Left-wing Democratic governors all over the country, among the first to order their states closed for business due to COVID-19 and among the last to lift shutdown orders, some of which are now six months old, are blaming President Donald Trump for the easily predictable budget shortfalls they are now facing.
And chief among those playing the ‘Blame Trump Early and Often’ game is California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Despite the fact that his state has the world’s fifth-largest GDP, were it a country unto itself, Newsom can’t seem to find enough money to fund California’s bloated $54 billion-plus budget because, of course, having most of his economy shuttered for half the year hit tax collection in a big way.
Major cuts to California’s budget would be required if the state puts President Donald Trump’s new unemployment plan into place, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
It “would create a burden the likes which even a state as large as California could never absorb without, again, massive cuts to important services, or further burdening … businesses and individuals,” Newsom, a Democrat, told reporters during a Monday virtual press conference.
Trump, a Republican, signed an executive order over the weekend that enhances the unemployment payment by $400 a week. The increase will be funded in a 75-25 split between the federal government and states, according to a White House memo.
California’s responsibility would be more than $700 million per week, according to state officials. The state can draw from a fund that currently contains roughly $70 billion, but if the fund goes below $25 billion, federal assistance dries up.
“If the state of California was to absorb those costs, you’re looking at $2.8 billion every week of state resources that we would have to find, programs we’d otherwise have to cut, or revenue we would have to generate, to make up for that gap,” Newsom said. (Related: Mathematics proves that California’s pension system will collapse… here’s why.)
“We’re going to need the federal government to provide the support on that 25 percent, or we are at peril of being in a position where we are making false commitments, false promises to millions of Californians, that ultimately we simply cannot meet,” Newsom — who has told President Trump and his administration to bugger off several times in the past when it came to preserving California’s sanctuary cities — added.
Trump reminded reporters Sunday that some states may pay nothing extra under his executive order.
“We have a system where we can do 100 percent or we can do 75 percent, they pay 25, and it will depend on the state, and they will make an application. We will look at it, and we’ll make a decision,” he said.
But there’s also this: Many states were provided funds under a previous coronavirus relief measure. And those governors — mostly Republicans — have said they’ll use those funds to pick up their 25-percent share.
“The president has done his part. Now I hope the Congress will do theirs,” said Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R).
“Hands down, period, West Virginia is going to pay it. We do so very willingly,” West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) noted as well.
“I believe that the federal government will eventually reverse their stance on that and that they will pay the full 100 percent in the end,” he added. “But we've got the money set aside to make it work either way.”
Not other Democrat governors, including New York Gov. Andrew “Put Sick Coronavirus Patients in Nursing Homes” Cuomo.
“We started with a 30-billion-dollar hole and your solution is to cost me another 4 billion dollars? Thank you. That’s handing the drowning man an anchor. ‘Hold onto this maybe it’ll help,’” Cuomo said of Trump’s order.
One, state budgets are not President Trump’s concern; two, maybe opening up your economy sooner would have been a better idea, huh Cuomo?