Today's editorial in the Times Standard
◼ Comedy of government
This is, far and away, the best editorial I have seen in a long, long time. Bravo.
excerpt ...Now it's crunch time. The worst will come to pass, as the state combs through every nook and cranny searching for fat to burn, and juice to squeeze from the already dehydrated state budget.
In this moment, there are two possible outcomes -- either the state government continues on this same sorry path year after year, hoping against hope that somehow the economy turns around enough to drag our state budget out of the muck. It might even happen someday, and we can all be lulled back into complacency until the next recession sucks every last drop of marrow from the state's rickety bones.
The other option? Rethink everything. On these ruins, rebuild. Recast the state's approach to government through some kind of constitutional convention where everything again becomes possible within the boundaries of American democracy. Nothing should be taken off the table. The problems that confront us are mammoth, and systemic. Only through reinvention will California turn this around for good.
As a state we are hamstrung by an inherited initiative system that has been hijacked by special interests, shackled the hands of government and turned our budget process into a farce. Additionally, aspects of the process are such that conflict is encouraged, cooperation reviled, and grandstanding rewarded. All of this needs to end.
Until the courage is found to break the current mold, we'll wallow here in the shallows. In the meantime, everyone in Sacramento needs to take a long look in the mirror and figure out whether their party comes before their state and the residents of their district.
There's only one right answer.
It includes some hard hitting points in response to some quotes from California politicians, who give us the usual mealymouthed "we got the message" crap... One thing to watch out for though - Chesbro's words "They want the Legislature and the governor to work together in a bipartisan manner to solve the state's budget problem" ... that catchphrase "bipartisan manner" doesn't mean the same thing to he and his colleagues that it does to you and me... to us it means you work together and make the necessary cuts to live within your means, to him it means his opponents are going to have to let him raise taxes instead of making cuts. Those ballot measures were all about how to keep spending and the people said NO.
Now, you'll see them work to cut essential services, like fire and police, so they can get the public all upset and convinced that they have to consent to more fees and assessments and taxes, when the essential services are what we agree must be protected while other things are cut or eliminated.
Hope he proves me wrong. I won't hold my breath.