California is seriously broke

California is seriously broke

The winner of Tuesday’s election will have barely two months to propose at least $10 billion in budget cuts, tax increases and other “revenue enhancements” — and possibly as much as $20 billion, an amount equivalent to one-fifth of the $98.9-billion state budget for the current fiscal year, government and private experts predict.

“I really don’t know how they’re going to deal with it,” said Ted Gibson, the former chief economist of California, who foresees a $20-billion budget hole for 2003-04 and no easy solution in sight. “To solve it all at once would require both massive tax increases and massive spending cuts that I don’t think the system is prepared to handle.”

Los Angeles County is facing equally serious financial problems, with the imminent threat of major hospitals being closed because the County can’t afford them.

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