California's ubiquitous utopian left may be celebrating Planet Earth with the "masses," but for days, business journalists have been warning that California's income tax receipts for the month of April may come in billions of dollars short of expectations, deepening a fiscal crisis that threatens to plunge the state into insolvency and political chaos.
Joe Wiesenthal of Business Insider reports that the state comptroller had indicated $6.7 billion was collected in tax revenue in the first quarter, leaving just 30 days to cover an additional $2.4 billion to meet projections. Instead of picking up pace, however, income tax receipts have reportedly fallen, such that the state may be as much as $2 billion short, according to Bloomberg News.
Meanwhile, as middle-class families leave the state, leaving behind a leftist upper class, lower class, and public sector-depedent middle class, California's political culture seems incapable of producing the leadership or ideas necessary to address the crisis. Competing ballot initiatives call for tax increases, rather than spending cuts, which California's Democrat Governor Jerry Brown is unwilling to consider.
As Gov. Brown prepares his budget for release next month, the state's fiscal and economic future is very much in doubt--an amazing prospect, given California's rich natural resources and abundance of skills. The missing ingredient is leadership sufficient to burst the lingering bubble of 60s-era utopianism and force the state to live within its means.