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COURSEY: Offering a clear choice on taxes

The poor staffer who mistakenly posted Gov. Jerry Brown's new budget on the Internet last week probably doesn't have a job this week, but we should all thank him for his mistake.

Releasing details of the budget four days early meant the politicians and special interest groups had four fewer days to work on their spin in reaction to the plan.

For once, they were telling the truth when they claimed they were "Shocked .<th>.<th>. shocked!" by the governor's budget proposal.

It's nothing to make light of, really. In order to help close a $9.2 billion-with-a-B deficit, Brown is calling for deep cuts in social and health-care programs, and a huge bite in school funding of $4.8 billion. Again, that's billion with a B. It's the equivalent of shortening the school year by three weeks.

"We're making some very painful reductions," Brown said. "This is not nice stuff."

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