A Tale of Two States, or: If They’re Going to Recall Walker, What’ll They Do to Brown?

Here are the two highlights from this post, A Tale of Two States, or: If They’re Going to Recall Walker, What’ll They Do to Brown?.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) ”” California’s budget deficit has swelled to a projected $16 billion ”” much larger than had been predicted just months ago ”” and will force severe cuts to schools and public safety if voters fail to approve tax increases in November, Gov. Jerry Brown said Saturday.

Gov. Scott Walker’s administration released improved budget projections Thursday that would leave [Wisconsin] with a $154.5 million surplus a year from now.

The problem for the United States is that California is 13.09% of the economy in 2010 according to http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/ versus 1.71% for Wisconsin. If we look at the historical trend using a date from before the real estate collapse(2007), we get a cumulative growth of 1.40% for California versus 3.55% for all of the states combined. If 2008 was the peak of the real estate boom then it is easy to conclude that California has been stagnating for some time and we have flawed decision making that transcends the real estate bubble. Since I doubt a recovery in real estate construction will help California’s economy any time soon, they are being hit with the double whammy, real estate bubble and self inflicted wounds from bad decision making. When your plans for growing the economy fail, the only plan left is hoping that austerity measures will keep enough of your tax base around until the economy recovers. Pitting teachers, police, and social welfare programs against each other in a budget battle is never pretty. It should be interesting to see how voters respond in Wisconsin with the recall vote and in California with the tax raising referendums. Does running a balanced budget matter to voters?