California

California Speeding Toward Wall of Debt

Brown budget doesn't do much to deal with it

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A cursory glance at Governor Jerry Brown's new budget could make you believe that California's days of fiscal gloom are over as he champions a balanced budget and newfound "fiscal restraint."

California had been floating in debt. Then Brown persuaded voters in November to increase sales and income taxes. Now he releases a budget that, as Brown said at a news conference last week, advances a progressive agenda but does so based on available dollars.

Is California on to something? Is Brown's formula—a combination of government idealism, tax increases and tough- minded budget choices—the answer for the nation, as well?