Claremont Insider: Assemblyman Adams Defends Vote

Friday, May 29, 2009

Assemblyman Adams Defends Vote

Our area's State Assemblyman, Anthony Adams, spoke before the local Mountain View Republican Club last night at Harvard Square restaurant and explained his reasons for supporting the state's budget compromise in February. The agreement, which included a mix of budget cuts, tax increases, and borrowing, was supposed to balance California's then-$42 billion budget deficit.

The budget fix didn't last very long, as you know. Two things quickly threw the budget back out of balance. First, state tax revenues declined more than expected because of the ongoing recession. Second, the ballot propositions that were supposed to have provided the final pieces of the budget puzzle failed in the May 19 special election.

Adams said that by June 15th the State needed to come up with some $17 billion in cuts against a projected $23 billion deficit. He argued that there is no legal provision to allow California to go bankrupt and thus renegotiate its contracts and write down its debt; instead, he invoked the specter of insolvency and Federal receivership, accountable to no one, similar to the prison health care receiver J. Clark Kelso who under the aegis of the district court is demanding $7 billion of the $9 billion California corrections budget for prisoner healthcare.

Adams defended his vote last February by saying that California would not have qualified for "payday" loans--tax "revenue anticipation notes" that had become SOP in financing State operations between tax collection dates. (This sounds more than a little suspect to us; don't most of our readers match their expenditures to their income cash flow? Why can't the State do that? And doesn't your employer withhold state tax weekly?) Adams claims that Wall Street made him break his "no tax" pledge.

This sounds a lot like our Congressman David Dreier who kept saying he hated his votes even as he supported the huge stimulus packages last fall--"Somebody stop me before I vote again"

In any event, the state's Republicans were incensed at Adams and five other Republican State legislators who supported the February budget agreement. Adams was berated on KFI AM 640's John and Ken Show (recall the head-a-stick business), and he is now the target of a recall petition campaign.

The Daily Bulletin covered Adam's remarks:

Adams admitted Thursday that he knew his vote was unpopular and "dangerous."

"I have no allusions [sic, Bulletin error] about that," he said.

"I made a decision to keep my state alive."

Adams said passage of the state budget was vital to generate new tax revenue in order to keep credit available to the state.

"I did not raise taxes because I thought it would stimulate the economy," he said.

"If we cannot make our state run, we run the risk of having the federal government take over."