You wouldn’t think the California Legislature would need additional incentive to respond to the current budget crisis. Without a solution, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer warns, $5 billion in state construction projects will be shuttered in less than two weeks, shoving thousands of people into the unemployment lines. State Controller John Chiang says he would be forced to pay bills with IOUs early in the new year. Inaction, he said, would be “toxic” and “catastrophic.”

But after the warnings were heard, legislative leaders retreated to the same tired, partisan rhetoric. We could pick 120 Californians at random and within a few hours, they would come up with a compromise. Unfortunately, California is stuck with this 120 people.

For years, these folks have been putting off the reckoning necessary to balance the state budget. And now, with the economy in trouble, they have brought the state to the brink of bankruptcy.