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California’s budget: Trouble ahead

UK Only Article: 
standard article

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The right to die

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California’s budget

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California’s budget does little to save it from ups and downs in future

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LOS ANGELES

“IN PROSPERITY we all grow over-nice,” warns the chorus of Aeschylus’s “Agamemnon”. But harbingers of doom are as ignored in modern Sacramento as they were in Troy. California’s lawmakers passed a $115.4 billion budget on June 19th. Their enthusiasm for expenditure was curbed somewhat by the state’s more parsimonious governor, Jerry Brown, who persuaded legislators not to pass their preferred package—$2.1 billion larger.
Higher-than-expected tax revenues so far this year inspired California’s legislators to test their governor’s generosity. The state’s $2.3 trillion economy appears strong enough; unemployment is trending downwards, house prices are rising and incomes booming. But there is a catch. In 1950, 10% of California’s fiscal take came from income tax; by 2014 64% did. The Golden State depends too …

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