[Y]ears of irresponsibility by politicians and voters alike have left California with ongoing spending obligations that are nearly 50 percent higher than its ongoing revenues – roughly $110 billion a year in the former and $75 billion in the latter – and debts that would be daunting even were the economy to improve dramatically.It adds up, according to the state legislature's own budget analyst totals up to $200 billion in liabilities. Why Meg Whitman or any rational person would want to be governor of this state is beyond me. Their problems are long term and there is no indication that there is the sort of political will necessary to address these deeply embedded problems.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislators have narrowed the structural budget gap in the short run with temporary taxes, temporary spending cuts, up-front and backdoor loans, projected asset sales, bookkeeping tricks and raids on local governments, but will probably see major deficits appear again soon.
The debts – many billions borrowed to keep the state afloat, spending deferrals that must be honored later, bonds issued to finance public works, and unfunded liabilities in public worker pensions and health care – are continuing to pile up.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters writes about how California's new budget is so full of gimmicks that their budgetary woes will soon be returning.