Friday, June 12, 2009

Interactive: Balance California's Budget

This is an extremely helpful interactive game on the LA Times website. You choose what decisions to make in order to balance California's $24 billion deficit, by any combination of spending cuts, raising taxes, and accounting gimmicks. This is an excellent method of communicating the state's crisis on a level anyone can understand.

In any event, without a major infusion of cash to the state, California is about to be crippled severely, and it may not recover for a very, very long time. For this, we can thank the two main culprits: Proposition 13, which requires a 2/3 majority to raise taxes, and the ballot initiative, which enables voters to approve endless spending projects.

If you think this budget shortfall is easy, go ahead. Give it a try and see how far you can get. What are you willing to part with? The bottom line is that there's going to have to be a major rethinking of how government is done in California...unless, of course, if you are a dogmatic supply-side conservative. Then these will be the golden years.

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