A year ago the state of
was at the edge of a fiscal crisis.
This was brought on primarily by bad government and a public pension
plan that needed enormous contributions, money that was not available from the
public coffers. As a result Illinois Illinois enacted some
tax increases and a lot of budget cuts.
The state still tops many lists of states likely to go under.
How did this happen? The basic way these things always happen, greed and stupidity.
California's financial situation worsened this year after the courts and the federal government blocked hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to healthcare programs, and Democratic lawmakers refused to make reductions Brown wanted in March. In addition, taxes fell short of expectations, particularly in April, the most important month for income taxes.
So what is going to happen? The usual, massive cuts in social programs, education, law enforcement and the like.
It's a significant setback for Brown, who began his return engagement in
to get the budget back under control. Advocates expect the state's financial
problems to take an even greater toll on welfare and healthcare for the poor;
state workers are also bracing for cuts. Sacramento
And who is to blame? Well as usual the Republicans shoulder a large part of it. They wouldn't let Californians vote on a tax plan because they were afraid voters would vote the wrong way. (You just can't trust voters in a democracy can you, which is why Republicans don't really like this democracy thing.)
When he took office last year, Brown wanted to ask voters once again to extend the Schwarzenegger-era tax hikes. But Republicans blocked his effort to place the issue on the ballot in a special election last spring. Those levies, and other tax changes proposed by Brown, would have been worth $12 billion in the current budget year, according to the Department of Finance.
But this deficit gap is large enough so that everyone shares the blame. Gov. Brown wants to make up part of the shortfall with higher taxes, but here is one answer to that
Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College, said the bad news about the deficit could complicate Brown's push for higher taxes. He said voters may think, "You can't even handle the money we've already sent you. Why should we send you more?"
So the state will be enacting policy to cut spending, reduce the quality of life and maybe raise taxes. Hence the not very optimistic outlook. And no, this Forum does not have any better suggestions, so don’t ask.