Patt Morrison for January 17, 2012

Myths about budget misguide voters in California

California Budget

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses the cuts he has already made to help reduce the state's budget deficit from nearly $20 billion last year to a gap of about $9.2 billion as he unveiled his proposed $92.5 billion 2012-13 state budget at a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012. California faces a smaller budget deficit in the coming fiscal year but will require nearly $5 billion in cuts to public education if voters reject Brown's plan to raise taxes in the fall.

When it comes to budgeting, numbers don’t lie and are undeniably more important than myths. In light of Governor Jerry Brown’s recent budget proposal, California voters will have to separate fact from fiction if they want to make an informed decision about whether to approve Brown’s November ballot initiative to temporarily raise taxes. If voters do not approve the tax increases, the state education budget will be cut deeply to the tune of $4.8 billion.

Californians on both sides of the issues at stake incorporate many factors into their deliberations, but several of these points of contention stem from myths, according to L.A. Times Political columnist George Skelton. In his column, Skelton shatters the myths associated with the state budget dilemma including the fallacy that temporary tax increases typically become permanent, that state taxes have gone through the roof, and that California spending has been out of control. Opinionated debate can be healthy in a democracy, but, as Skelton stated, whichever opinion prevails, it should be based on fact, not myth.


How much do myths and misinformation impact voting in California? What are some government myths that you have previously regarded as facts? Who is to blame for the distribution of such falsities?


George Skelton, "Capitol Journal" columnist on state politics, The Los Angeles Times

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