the sluggish economy.

First, Brown joked: "I'm selling my T-bills."

Then he pondered: "I assumed the people in Washington will rise above their partisan proclivities and work for the betterment of the country. I certainly will look to see if there is something we need to do."

He waxed politically philosophical: "The bigger story is the division in the United States. Our country, which has been the leading power in the world for a number of decades, is facing the dismal prospect of being unable to govern itself because of the deep and continuing divisions between these two parties."

Finally, he went on the local attack: "I saw it in Sacramento, where no matter how hard I tried, no matter what I offered, no matter the quality of wine I served at our meetings, I could not get four votes for a tax. We’re facing a group of people that are in power in some form in Sacramento and Washington who would rather have the empire fall than ever vote for a tax ...

"The dogmatic commitment to no tax is as powerful as the dogmatic commitment to no birth control on the part of the papacy. And in some fashion the Republican Party is acting like a quasi-theological institution."

RELATED:

Bell-related reform bill signed by governor

Brown bans sidewalk sales of puppies, kittens

-- Maria L. La Ganga in San Francisco

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown, right, signs the Dream Act bill by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), left, at Los Angeles City College on Monday. Credit: Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

 
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