Friday, February 20, 2009

The lesson of the California budget


Today the New York Times draws this lesson from California's protracted failure and final success at passing a budget for these times:

... economists say this budget foreshadows the difficult choices that other state legislatures will soon face as the national economy worsens.

I'm sure that's true.

But that is not the most important lesson from the California experience. This state would have had a budget months ago if we had not embedded a viciously anti-democratic procedural requirement into our legislative process. Because of a two-thirds vote requirement to pass a budget, a small minority of Republican legislators who don't give a rat's ass about the common good could hold the state, its elected legislative majority and its Republican governor hostage for months while hawking their voodoo economic nonsense.

The lesson of California is: don't hamstring your legislative process by giving a minority veto power.

Now isn't there a legislative body in Washington where a majority of votes won't get a bill passed ... I think remember something like that...


Darlene said...

I agree that the minority should not have the power to be obstructionists. Just watch what the threat of a Republican filibuster is going to do to Obama's hopes for change.

Eddie Achtem said...

Very good, the upside down flag

check out my TY channel at,


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