California's Struggle

By Varney and Co

Financially, California is digging itself into a bigger and bigger hole every day. The state has racked up nearly $70 billion in general obligation debt, analysts are estimating a hole of at least $80 billion over the next four years, and the politicians who contributed to the growing debt were reelected last week! Opinionjournal.com Assistant Editor, Allysia Finley, joined Varney & Co. this morning to discuss California’s financial woes.

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“Listen up, California. The other 48 states—your cousin New York excluded—are sick of your bratty arrogance. You're the Lindsay Lohan of states: a prima donna who once showed some talent but is now too wasted to do anything with it,” Finley wrote in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.

With one in every eight workers out of a job, the state is borrowing billions of dollars from the federal government to pay benefits at the rate of $40 million a day. “I think someone needs to slap California over the head,” said Finley. “I don’t think they would get the message then. It needs some slapping around.”

As California struggles to balance the budget, there are doubts that the deal made in October to close the $19 billion hole will last the entire fiscal year. “They are absolutely clueless. They are absolutely oblivious. I think they understand they have a problem, that there is some kind of spending problem, but they’re blaming other people,” said Finley. “They’re blaming Wall Street greed and Fannie Mae under Bush. They aren’t taking responsibility. It’s not their problem that they’ve elected these politicians that just spend up the gazoo. It’s other people’s problems.”

So what will California do next? Only time will tell. In the op-ed published yesterday, Finley had one last message for the state, “So here's our final warning: When you inevitably crash and burn, don't count on us to bail you out.”