Gov.-elect Jerry Brown, largely absent from public view since Election Day, next week will launch an unusual, highly public campaign to tell Californians how dire the state budget crisis really is.
The event – a forum to which Brown is inviting the state's lawmakers – is at least in part a political measure by Brown to remind voters that the budget crisis is inherited. It also is to prepare the Legislature and the public for a January budget proposal in which Brown, facing an estimated $25.4 billion deficit, is almost certain to make highly unpopular recommendations.
Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/12/03/3229717/brown-to-go-public-with-californias.html#ixzz176nhmFaV
I genuinely, honestly hope he succeeds. There's an old saying: there's no limit to what you can do as long as you don't care who gets the credit. I don't care whether the person who tames California's budget has a D or an R after his/her name, I just want the budget tamed. The legislature and the public sector unions fought Governor Schwarzenegger tooth and nail, primarily because he had an R after his name. Brown has a D after his name, so maybe it will be harder for the legislature to tell him to pound sand if--and it's still a big if--he talks seriously and truly about fiscal sanity and budget cuts.
I love this line from later in the same story:
Most Californians believe the state's budget crisis can be resolved without massive service reductions or tax increases but by eliminating waste and inefficiency, a line of thinking promoted by some politicians, according to a recent University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times poll.
Translation: California voters are idiots.
To the extent that Brown can convince voters otherwise, next week's forum could be productive, said Darry Sragow, who served as interim director of the poll during the fall elections.
I hope and pray that he can convince them. After all, my retirement depends on the solvency of this state.