Brown’s 1st Year – A Year of No Reform and Lost Credibility

For Jerry Brown, it was a year of no reform and lost credibility.

The first year of a new executive’s term, often with political winds and a honeymoon at his back, is the time when he has the greatest opportunity to make significant changes.  Brown wasted that opportunity by not pushing for any meaningful reforms.  Instead, he sent voters the bill for bailing out Sacramento in the form of tax increases.

In doing so, Brown threatened Californians with a fiscal nightmare of heavy-handed cuts to education and services unless we adopted his poorly conceived – and economically bad – tax increase.  Californians didn’t fall for his tax increase and the fiscal nightmare never came to pass – as most fair-minded analysts understood it wouldn’t.  Brown’s unfounded threats cost him his credibility. His bad policies left him without any significant first year achievements.

No Meaningful Reforms.

Brown excelled in cosmetic reforms such as cutting cell phones and state cars, but did nothing to reduce and reform the state’s bloated bureaucracy. Indeed, there was no reduction in the size of government – instead there are more government employees today than when he started.

We saw no major education reforms in Brown’s first year  – not even a two year budget cycle which many educators want.  There was no Central Valley recovery plan offered let alone adopted.

Perhaps the only significant change – which cannot be considered a reform because the word “reform” implies an improvement – was Brown’s prison realignment plan that has met with almost universal disapproval.

Critically, there has been no significant change to our state’s structural unemployment problem. Instead, the long-term problem worsens as regulations multiply, as the omnipresent threats of higher taxes and the lack of any true permanent reforms continue to drive away employers.

Lost Credibility.

Brown campaigned on “the sovereignty of the people.” Yet he broke his word by raising fees without a vote and by signing SB202 and thereby not allowing voters to enact a spending cap in June 2012 –  exposing his hollow pledge to “let the people vote.”

Beyond that, to support his massive tax increase demands during the first half of this year, Brown threatened the alleged necessity of unthinkable, draconian cuts to education and other social services. He did so disingenuously, all the while knowing Republican leaders provided budget solutions that protected education.  Sure enough, a “balanced” budget was passed without any such fiscal Armageddon.

In truth, Brown wanted those higher taxes to pay for a huge expansion of government spending – in excess of 27% – over the next 3 years.  Thankfully, voters didn’t fall for Brown’s “Chicken Little” claims.

Going into the New Year a basic question must be asked: Can we believe Jerry Brown and his promise of reform?  Since credibility is easier maintained than recovered and we have seen Brown’s brand of timid leadership, the answer is no.

All of which leaves Brown, if he cares about his legacy, in the position that if he wants to make a significant difference, he needs to take bold action for California’s future instead of wasting its promise.

(Tom Del Beccaro is the Chairman of the California Republican Party.  This article was first posted on Political Vanguard.)


  1. barryudcoff says

    You hit the nail right on the head. Hasn’t taken on any union in any way. I don’t believe he will. I do nelieve that he will attempt to raise proprrty taxes though.

  2. He’s just continuing his destruction of California where he left off last time he was Gov. To bad there were to many Numb Brains who voted him in. I hope they get what they deserve.

  3. All the liberal idiots who came here since the 60’s looking to “find themselves” need to GO BACK WHERE THEY CAME FROM!! For too many years, I have watched in horror at the decline of my beautiful home state and the DESTRUCTION caused by the likes of Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, Babbs “the BITCH” Boxer and Dianne “RETIRE ALREADY” Feinstein strangle and choke the life breath out of California with their excessive, rules, regulations and exhorbitant TAXES!!
    Jerry Brown was California’s YOUNGEST governor ever and now he is the OLDEST governor we have ever had! What does that say about the progression and positive development of our great state???? WE JUST KEEP RECYCLING THE OLD GARBAGE!! These Demoscum idiots have been on the California taxpayers payroll for their entire adult lives!! None of these BLOODSUCKERS have ever had a REAL job!! The people of California need to WAKE UP and smell the capuccino!! LIBERALISM is a PROGRESSIVE DISEASE that is driving this exceptional and beautiful state into the ground!! Thanks to Obasturd and his complete lack of knowledge about the economy and creating jobs, the only positive side effect is that some of the idiot libs and thousands of illegal aliens are losing jobs and moving back where they came from!!

  4. The opportunity was there for the people of California to jump in and make a difference when it was badly needed. The Brown vs Whitman campaign was that opportunity. A proven and extremely successful business women named Mega Whitman Vs a liberal so so lifetime politician named Jerry Brown who was chiefly responsible for allowing state employees to have unions and collective bargaining power in the 70’s dealing with politicians. Of course this power is key to the demise of California’s once upon a time sustainable budget.

    All it took was the liberal left move by a well known provocateur lawyer named Gloria Allred to change the tide in favor of lifetime political hack Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown. Obviously the demographics of the California Voters of today have changed dramatically since many either were children or not yet born when Governor Moonbeam was in Sacramento.

    Brown was known for saving state money by holding up new freeways and infrastructure repairs that were badly needed. In the end those sorrily needed projects had to go forward but ended up costing the state a great deal of more money. The Simi Valley Freeway (now the Ronald Reagan Freeway) was a good example. Brown held up its construction for years forcing Simi Valley residence to use a windy 2 lane road to get into Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. When the project was finally started it ended up costing 3 times more then the original estimated cost.

    The people of California really blew it this time and good. To many voters now days buy into sound bites instead of really taking an objective look at a persons background versus the needs of the state.

  5. He was useless back in the 70’s, and he’s useless now. His biggest screw up was giving college aid to the illegals. How is that suppose to help the state? I think he deserves to be recalled like Gray Davis. Sorry arse democrat…..

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