Governor Brown’s Budget Cuts: Women’s Lives on the Chopping Block
Sisters United Front for Survival
Citing California’s $26 billion shortfall, the state legislature on March 15 approved $9 billion in cuts to an already-frayed safety net. Hardest hit in the flood of reductions are women. Lawmakers justified their actions as painful but necessary. But, the truth is that in this economic crisis, as always, the state is supporting greed over need, sacrificing the most vulnerable while protecting massive business sub-sidies. It’s time to change priorities!
- Balancing the budget on the backs of women and the disadvantaged
Most severely impacted is Cal-WORKs, which provides cash assis-tance and job training to the poor, most of whom are single mothers. Over 1,000 families in San Francisco would lose assistance in San Francisco and grants would be reduced by almost $100 a month. The loss of other services adds to the misery of women and the indigent. Hacked are medical programs, in-home care, mental health, early childhood and developmentally disabled services.
The state is also slashing the budgets of community colleges and the California State University system which serve workingclass students, a majority of whom are women. And, a campaign to vilify public workers and their hard-earned pensions threatens the well-being of those lucky enough to have jobs.
- Switch the priorities: Tax the Rich and Corporations!
Welfare moms have long been a Republican target as a symbol of “Big Government.” But the hack-and-slash mayhem emanating from Sacramento now is Democrat-led. With the June special election eliminated, the Governor will be looking for ways to address the remaining deficit. More budget cuts are likely, possibly totaling as much as $12.5 billion. Once again, workers and the poor will pay and pay and pay. All this because neither party will call for big business to pay its fair share!
The deficit exists in large measure because corporations and banks are paying less and less into the system. Wealth is being transferred from the working class to the richest few.
- It’s time to reverse the flow!
- Enact an oil severance tax California, where Chevron is headquartered, is the only state in the entire world that doesn’t tax extraction (a 9.9% tax = $1.2 bil./yr.)
- Close corporate tax loopholes ($3-5 bil./yr.)
- Eliminate war expenditures (CA share = $14.5 bil./yr.). U.S. Out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya!
- Reduce prison spending Release all women incarcerated for defending themselves and their children from their abusers; cancel the Three Strikes law.
- Stop privatization and contracting out; use union labor ($34 bil./yr.)
- Reinstate the top income tax bracket to 11% ($4 bil./yr.)
We demand the State restore social services regardless of immigration status; expand CalWORKs, provide childcare & job training!