Saturday, March 14, 2009

California Budget Crisis -- Again

The news from Sacramento, California, yesterday stated the state is facing an $8 billion shortfall.  This follows the marathon budget-fix conducted only three weeks ago, in which taxes were"temporarily" increased $12.5 billion, state services decreased $15 billion, and federal stimulus plus borrowing bridged the gap remaining for a total of $42 billion.   That $42 billion is by far the greatest state budget deficit in the nation.  
At this rate, $8 billion per month, California will be in the hole by $100 billion one year from now.  (ok, it will only be $96, but I rounded up). 

So, what can we expect from the Sacramento lawmakers this time?  Will it be more tax increases?  Probably.  Will it be more services reductions?  Not likely.  Will it be more borrowing to bridge the gap, and to be repaid sometime in the future with tax revenues collected at that time?  Well, maybe, if anyone steps forward to purchase the debt -- that is, lend California their money.  

The economy is grinding along, with the sand in the gears making louder and louder shrieks.  Unemployment increases weekly.  Traffic declines as the formerly employed stay at home, watching the tv and cruising the internet.   My daily commute gets better and better.  Same distance, less time required.  Better gas mileage, too, since there is less stop-and-go.   Hey, maybe there is a silver lining here?  

The lines at the grocery store where I shop for sustenance are growing longer and longer, while the restaurants' parking lots have fewer and fewer cars. 

Schoolteachers in California yesterday received 'preliminary pink slips' to notify approximately 29,000 teachers that they will need to seek other employment, and soon.  

What was it we heard in the 60's on the pop radio stations?  

And the hits just keep on coming.


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