As we reported earlier today, California’s cities are going bankrupt left and right and are desperately awaiting help from the cash-strapped state government. Unfortunately, it looks like they’ll have to keep waiting: a new report from the State Budget Crisis Task Force shows that the state’s debts are much higher than originally thought. The New York Times has the details:
The task force estimated that the burden of debt totaled at least $167 billion and as much as $335 billion. Its members warned that the off-the-books debts tended to grow over time, so that even if Mr. Brown should succeed in pushing through his tax increase, gaining an additional $50 billion over the next seven years, the wall of debt would still be there, casting its shadow over the state.
The report acknowledges that Governor Brown is trying to steer the state in the right direction by cutting spending in the state budget (although killing the $68 billion high-speed rail boondoggle hasn’t made the agenda). But California’s problems are getting too big for one well-meaning governor to solve. Unless broader changes start happening, and fast, the Golden State will be past hope.