In a letter to the editor of the Fresno Bee, CA Fwd Leadership Council memer Peter E. Weber wrote:
Dan Walters’ March 5 column is right in stating that Republicans have significant leverage to influence the outcome of state budget negotiations. But the thoughtful Republicans who are engaged in these negotiations are not motivated by the cynical political calculations suggested by Mr. Walters.
They understand what voters also understand: that tax extensions may reduce short-term pain but don’t solve the structural problems that caused California to get to where it is today; that we must reduce the size of a government that has become bureaucratically bloated; that budget reforms are needed to focus government on outcomes and prevent us from spending what we don’t have; that regulatory reforms are needed to clear the path for business investment and job creation; that pension reforms are needed to rebalance the allocation of funds between state workers and those they are supposed to serve; and that government can be more effective and more efficient by massively reducing micromanagement from Sacramento and bringing government closer to the people.
Voters will be best served if the budget negotiations result in near-term pain avoidance and concurrent implementation of the structural reforms necessary to prevent us from again getting into this mess.