New York Times columnist Paul Krugman describes the budget-impassed Golden State as "Apocalypse Now":
Years of neglect, followed by economic disaster — and with all reasonable responses blocked by a fanatical, irrational minority.
This could be America next.
I don't know what time period Krugman has in mind for his alleged "years of neglect," but I do know that the size of the state's projected budget deficit–$42 billion–is almost exactly the amount by which Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democratic majority have increased the state budget in five short years, from a baseline of $104 billion.
From long experience, I do not doubt for one second that California Republicans are, on balance, "irrational." At the same time, blaming them for an altogether predictable budget shortfall after a decade-long government spending binge strikes me as not "irrational," just "wrong," and a harbinger of the kinds of Democratic arguments we will see constantly for the next four years at least.
I wrote about Schwarzenegger's failure in the February issue.