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Actual photograph of California's budget crisis.Huzzah for the Golden State, where crazed prisoners will soon wander freely and the poor will wrestle for rat crumbs and all the parks will be closed and all the counties will be robbed of various monies and the GOP threatens to wreck even this rotten deal, because there is still a chance to make things even worse. Feeling smug out there, rest of America? Don’t. You’re next.

California is famously First In Everything — except “first in flight,” because that’s North Carolina. The first Reaganites? Yep. What about the first goths? Probably! The first gay people? Of course. All American trends, good or bad, come from California’s hundreds of miles of sad-ass stucco suburbs. And one of the craziest California fads, the bizarre Prop. 13 cap on property taxes which is completely to blame for, among other things, the pathetic collapse of the state’s once-grand public schools, is mostly to blame for the state’s chronic inability to pay for shit.

Anyway, the awful new budget compromise is exactly the kind of fun trend you can expect to hit most every other state in the union, soon!

The bottom is not in sight. Nationwide, general revenues entering state coffers were expected to drop 2.2 percent this fiscal year, the first decrease since the 1983 recession, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. So far, 42 states have responded by paring about $31 billion from budgets, the group said.

How the books were balanced — tax and fee hikes, cuts to schools and services, or a painfully calculated blend of both — varied from legislature to legislature ….

“California always stands out just because of its sheer size. Other states do kind of look over there to see what California’s actually doing.”

Impact of California’s Proposed Budget Fix May Be Felt at All Levels [Washington Post]

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