What’s the Next Step After “Insane”?

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I might be getting myself in trouble by blogging about something where I don’t know the backstory, but check out the latest from California:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, taking aim at what remained of a deficit-cutting package drafted by Democrats, said Tuesday he planned to veto $1.1 billion in projected savings realized largely through cuts to public transit. Democratic lawmakers had approved the measure as part of a package they said would have addressed $4 billion of California’s estimated $20-billion deficit.

….Republican lawmakers, whom majority Democrats were able largely to bypass in writing their budget plan because it did not raise taxes, cheered the governor’s planned vetoes.

….Schwarzenegger said he would reject the lawmakers’ gasoline tax plan because it differed from the proposal he first made in January. Schwarzenegger’s plan would have lowered gas taxes by 5 cents per gallon. The plan Democrats pushed through the Legislature would keep gas taxes at their current level.

This is insane. In order to tackle a massive deficit, Democrats were willing to cut a billion dollars out of transit funding — a traditional Democratic priority — and Schwarzenegger vetoes it because they didn’t also include a tax cut. As a way of tackling a massive deficit. And the California Republican caucus cheers.

I can’t even think of anything snarky to say. It’s like living in a Lewis Carroll novel, except with real people. Assuming you still consider California Republicans to be real people, that is.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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