Gov. Brown Decries ‘Divided Government’ On National TV

WASHINGTON (KCBS) – California Governor Jerry Brown said he’s dismayed by what he calls “the state of the divided government” both in Washington and in Sacramento.

Brown appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday morning and said that the Republicans current no-tax posture is so strong that compromise doesn’t seem to be a viable option. At the same time, he said Democrats have to work to constrain costs of entitlement programs because they are over-committed and under-financed.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

In California, he said he faced the tough decision of making painful cuts when signing the latest budget and said the state can’t afford to borrow any more.

“As a state, we are as wealthy as almost all the countries in the world. Our gross domestic product in California is $2 trillion,” Brown said. “To find another $10 billion in additional taxes does not seem excessive to me. At some point, I would hope that people would be willing to pay more money.”

Brown said that come November, voters may indeed have to decide on whether they want to pay more in taxes to keep up a public safety net and keep universities and public works from further eroding.

When asked about what legislation he would like to see passed in the next few years, Brown said renewable energy remains a top priority.

“I would like California to balance its books. I would also like to regain our national and international leadership in renewable energy,” he said. “I started that back in the 70’s and I think we have a real chance (to lead the way) in electrification through renewable energy and an automobile industry that doesn’t rely on foreign oil.”

In terms of the nation, Governor Brown said the United States is in a time of peril, especially with the two political parties so deeply divided ideologically.

“The Washington of today is experiencing a governability crisis. America can’t govern when you have two parties so diametrically opposed. We are one of if not the most powerful country in the world,” Brown said. “If the country cannot make decisions on how it spends money or how it deals with its basic problems, but instead squabbles with scapegoating and finger-pointing, I think that is an ominous sign going forward.”

Brown also urged President Barack Obama to “be authentic and powerful and lay out a clear alternative for the American people.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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