Dr. Pitney on CA Budget Deal

From Steve Harmon’s January 20th article in the San Jose Mercury News:

That leaves Democrats with one other possibility: Offer to agree to a constitutional spending cap on the budget in exchange for Republican support to put a tax package before voters.

Such a deal would help Republicans achieve one goal – reducing government – without technically breaking that tax pledge signed by all GOP state lawmakers except Assemblyman Roger Niello of Sacramento, who is also anti-tax but doesn’t believe in such pledges.

“If Republicans won’t vote for taxes,” said Lenny Goldberg, president of California Tax Reform, who has been advising legislative Democrats on the issue, “will they vote to allow the public to vote for taxes?”

Jack Pitney, government professor at Claremont McKenna College, thinks it’s at least a possibility.

“Given the magnitude of the deficit, it’s hard to see how the governor and Legislature can agree to spending cuts alone,” Pitney said. “I could see a grand compromise where a couple Republicans agree to something that looks like a tax increase and Democrats agree to a future spending cap.”

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