Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters lays out the depressing news:
What we're seeing is a more intense version of a fundamental conflict over taxes and spending that began 30 years ago, ever since voters slashed property taxes by passing Proposition 13 and the state assumed many billions of dollars in burden for schools and local governments.
It's more intense because eight years ago, then-Gov. Gray Davis and lawmakers of both parties squandered about two-thirds of a $12 billion, one-time income tax windfall on permanent new spending and tax cuts, and because the resulting "structural deficit" has been widened by a deteriorating state economy.
The state's fiscal warriors have been itching for a showdown for years, and they may get it this year because a $15 billion deficit projected in the 2008-09 budget may be too big to ignore or paper over with accounting gimmicks and short-term loans, the usual "solutions."
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