Let’s recap, shall we? Jerry Brown swept into office with bold plans to clean up the Augean Stables that State of California finances have become. He planned to put a number of measures before voters, and if approved, would use them as a mandate to slay the Budget Demon. Surely then the Golden Days would return, as a balanced budget swept through the land and we all went surfing again.
Tragically though, the governor failed to comprehend the cunning and powers of the Wicked Witch of the East (“No new taxes” Republicans) and the Wicked Witch of the West (“No spending cuts” Democrats,) who, while they may be bitter opponents on some issues, weren’t about to let some upstart of a new governor (even if he is a retread) muscle in on their respective turfs. So they did what was only right, just, and best for the people of California. They pole axed the governor and his plans every chance they got and have now retreated to their lairs after ensuring there will be no progress on a budget in the foreseeable future. Their constituencies, power bases, and all-important streams of campaign contribution money have been protected, and perhaps even bolstered. Surely, this is what matters the most.
What is it with California? Why is its state legislative process so dysfunctional, mired in molasses, and unable to make coherent decisions about the budget?