Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed cuts of $5.1 billion would wreck havoc on the lives of millions of Californians while President Obama told California to refuse to help California at all with its budget deficit of $21 billion. Schwarzenegger’s cuts could cause tens of thousands of Californians to go hungry, to be homeless, and to be without medical care—he’s bringing back the 19th century for the poor.
Schwarzenegger’s cuts will end the safety net for poor children. The cuts would end CalWORKS, the welfare program for 521,000 families who now get $526 average monthly grants. After eliminating CalWORKS, Schwarzenegger also plans to eliminate Healthy Families, the program that gives children from low-income families health insurance. The cuts also would reduce Medical insurance to the very poor. These cuts aren’t even cost effective as they would cause California to lose billions in matching funds. The Governor’s proposed cuts are both cruel and stupid.
The cuts would phase out Cal Grant tuition assistance for 200,000 college students: no new grants and existing grants reduced. UC and California State University systems would have further reduction in budgets of approximately $333 million apiece. Within the community college students the cuts would lead to 250,000 students forced out of the system and huge spikes in fees. The cuts would destroy programs including student services and end part-time faculty office hours, heath insurance, and pay equity. Also, new students including veterans and unemployed would be shut out of the community colleges.
The proposed cuts would severely reduce In Home Social Service aid to disabled and elderly people which subsidizes in-home health care workers. It costs $12,000 to keep a disabled person in the home but $60,000 to keep them in the nursing homes, so the cuts would drive disabled and elderly out of the homes into institutions, causing California either to spend more money or let the disabled suffer horrific 19th century conditions.
The cuts would severely reduce education, drug rehab and vocational programs within the prisons as well as let nonviolent, nonserious offenders go free a year early.
The cuts would close 70 of the state’s parks.
Governor Schwarzenegger and the Republicans have refused all tax increases including refusing to impose a tax on yachts.