California, oh, California!

What were we freaking out about last year?

“After years of red ink, Gov. Jerry Brown said on Thursday that California’s $96.7-billion general fund is now poised to end next year with a surplus, thanks to years of deep budget cuts and billions in new taxes approved by voters last year.”
Jerry Brown predicts California budget surplus by end of next year, by Anthony York, LAT, January 10, 2013

California goes sane and YOU are THERE.

And so is Dr. Krugman!

“As best I understand it, what’s going on in CA is a microcosm (a pretty big microcosm, actually — maybe more of a mesocosm or something?) of what’s going on at the national level. A severely depressed economy led to big deficits, because tax receipts are strongly affected by the state of the economy — indeed, are almost certainly much more cyclical than they used to be.”
California in Surplus, by Paul Krugman, NYT, January 11, 2013

He’s there and he’s sane.

Then there was this California comment at the top of Dr. K’s blog:

“Jerry did good! We voted ourselves higher taxes for schools. Not me though, I didn’t vote! It kind of makes sense that when your spending too much you cut back on spending.”

Which got me thinking (yes, scary) that we do ourselves a disservice thinking this way about our government. Our government isn’t like a family; it’s too big and too complex. The mellowest way I could think about it was that it’s like a garden where if part of your garden needs more water you get more water to give it more water, not less. You don’t let the whole thing die because you’re stupid, shortsighted, mean, and cheap. You need those tomatoes!

Oh well, hooray for us! And tomatoes!

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