State government has gone one more day without a budget fix and moved one day closer to an economic collapse. If nothing else, these endless budget impasses in Sacramento should persuade California voters that it’s not practical to require two-thirds majorities in both houses of the legislature to pass a budget.
State and local government is in crisis – and someone needs to be responsible for fixing it.
If the Congress of the United States was required to deliver two-thirds majorities, it could hardly pass a resolution honoring Mother Teresa, much less an economic stimulus package. Only three states now require two-thirds majorities.
As a compromise, some suggest that the state Legislature could approve spending plans with simple majorities so long as the increase in spending, year over year, was less than five percent. Other suggest open primaries that would mean the parties were less dominated by their most conservative and most liberal factions.
As the state prepares to shutter needed public projects – and send tens of thousands of people to the unemployment lines – what we know for sure is that what we’re doing now isn’t working.
When they see the results in their hometowns, everyone is going to hate the spending cuts that are now inevitable. And everyone is going to hate the new taxes, too.
But it’s either accept the pain now – or worse pain later as the government representing the eighth largest economy on earth hurtles toward disaster.