State leaders' focus should be on spending, not revenue. The conventional wisdom about the budget compromise – that it had more spending cuts than tax hikes – is wrong. Instead, more than half the $15 billion in “cuts” were actually a reduction in projected future spending increases. If federal aid is large enough, actual cuts might be mostly canceled.
The state government can readily handle such cuts. Consider the Sacramento Bee report that the state has added roughly 2,000 jobs since last June even as the budget picture went from grim to catastrophic. So much for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's claim to have implemented a hiring freeze.
Or consider that Census Bureau figures showed that the number of state and K-12 full-time employees went from 718,897 in 1997 to 894,678 in 2007. This 24 percent increase came even as large private-sector bureaucracies continued their productivity revolution, doing as much or more with far fewer workers.
The LA Times has announced plans to cut down its news coverage. Good. The less the Times writes, the better-informed its readers will be.