By Dan Walters
Gavin Newsom has spent the last four months telling Californians that he could – and would – cure some of California’s most pressing social ailments.
Among those he has cited are a “deplorable” shortage of housing for working families, rampant homelessness, the availability and cost of medical care, the nation’s highest level of poverty, reliable and safe water supplies, shortcomings in early childhood education, and wildfire prevention and protection.
Unusually, he has folded virtually all of his prescriptions for these societal ills into the state budget, a final version of which must, by law, be enacted by June 15.
In other words, the time for talking is over and the time for doing is nigh.
Newsom is blessed with a fat state treasury, thanks to the state’s full-employment economy and the prosperity enjoyed by those at the top of its economic ladder, who generate most of its tax revenues. …
…. So, one might ask, can Newsom deliver a state budget that would make measurable progress towards resolving the big problems he’s cataloged?
… Despite having billions of extra dollars to spend, for instance, he wants to impose a new tax on consumers’ water bills ...