PLEDGE NOW
California: Too Big to Fail?
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gestures as he discusses this revised state budget proposal for the coming fiscal year during a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, May 14, 2009. Schwarzenegger called for laying off thousands of state employees and slashing billions from education to deal with a projected budget deficit that could go as high as $21.3 billion if voters reject the budget-related measures on next weeks special election ballot.(AP)

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses the revised state budget proposal for the coming fiscal year during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, May 14, 2009. (AP)

When it comes to American states, California has long been number one on many fronts. Now, it’s number one in fiscal crisis.

Like many states in the economic bust, California’s spending has drastically outstripped its income. It has the highest sales tax in the nation and some of the country’s highest state income taxes: 10.5 percent at a million dollars.

But it’s also staring at a $21 billion deficit, and its voters just said no to higher taxes. It may have to empty prisons. Close schools. And it’s lining up for a federal bailout.

This hour, On Point: California, virtually bankrupt — and what comes next.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Joining us from Culver City, Calif., is Joe Matthews, senior fellow at the New America Foundation, for which he writes the Blockbuster Democracy blog. A fourth-generation Californian, he’s a contributing writer for the Opinion pages of the Los Angeles Times and a former reporter at the paper. He’s the author of “The People’s Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy.”

From Northridge, Calif., we’re joined by Sandy Banks, longtime reporter, editor, and now columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

And from Sacramento we’re joined by Bill Lockyer, California state treasurer. A Democrat, he served as attorney general of California from 1999 to 2006, and prior to that served 25 years in the state legislature.

More links:

The Los Angeles Times today reports that California is bracing for “brutal budget cuts.”  In an analysis piece yesterday, the Times’ Michael Finnegan wrote that voters share the blame for the state’s dysfunction.

In today’s Washington Post, columnist George Will writes of “the coming California bailout,” and notes approvingly that the Orange County Register editorialized against all six of the ballot measures voted upon this week.

In his latest LA Times opinion piece, “A vote for more votes in California,” our guest Joe Matthews argues for electoral reform in the state.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 8, 2015
In this May 14, 2015, file photo, Education Secretary Arne Duncan visits with young student Mario Corona, age 6, in kindergarten at McGlone Elementary School in the Montbello section of Denver. The Obama administration is giving seven more states and the District of Columbia more flexibility from the requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law. In addition to Washington, Duncan on June 23 renewed waivers for Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New York, and West Virginia. (AP)

The end of No Child Left Behind. Lawmakers debate an all-new federal education policy. We’ll look at the proposals and pushback

Jul 8, 2015
In this photo taken Friday, June 12, 2015, at Camp Coniston John Tilley, executive director, walks through the camp as they prepare to open for the summer season in Croyden, N.H. (AP)

Pack your sleeping bag. Leave your iPhone at home. We’re heading off to summer camp. Our midsummer salute to an American tradition.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 7, 2015
Freddy Osborne, left, and teammate Nikolai Darken, second left, both from Fairfield, Conn., play a word against teammates Yanni Raymond, right, and Knox Daniel, second right, both from Charlottesville, Va., during the first round at the 2015 North American School SCRABBLE Championship at Hasbro headquarters in Pawtucket, R.I., Saturday, May 16, 2015.  (AP)

From the living room to world championships, Scrabble is fun—and fiercely competitive. We’ll dig in.

 
Jul 7, 2015
Supporters of the No vote celebrate after the results of the referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greeks overwhelmingly rejected creditors’ demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans in a critical referendum Sunday, backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who insisted the vote would give him a stronger hand to reach a better deal.  (AP)

Greeks spoke and said no to the European ultimatum. Folly or bravery, these are uncharted waters for Europe and Greece.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 3, 2015
Friday, Jul 3, 2015

We made a lot of last-minute programming changes these past few weeks, and you stuck around with us through it all. Thanks!

More »
3 Comments
 
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
9 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment