Debra J. Saunders

This is where I'm supposed to insert the standard lament about how puerile Repubs have soiled themselves by using the two-thirds vote required to pass a budget as a way to block budgets with tax increases. But I think Small Business Action Committee head Joel Fox is right to point out that "this is not a cuts-only budget," as last year's budget raised $10 billion in taxes in this fiscal year.

Sure, in the end, a handful of GOP adults will have to vote with Democrats for a budget that includes more tax hikes and more gimmicks. Math is math.

And math being math, the Democrats have an obligation to fix this mess, instead of proclaiming, as the sometimes-absent-from-negotiations Assembly Speaker Karen Bass recently did, that Schwarzenegger "broke it. He should fix it."

It's time for Democrats to agree to more serious cuts -- not just moving around the money and personnel. As Fox argued, in this down economy, it's not even clear if any proposed tax increases can produce what they're supposed to produce.

Debra J. Saunders

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