Mike Shedlock gives a concise but comprehensive answer to the question, "Why is California Broke?" (I look forward to reading the book someone will surely write explaining why Ahnuld, who seemed to be ideally suited for fixing some of the problems, accomplished so little.)
Steven Greenhut blames public sector unions and quotes Willie Brown, big liberal but nobody's fool: "The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life. But we politicians—pushed by our friends in labor—gradually expanded pay and benefits . . . while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages. . . . [A]t some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact."
(On public sector unions more generally, see Daniel Henninger:
Feeding the public unions' wage demands starved other government responsibilities. It ruined our ability to have a useful debate about any other public functions.
Massachusetts' spending fell for mental health, the environment, housing and higher education. The physical infrastructure in blue states is literally falling apart. But look at those public wage and pension-related outlays. Ever upward.)
The California DMV provides an example for one of my late father's favorite lines, "To err is human. But to really screw up, you need a computer."
Finally, budget cuts are so severe at UC campuses and course offerings have been cut so much that some students might--might--have to sign up for eight o'clock classes. Say it with Kurtz: "The horror! The horror!"