Golden Meltdown


Well, the gong struck 12, and California's still screwed. The state missed its legal deadline to pass a budget, for something like the 13th time out the last 15 years. The difference this time around, of course, is the incomprehensible size of the budget deficit: $38 billion. While jobs flee the state, city governments wait in limbo to hear how little money they?ll receive, and California's already-miserable credit rating continues to plummet, evidence abounds that Sacramento is not serious about its responsibilities.

As of late Monday afternoon, deadlocked legislators in Sacramento had addressed topics ranging from state-required training for dieticians to who should get credit for the state's Juneteenth celebrations—but had not come to terms on how to the finance government in the fifth-biggest economy in the world.

Juneteenth? Meanwhile, despised Gov. Gray Davis whipped out the dreaded "let me be clear" card:

Let me be clear. I will not sign a budget that slams the door shut on more than 100,000 kindergarten students. I will not sign a budget that denies opportunity to tens of thousands of deserving students who want to go to college.

A reminder: The Reason Public Policy Institute has posted a detailed balanced budget on its website.

NEXT: Nuisance Suit

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  1. “Wouldn’t that be funny if the Oklahoma highway patrol set up a roadblock at their state borders to prevent destitute Californians from moving in?”

    Now come on! CA citizens and buisnesses may be fleeing in droves to Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Idaho, but almost none are desperate enough to endure the “ok” state’s hideous natural & cultural wastelands.

  2. Brad_S says: “The People’s Republic of California is getting exactly what it deserves.”

    The problem with this logic is that a narrow majority voted for “Diamond” Grey Davis. Those people are most assuredly getting what they deserve, and (to quote Mencken) getting it good and hard. The REST of us, however, don’t deserve this any more than any non-Californians.

  3. RPPI made a big deal out of the Forbes ranking of cities, but neglected to mention that Forbes completely changed the methodology used this year.

  4. “CA citizens and buisnesses may be fleeing in droves to Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Idaho…”

    Please! No more Californians moving in! We’re running out of water.

    Half the place is on fire, anyway.

    A grumpy Arizonan.

  5. Its funny how with a $38 billion deficit Davis still won’t agree to cut any government programs. This guy has to be one of the worst governors in history. Hopefully other states, like Georgia where I live, will look at this mess and think twice about how fast they let government get out of hand. But i doubt it…

  6. California got what it deserves via its overworked referendum system. Isn’t something like only 10% of California’s budget actually decided by the state’s legislature?

  7. Brian,

    Phoenix will end up being a post-apocalypse city once the Colorado fails you. 🙂

  8. Anon @ 2:24,

    Much of California’s wealth was created via tax dollars – state or federal – as well as the seizure of land, etc. Didn’t you ever see “Chinatown?”

  9. Croesus,

    Damn straight. As far as I’m concerned, Phoenix is post-apocalyptic. It looks like I’d imagine LA would if someone drained the Pacific Ocean.

    Fortunately I live in Tucson, where the water table will give us *maybe* an extra ten years on them…

    …I plan to be gone long before this is an issue…

  10. If the law says they have to pass a balanced budget by a certain date, and they don’t, how come they’re not all in jail? Or at least fined?

  11. too bad states don’t have central banks to inflate all this debt out of existance…

  12. Well Croesus and Brian, you’re uninformed. Phoenix gets most of its was from the Salt River aquifer, which has nothing to do with the Colorado River. Tuscon unforunately is the city with the long term water problem.

  13. gets its WATER

  14. Mr. Fletcher has caught me in a moment of having too much opinion and not enough facts. How embarassing.

    Thanks for the correction.

    My aesthetic commentary on Phoenix still stands, as does my intention to leave, though…

    …which is a shame, since I really do like it here…

  15. Q: Why does Park City have Californians and Tooele County have nerve gas and toxic waste?

    A: Tooele County had first choice.

    Thank you, folks; I’ll be here all week! Don’t forget your hard-working waitpersons.

  16. Douglas Fletcher,

    Some statistics for you:

    Total annual water inflows (the average amount of surface water flowing into Greater Phoenix during non-drought years)

    Salt River: 730,000 acre feet
    Verde River: 460,000 acre feet
    Agua Fria River: 66,000 acre feet
    Colorado River: 500,000 acre feet

    Maybe you ought to be re-thinking your position.

  17. Well, here’s one native Californian who moved to Washington state. No water shortages here!

  18. seems like these assclowns should lose their jobs

  19. it’s a bitch when reality hits People’s Republics

  20. “it’s a bitch when reality hits People’s Republics”

    Truer words were never spoken. The People’s Republic of California is getting exactly what it deserves.

  21. Wouldn’t that be funny if the Oklahoma highway patrol set up a roadblock at their state borders to prevent destitute Californians from moving in?

  22. There was a great article in USA Today about six months ago, about the changes that fleeing Californians (and especially Angelenos) had wrought on the politics and culture of the other Western and Mountain states. The basic premise, as my biased memory recalls, was that formerly Democratic states were now Republican, and formerly placid bedroom communities were now hit with the same dreaded side-effects of Sprawl they thought they left behind: traffic, crime, smog. As a native Southern Californian who lives in L.A. (and whose mother fled for Oregon in the mid-’90s), it made me laugh and laugh … and it was also very informative.

  23. Juneteenth

    I don’t know about Cali, but here in Texas Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 to mark the arrival of Union soldiers in Galvestion in 1865 to announce the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery. Astute Civil war buffs will notice that the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863.

    I imagine the conversation went something like this:

    General Granger: I am here to announce that President Lincoln has signed the Emancipation Proclamation and you are all now free.

    Black Slaves: Awright! Say, when did this happen?

    General Granger: The Proclamation was signed on the 1st.

    Black Slaves: The 1st of June?

    General Granger: Uhhh, no, the 1st of January.

    Black Slaves: What? We been free since last January and we been pickin’ cotton all this time?

    General Granger: Well, actually, it was January 1st, 1863.

    Black Slaves: 1863? And you’re just tellin’ us now? Why you honkie mother… ( sounds of scuffling ).

  24. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/25/2004 02:04:08
    Unusual ideas can make enemies.

  25. Hey everybody I was browsing the Internet and just found this forum. I live in Boise Idaho and yes we have also felt the “Californication” problems up here within the last Ten years quite significantly. I am actually quite sick of them moving up here trying to push their views on are nice little town. I guess life is good when they can screw up their state, sale their homes for a half million, move to a virgin place that the air is still clean and bitch about the dairy farm next to them even no they new it was there when they bought or built their home, cause traffic jams and ride someone?s ass because they are wanting to go 85 in a 65 mph while on their cell phone driving carelessly, pay cash for their homes causing some one in a mortgage business to lose their job, raise the cost of living so high that you the native in your own sate cant afford to enjoy your own welfare any longer. Life is good for the out sider; life is good for Californians….

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