If the assignment from the teacher was to “turn in something or you will get an F, then the options would be obvious.
The teacher said nothing about what grade you would get if you turned in a really bad paper, one that you had simply thrown together.
The only goal is to get something.
Thus was the case Wednesday with the California legislature. The 80-member Assembly and 40- member Senate were told by voters that their paychecks would be suspended for each day without passage of a state budget.
Now comes word that a budget will be ready by the end of the day, but one that is apparently designed to “turn in” a spending plan in time so that lawmakers will still get paid.
The plan is apparently filled with borrowing, fees and an assortment of budget gimmicks that might not withstand judicial scrutiny. Republicans say they will take it to court.
Evidence of just how weak the budget plan is can be found in an item roundly criticized by Democrats in the past but has now been embraced.
Back in play are scores of state buildings that the legislature wants to sell for quick money.
The Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles apparently is one of them.
Governor Jerry Brown long ago opposed the idea which he will certainly veto.
Brown has long believed that at the root of government’s problems is a growing distrust from the public it serves.
This budget will do little to alleviate that mistrust.
The lawmakers may get their paychecks but it will cost them further political capital with the voting public… not that they have much left.
Additional budget countdown coverage here