The California Budget Crisis

THE CALIFORNIA BUDGET CRISIS….The Hartford Courant ran an article yesterday that provides a pretty balanced look at the California budget crisis and what caused it. Basic points:

  • Yes, spending went up a lot.

  • However, California was recovering from rock-bottom spending in the early 1990s. Everyone voted to increase spending, not just Democrats.

  • Even with the increases, California is still right around the middle in terms of state spending compared to state income.

  • Proposition 13 has made the situation much worse because it forces California to rely disproportionately on income and capital gains taxes.

It’s a good summary. But why do I have to go to the Hartford Courant to read it?

As for why we can’t seem to resolve our budget mess, that’s the result of a witch’s brew of extremists safely ensconced in gerrymandered districts, term limits keeping a perpetual crew of amateurs in charge, a ridiculous two-thirds requirement to pass a budget, and the California Republican Party’s insane hatred of Gray Davis. If you’re interested, here’s a pretty decent description of the Golden State’s dysfunctional politics.

Don’t you wish you lived here?