Is the Golden State hopeless and headed for bankruptcy? After the 2010 election, it doesn’t need a forty-plus year resident like me to state the obvious — and how!
Yes, last Tuesday, running counter to most of the rest of country, the citizens of one of the most beautiful and bountiful pieces of real estate on Earth, not to mention many of the globe’s most innovative companies, simply stuck their heads collectively in the sand and said: Bring it on!
Now sure, Whitman and Fiorina weren’t the greatest campaigners since Harry Truman. But come on — look at the alternatives. Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer were already proven adherents of economic catastrophe. They have neither the will nor the motivation to turn things around. They were both elected with the unstinting support of the very unions whose bloated pension plans created the current intractable financial crisis in the first place. Bankruptcy looms.
Okay, technically speaking, I realize states can’t go bankrupt. Only individuals and municipalities can. And, yes, states are protected against being sued by the 11th Amendment through something called sovereign immunity.
But these are minor distinctions without much of a difference. Call it bankruptcy or call it shmankruptcy, you either can pay your bills or you can’t. California, which has already suffered the ignominy of paying many through IOUs, is heading for a situation where no one will take its IOUs.