Remember Governor Moonbeam - California's Jerry Brown?
Here he's hanging out with the rock band the Eagles, and his girlfriend Linda Ronstadt.
Well he's back 36 years later - hair a bit thinner, but no less optimistic.
He says he's got a plan to solve California’s financial troubles.
It's nothing to sneeze at. Their state now facing a staggering 70% jump in their budget deficit, from $9 billion to $16 billion.
The Governor outlined his plan in Sacramento:
“I’m linking the serious budget reductions - real increased austerity - with a plea to the voters: Please increase taxes.”
Brown's first promise: Real austerity.
But the reality is just the opposite:
He does offer some cuts to social services and higher education, but his budget next year goes up. It's rising 6% from just this year. Hitting $91 billion.
In fact, K-12 education alone gets a 13% funding boost. Because we all know throwing money at a problem is a solution, right?
And this is the second promise: Temporary tax hikes.
But if you think his tax hikes won't be renewed again and again you're kidding yourself.
And this reality is truly scary.
Governor Brown's calling for a 13.3% tax on individuals and small businesses. That's the highest in the nation.
He's ignoring the wealth of evidence that states with lower taxes grow faster. This tax will just push the most successful workers to leave the state, which is already struggling with an unemployment rate near 11%.
And so California is blind to the real reality here. They've hit bottom:
The state's bond rating is the lowest in the country, and S&P is threatening to downgrade it even further.
And, the latest CEO survey named California the least-business friendly state.
Today voters in the state will decide on a big tax increase on cigarettes, $700 million a year. But it's not even going to paying down their debt!
But that's not the only big vote in California today.
Two major cities, San Diego and San Jose, head to the polls with the opportunity to say enough is enough on lavish government spending.
All too often we citizens don't get a say on how our taxpayer dollars are spent.
If you live in California, if you're fed up with the empty promises on financial responsibility, if you're worried about how your kids and grandkids will pay for today's spending, then this is your chance. Make yourself be heard.