Commentary: Time for California to cut spending

This editorial appeared in The Fresno Bee.

After years of state government not living within its means, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants taxpayers to pitch in even more money to bail out the Sacramento politicians. That doesn't make sense in these difficult economic times for Californians who also are struggling to pay their bills.

The governor needs to make substantial cuts in state programs before asking taxpayers to bridge the gap with a huge increase in the sales tax. We think the spending cuts he's offered so far are a good start, but they must go deeper.

Less than two months ago, the governor and legislators cheered their efforts to "balance" the budget, even while everyone outside of Sacramento knew this budget was based on funny money. On Thursday, the governor admitted as much by announcing the budget gap had grown to $11.2 billion. He wants to balance it with program cuts and tax increases that include raising the sales tax 1.5 cents on a dollar.

While revenue increases may be called for at some point, the governor and other supporters of a tax increase must first show they've made all the spending cuts they can. We are not persuaded that state government is operating as efficiently as possible.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fresno Bee.