Why Washington Should Help

In yesterday’s New York Times online commentary, Room for Debate, CBP Executive Director Jean Ross makes the case for more federal assistance to help mitigate the worst of California’s budget crisis. Jean writes, “California needs direct federal assistance in order to buy time until economic recovery boosts state revenues, as well as to allow the state to enact a much-needed restructuring plan.” Over the long-term, however, restoring California to fiscal health will require addressing the state’s dysfunctions, including its outdated tax system, the gridlock-producing two-thirds vote requirement needed to pass a budget and raise taxes, and the initiative process, which has been used to lock in state spending, reducing flexibility to respond to tough budget times.

— Alissa Anderson

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