LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Governor Jerry Brown began blitzing Southern California Wednesday to win supporters for his tax-and-cut plan to balance the state budget.

Brown had barely completed his state of the state address, when he blasted out of Sacramento and headed for L.A. City Hall, where he repeated much of the speech and urged the audience to support his approach his cut-and-tax approach.

Wednesday evening it was off to Burbank, where he met with teachers and got some more face time on camera.

Governor Brown made it clear that one of his priority issues this year, along with schools and taxes and water infrastructure, will be the controversial California bullet train.

Critics of the plan argue that the story keeps changing, that the costs keep changing and that the routes keep changing.

I asked him about the high-speed train’s credibility problem and how he plans on changing it.

“Well they’re getting straight talk from me. I didn’t start high-speed rail a few years ago. Look, something of that complexity has questions and uncertainties. We’re resolving those. We have a business plan. It’ll be out in three weeks,” Brown said.

Brown said he will campaign hard for his plan to balance the state budget with budget cuts and tax increases.

“You can expect to see me in Los Angeles a lot more during the coming months,” he said.

It was vintage Jerry Brown, as the governor hit the road to sell his vision of California’s state of the state to voters and landed at L.A.’s City Hall. There he said that the state of California may not be great, but it is better than Europe.

“I know we are a long way from Greece, but it kind of model’s the pathway to take,” he said.

Earlier in Sacramento, Brown told lawmakers in his state of the state address that California is on the mend that the worst has passed. He said the state now has a deficit that is only a quarter of what it was last year.

“California has problems, but rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated,” he said in the speech.

Brown outlined an ambitious agenda for 2012 all contingent on the voters approving a temporary and controversial tax increase, which he hopes to put on the ballot in November.

“If we work together, we can stimulate jobs, build renewable energy, reduce pollution and greenhouse gasses, launch the nation’s only high-speed rail system, reach an agreement on a plan to fix the delta, improve our schools,” he said in his address.

Retired LAUSD science teacher David Meyerhof, who spent 33 years in the classroom, says public schools in California are getting the short end of the stick and that Brown is not doing enough to change that.
“In California we’re spending $33,000 a year to keep somebody in jail. But we’re spending $5,000 a year per pupil to keep them in school. There is something wrong with that,” Meyerhof said.

In the audience at City Hall was billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad, whose tax rate would be raised under the Brown plan. But he is OK with that.

“I am, at both the state and federal level. I agree with Warren Buffett; we’re not being taxed enough,” he said.

Brown’s state of the state road show was expected to continue Thursday in Orange County and San Diego.

The governor said if that tax proposition gets onto the November ballot, he will work as hard as he can campaigning across the state to make sure it passes.

Comments (14)
  1. ILLEGALS says:

    Same old song every year..

    1. Pepita says:

      Cheers and Please cnntioue to keep updating your Weblog. I will be stopping by each time you do.

  2. GR0WAPA!R says:

    “$33,000”? Try well over $40,000 and that was before AS$hat Brown gifted two months of paid vacation per year to the aS$wipe prison guards that work overtime instead and just bank the “vacations” for a big payout. Once AS$hat Brown peels his lips off public safety ass the rest of us can thank him … from the poorhouse.

  3. Vibrani Nora Amrani says:

    RIght, Jerry, because what Californians need right now are MORE taxes and more kowtowing to illegals.

  4. Whiskey…Tango…Foxtrot says:

    We already pay the highest sales and gas tax in the country and for what? Crime is out of control, California’s ranks 46 in the country for quality of education yet or teachers are the highest paid in the country. We pay .46 cents in taxes per gallon for gas.
    Sales Taxes
    State Sales Tax: 4.0% (food, prescription and non-prescription drugs exempt); Other taxing entities (cities and counties) may add up to 5.00% in additional sales tax.
    Gasoline Tax: 44.4 cents/gallon
    Diesel Fuel Tax: 43.9 cents/gallon
    Cigarette Tax: $4.35/pack of 20; New York City adds an additional $1.50.

    Sales Taxes
    State Sales Tax: 8.25% (food and prescription drugs exempt. Tax varies according to locality. Can be as high as 10.50%)
    Gasoline Tax: * 46.6 cents/gallon
    Diesel Fuel Tax: * 48.7 cents/gallon
    Cigarette Tax: 87 cents/pack of 20

  5. doc says:

    I’d like to know what other “temporary taxes” are still on the books that we are paying. There is no such thing as a temporary tax, once in place they never go away. And California doesn’t have a income problem, it has a SPENDING PROBLEM! It’s time we stopped being the world’s leader in fixing every social and environmental cause and start fixing our financial well being. I say NO NEW TAXES!!!!!!

  6. Ben says:

    Los Angeles, Orange, and Diego County already has among the highest taxes in California and Brown is stupid enough to come over to try and convince the citizens to pass this stupid bill. Idiot.

  7. L_T says:

    Moonbeam enough with your geriatric vomit.
    It’s time for you to balance the budget the correct way, cut all the sweet deals with all union hacks and state cubicle hamsters.
    NO MORE TAXES, governor.

  8. * says:

    Common sense would tell you that even though i think the extremely wealthy could afford to pay a little more in taxes (the other side of that is the wealthy are wealthy because they plan n save – like everybody should do and deserve to have what they have) It would tell you that even if he gets the money he is asking for it isnt going to go anywhere but into that high speed rail system that is now costing over 100 billion to build……Im guessing its probably NOT going back into the school system and we will be right back where we started, only with 100 billion dollar rail system – and deeper in debt than we were before….

  9. A Registered Voter says:

    Don’t forget us in F r i s c o too.

  10. Shiv says:

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