Sunset over the Pacific.
Finally, as we look forward to IOUs instead of tax refunds, the people of California are beginning to understand that we broke the state government and we'll have to fix it. Here's a hopeful development.
The state still doesn't have a budget or any plan to deal with the deficit because it takes two-thirds of the legislature to pass one. Not a majority, not 50 percent plus one -- but two-thirds, 66 percent. Democrats have 63 percent of the legislature, a margin that would be plenty to complete a budget in any other state -- but no go for us. In the '70s and '80s, Californians fell for a right wing fiscal con, a promise that we could have the services we need without taxes, and now we have this nonsense.
Having pissed off the emerging majority of people of color, Republicans are a dwindling bunch of cranks, "dying at the box office" as their own cartoon character governor admits. Their sole remaining power is obstruction that thwarts the majority.
Peter Schrag, former Sacramento Bee editor and author of some of the best descriptive political journalism about the state, recently nailed it.
The San Jose Mercury News, no bastian of liberalism, chimes in:
Just how we're going to do away with the two-thirds rule is not clear. Paul Hogarth explains why we can't do it in a June election, even though voter sentiment seems to be edging toward breaking the dam -- and sweeping the Republicans away in the subsequent flood. But clearly, because the right wing state GOP has fallen into contributing nothing but obstruction to our governance, we'll finally have to take away their power to destroy. To climb back to influence, they'll have to decide to contribute the general welfare -- and that seems a distant notion.