Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2003
 
Much has been made of the huge $35 bn budget deficit faced by California, as a symbol of the alleged excesses of its predominantly Democratic government. But there is evidence that the deficit isn't really that large. Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill says that it's really only about $21 bn. (There have been some claims that Gray Davis has exaggerated the size of the problem to reduce opposition to tax increases.) And now Charles Kuffner notes that Texas, where state officials have been busy understating the size of their problem, actually faces a deficit of $9.9 bn. And since the economic output of California is a little less than twice that of Texas, this means that, as a percentage of gross state product, California's deficit is essentially the same size as that of Texas, only about 12% larger. The difference is probably due entirely to the fact that California is much more dependent on slumping high tech companies than Texas.


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