Welcome to California. Got Any Spare Change?
So the State of California has not yet followed Sodom to a watery grave but we are experiencing one of our periodic, mostly dull, fiscal crises. Basically our ancestors decided that no budget decision could be made without a two thirds majority, no tax hikes and no spending cuts.
Unfortunately you can always find about one third of the population that will believe anything, no matter how silly. In this case the citizens of the great central part of our fine state - the part that God will not sink under the ocean - are under the impression that we can have highways and plenty of prisons - to provide them with good jobs as prison guards, without actually paying any taxes. There are mysterious mounds of cash that are being given out daily to the shiftless urban poor and their liberal allies.
They believe this. Their representatives block tax increases. Our representatives block spending cuts. Most years the economy booms and we manage to get by. Then we have a recession and things get sticky.
At least we have Governor Schwarzenegger which makes things not quite so dull. Our governor's latest proposal to balance the budget is to borrow against future earnings of the state lottery in order to pay for current expenses.
Wonks Anonymous recalls that he used this strategy during his four year career as a migrant college professor from 1994 to 1998. Unfortunately his lottery earnings never turned out to be what he expected. He just finished paying off the last credit card this year. It is, however, worth a chuckle.
Would some sensible state that practices majority rule please invade us and establish democracy? Lots of good rest and recreation opportunities in San Francisco and Disneyland.