Written by Amanda Angulo
Governor Gavin Newsom recently began to boast over California’s budget surplus of $75.7 billion. “This is an historic, transformational budget. This is not a budget that plays small ball. We’re not playing in the margins. We are not trying to fail more efficiently,” Newsom said, ironically.
However, Gabe Petek, the Legislature’s budget analyst, claimed that the real surplus of the state’s budget to be spent or saved over two years is nearly $38 million. Although it is a substantial amount, it is nearly half of what Newsom claimed it to be.
Why would Newsom lie about California’s budget surplus? Due to the recall against Newsom becoming official, he has started to pull up at all the steps necessary to save his gubernatorial position. The way in which Newsom was even able to come up with such a high number was because he had included money that is supposed to be already committed by law to be sent or saved.
“The governor’s estimate includes constitutionally required spending on schools and community colleges, reserves, and debt payments,” states Petek. “We do not consider these spending amounts part of the surplus because they must be allocated to specified purposes.”
This was a way he decided to manipulate Californians to win more votes for the upcoming recall election. By making himself appear as resourceful and trying to get the people to forget all of his wrongdoings and hypocrisy has ironically been backfiring.
In addition, this has all felt familiar to the first successful gubernatorial recall in California, back in 2003. After the 2002 election, with low voter turnout, Gray Davis had just won re-election for governor and then told his Californian constituents that they had an enormous deficit. By maximizing the budget crisis, Davis assumes it would make voters feel more accepting of new taxes, but it backfired.
Then-Legislature’s budget analyst, Elizabeth Hill, had also revealed Davis’ lie on how big the deficit was, which jump-started the recall campaign against him.
While Newsom likes to blame Republicans and QAnon for the recall, it seems that he doing a lot of self-damage to his own political career.
Photo Via ABC7