Last chance for budget?

State legislators will vote this week on competing plans to “fix” California’s budget problems. The S.F.Chronicle offers readers a handy chart comparing the two packages. The problem is that neither plan grapples with the measures needed to fix the budget permanently. Both of them push some expenses off into the future and make overly-optimistic predictions of how much money will be saved. The L.A. Times notes that Democrat’s plan goes so far as to suggest paying state employees their June salaries just after midnight on July 1 so the expense is pushed into the next budget year. That’s the old let’s-pay-the-holiday-bills-in-January ploy that many households have tried only to find the bills are just as painful in the new year. To vote either one of these packages into law in time to save us from running out of money on July 1 will require a two-thirds majority. When are our representatives going to settle down and act like grown-ups?

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