Below are some information sources on the doomsday California budget proposal. They are from the California Budget Project (, a very good source of information on the California economy.

If you live in California, or want a good BS detector on California budget crisis, I would check the CBP site regularly for new briefing papers and reports.

First an overview of the proposed cuts:

Below are two updates:

Governor Proposes Deeper Cuts to Health Coverage Programs
–A new CBP fact sheet finds that more than 1.9 million Californians could lose access to health coverage under policy changes the Governor has proposed.

Governor Proposes Eliminating the Healthy Families Program
–A new CBP fact sheet examines the county-level impact of eliminating the Healthy Families Program, which provides health, dental, and vision services to more than 900,000 children.

I will be looking for proposed cuts of programs that I am familiar with, and think that are counterproductive and foolish (as well as vicious), and will post anything interesting I find. I am not an expert on the structure of state funding. I am particularly concerned about the First 5 program which provides support for poor pre-school children to help them compete on a level playing field when the start school -so I will be looking for info on that.

If you have an opinion on some of these cuts, contact numbers for the governor and legislators are below.

It might be a good idea to contact the Obama administration to give your views on the acceptability of throwing over 12% of the population to a vicious obstructionist and purely destructive extremist political faction (the CA GOP) and a feckless incompetent governor.

I am a native Californian, and I fear for the future of my state. However, I would not support a simple bailout. I hate to say it, but the political dysfunction in this state is so great, that a simple bailout along the lines of the bank bailout may produce similar counterproductive results.

But I do think this is an opportunity for the Obama adminstration to do some creative, ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking in terms of how to deal with the upcoming state financial crises that will cancel out much the stimulus program, and may cause a dangerous drag on the national economy. However, at this point, I do not have much hope for creative thinking from Obama and his crew on economics. But, maybe some expressions of concern and suggestions will help.

Those of you who have been following this sad story may remember that the California GOP has effectively prevented any increase in state revenues, even from the very richest Californians. Their own budget proposals rely even more on irresponsible borrowing and bizarre unrealistic schemes than Schwarzenegger’s, and have fallen apart within days of adoption.

If these cuts are forced on the state, the Californai GOP will be able to achieve the drastic and in some cases counterproductive and self-destructive spending cuts they want, but never dared propose themselves. I would recommend Paul Krugman’s column in the NY Times, and reflect on the similarities between the GOP’s role as purely destructive bad faith artists, and a reactionary Lenninist style revolutionaries, who wish to destroy everything in order to achieve their dystopian vision -but are too cowardly and dishonest to present to the people.

State of Paralysis
Paul Krugman, NY Times, May 25, 2009

The California Democratic Party, and a few brave moderate Republicans, have offered a combintion of spending cuts and revenue increases. However, both the California GOP and Scwarzenegger have effectively said no. And the few Republicans with sense who worked for a sensible compromise are now being driven from the state party.

Schwarzenegger said that his main goal, his great task, as governor would be to solve the chronic California budget crisis; that was his big campaign promise he used to win his first election. This legacy of total complete and unmitigated (and needless) failure is the result. I do give him credit for very good work on the environment and global warming. But, making sure one’s state does not go broke and belly-up would seem to be a mimimum job description for a governor, and at that he is a complete failure.

Perhaps with some encouragement from the public, and facing the end of his political career in disgrace, Schwarzenegger can be prompted to work with reasonable people in the legislature to avert the worst. (He might take a cue from Willie Brown and lift a finger to help out those Republicans who are threatened with political death for not helping the rest of the CA GOP maniacs drive their own state to ruin)