The BriefGet Up To Speed
California tried. And then it failed. Uniquely charged by its constitution to guarantee the happiness of its residents, the state empowered its people to demand by referendum whatever they wanted to spend money on, from better schools to bigger prisons and to refuse by referendum to pay the bills. A legislature paralyzed by the absence of a workable middle and a requirement for a 2/3 vote to impose taxes combined finally to dig the state into a possibly inescapable hole. Having now earned the lowest bond rating of any of the 50 states, the rates it pays to borrow keep getting higher. Yet borrowing seems to be all California can do to get through from day to day. That is what is known as The Road to Bankruptcy. 'Happiness' thus engineered is doomed to collapse. The question is whether California is a special case with a uniquely dysfunctional political culture or a bellwether of failure soon to come to other high-spending states near you.View Debate Page
- 37th Governor of California
Getting the Golden States economy on track.
Massive public debt risks swallowing up the economy, public-sector union pensions need to be reformed, and the Department of Justice should be focusing on other things than raiding medical marijuana dispensaries.
In these difficult times, our focus should not be on how counties can get more money from the taxpayers, but instead on how government at all levels can creatively find savings that allow us to better serve one another.
Davis talks about the state's budget challenges and the performance of Governor Jerry Brown.
- Former Special Advisor, White House Council for Environmental Quality
Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker, January 12, 2009
Washington Post, Staff Writer, Washington Post August 10, 2009
Charles Krauthammer, Chicago Tribune, September 14, 2009
- Senior Political Analyst, MSNBC