California and political reality just don't seem to mix.
The bad news is that the recession and California's budget shortfall has led to a lot of painful budget cuts in California this year. The worse news is that California's political elites don't even seem to understand the nature of the problem. For example, John at the blog "Cosmic Variance" points the finger at California Proposition 13:
Ultimately, we all realize that the budget problems we face stem from the poor economy coupled with the effects of Proposition 13, passed over 30 years ago. By requiring a 2/3 majority in the state legislature to pass budget actions, it has led to a tyranny of the minority, a minority of, yes, Republicans who simply will not accept any new tax no matter what it does to the future of the state.This is the logic of ten-year-old children writ large -- if the state can spend itself into a big enough debt, Mom and Dad taxpayer will be forced to raise its allowance. In political reality, the way one justifies a bigger allowance is by using maturity and good judgement with the allowance that one already has. If the state had been able to restrain spending in the good years, it would have built up the political capital that it needs to raise taxes during the bad years. If the state had been willing to accept a little bit of pain in restraining spending and cuting waste during the good years, we wouldn't be going through the massive tidal waves pain that our current budget is giving us in the bad years.