As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Can I Hear A $14 Billion Budget Deficit

Kevin Yamamura of the Bee reports that next year's budget gap is shaping up to be even worse than everyone thinks.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's finance officials are projecting a California budget deficit of roughly $14 billion, significantly larger than the $9.8 billion gap previously forecast by a state budget analyst, according to two sources who spoke to the governor.

The growing estimate increases pressure on Schwarzenegger and lawmakers to cut state spending and consider tax increases to close the budget hole. Schwarzenegger last month ordered all departments to prepare spending plans 10 percent below than what they had anticipated, and GOP lawmakers are calling for immediate midyear cuts in spending.

At least all possible remedies are mentioned in the article (h/t Robert in Monterey).

I don't think this is a situation where the Governor can rely on gimmicks anymore, like he has throughout his terms in office. The truth is that, through some events out of control of Sacramento (the housing crisis and the credit crunch), and some events inside (the nonstop borrowing to cover up structural unsoundness), we have reached a day of reckoning. The picture is far more dire than anyone wants to admit, and in many ways, far more dire than it was in 2003 when the Governor entered the picture. There is no better time than now to deconstruct and reconstruct how we manage and fund this growing state, before we crack under the weight of drown-the-government obstructionist conservatives who refuse to acknowledge reality.

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