State employees want every dollar promised to them and nothing less. California has one minor problem, a lack of funds. In the past when times were good there was always a way for the States to generate new funds with bonds and fee hikes. Adding to this deep pockets concept, the Federal Government doesn’t need a balanced budget, they can print dollars. Everything can be funded-----Right??? To the average voter, the lack of funds is a political, rather than fiscal issue. In reality, it is the other way around. It’s a fiscal issue, at the State level that is getting worse.
The Damn Republicans are tightwads and don’t want to spend the money. The Democrats are sobbing die heart liberals that are going to save mankind. Take either side, it makes no difference. Notice though, lack of legislative funding will terminate State government worker paychecks in a rather sudden way. They might keep police and fire departments running, but for how long. Who pays for the gas in the squad cars and fire engines? The Police in Illinois can’t use State credit cards for gas purchases. Stations refuse to honor them; the state is considered a deadbeat.
Governor Brown of California wanted to have a special election for raising new taxes and the Republicans wouldn’t go for it. The previous governor (Arnold) tried it and it went nowhere. Can you envision a line of people, enthusiastically waiting to vote to raise their taxes in a special election? You have to be smokin' something for that to seem half way real.
The 25 billion dollar shortfall for California’s budget could be more like 65 billion—it depends on who is doing the books. All of the accounting tricks are starting to unravel. The people running the government are people just like you and me;-----understating the bottom line isn’t really lying. I suspect that current tax collections for next year’s budget have already been spent in this fiscal year (a minor bookkeeping anomaly).
What happens from here? California is broke; it can’t pay all of its bills. Of course the concept means nothing to the average citizen. It has never happened before in our life time. To most people, it is an impossible event, it can’t happen. “Where is my paycheck!” will be the cry from State workers. And from there, the real world will be seen again as it is, for the first time in 80 years. The option to pass a bond issue, and kick the can down the road another 4 years, is over. The shortfall of 25 billion has already been spent and we only have 3 months before the new fiscal year begins and California has to have a balanced budget.
If there isn’t enough money to go around, then who gets paid by the State? The bigger question, who doesn’t? The answers will be forthcoming-- from who-- well, that’s hard to determine, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it involves a lawyer.