Gov. Jerry Brown promised California an honest budget. But as Steven Greenhut observes, Brown failed to keep his word. Just like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis before him, Brown didn't have the courage or political skill to bring state spending in line with revenues, so he relied on overly aggressive economic forecasts to paper over the enduring mess. In reality, Greenhut writes, Brown has no interest in cutting government, even though the state's still-huge budget is filled with waste, inefficiency, and redundancy. The state government meddles in just about every aspect of its residents' lives. California's cost to provide services is far higher than most other states, thanks largely to the enormous overhead exacted from a public sector that enjoys the most lush pension and health care benefits in the nation. And while a growing economy could surely bring in new revenues, Brown and other state leaders are too busy punishing the private sector to understand any economic common sense.
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