I've now been in the S.F. Bay Area for one week; and in addition to loving the lack of humidity and beautiful views, I am noticing how the fiscal troubles of the state seem to come up everywhere I turn.
A friend in law enforcement discussed rumors that Oakland would be cutting 200 officers. A family member working for the state is down to four days a week since weekly furlough days were enacted. The registrar at my daughter's school said the calendar would be changing, as they will be taking furlough days.
My impression is that California, like many people, was not closely watching expenditures when times were good. And now times are not so good. On both the micro and macro scales, we need to make careful, informed decisions about how we spend our money. That requires we take the time to look at where the money is going. This includes where the money goes both via direct spending and via tax benefits, as Professor Nellen points out in a great discussion of Increasing attention on tax expenditures.
Maybe the movie Dave was right, and we just need to get an everyday CPA into the White House to dig through the books.