Is California Greece?
California Gov. Jerry Brown proposing $8.3 billion cuts in California to help close a projected $16 billion budget shortfall.
August 23rd, 2012
09:23 AM ET

Is California Greece?

By Jim Roope, CNN

(CNN) - Earlier this month, presidential candidate Mitt Romney half-jokingly made a comparison of California’s economic situation to that of Greece.

[:08] “…at some point America is going to become like Greece or like Spain or Italy, or like California. Just kidding about that one…in some ways.”

While the comment angered some California Democrats, Shoshanna Grossbard, an economics professor at San Diego State University, says California is not Greece, but the situation is pretty gloomy.

It’s not just California’s nearly $16 billion deficit, or the nearly 11-percent unemployment rate, the down housing market and high foreclosure rate, or the poorest credit rating in the nation.

Grossbard says it’s also demographics. Specifically one big one that is affecting the economies of states, the U.S. as a whole, and other nations: baby boomers.

[3:07] “Now all these baby boomers…are reaching retirement age. And they are becoming more of a burden on the economy. They need to get their pensions, they’re not saving any more, they’re not contributing as much any more to the revenues but they are taking money out.”

Three California cities already have declared bankruptcy this summer. And credit ratings firm Moody's says it plans to review the finances of more municipalities in the state as it sees an increased risk for default.

Do you live in California? How has the economy affected you? Let us know in the comment section below.

soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. the_dude

    Boy libearls and baby boomers have sure made a complete mess of California.

    August 30, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. the_dude

    California deserves to fall off the face of the earth into the ocean. It is beyond saving.

    August 30, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. Poetry

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    August 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Shipwrecked

    Grossbard says : “Now all these baby boomers…are reaching retirement age. And they are becoming more of a burden on the economy. They need to get their pensions, they’re not saving any more, they’re not contributing as much any more to the revenues but they are taking money out.” GUESS WHAT MR. GROSSBARD...WE PUT MORE MONEY IN THAN ANY OTHER GENERATION.! YES WE ARE GOING TO TAK OUR MONEY OUT ....DON'T BLAME US.. – BLAME THE 'GREATEST GENERATION' – They're the ones who took & continue to take out way more than then contruibted..

    August 27, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kyle

    This state is baked.

    I'm self-employed in California and I've watched my income drop, and drop, and drop. I'm double the value of my home upside down and deep underwater.

    Businesses are leaving this state at 5 times the state average. Nobody wants to be here, except SEIU members and even though are getting tired of the crap.

    We're completely insolvent, the cities will drop like target dummies, under the increase confiscation of they're tax base from the state government and from lack of collection.

    We Are Done!

    August 26, 2012 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Josh

    Figures. Liberal hippies will be the downfall of our nation.

    August 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ted Striker

    Good one Mitt, go strap more dogs to the roof of the car

    California has the strongest economy in the entire world, so not even close.

    August 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Ted Striker – CA has the strongest economy in the world? In that world, is there only the state of california and the country of greece? You cant be serious about that post.

      August 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bubba Butchroy

    Electing the Moonbeam to sort this mess out was a case of gross voter stupidity.

    August 24, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. joetx

    makes me glad to live in Texas

    August 24, 2012 at 4:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. AppleSolutions

    You guys are all missing the point. You can create a proposition (say 666.66) to tax apple revenue to cover the gap. Problem solved. Think about it? You buy an iphone and you indirectly help California out. Steve Jobs can save us all.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Left 2 years ago


      August 24, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Bubba Butchroy

      Then Apple would do like many other companies and move to another state.

      Problem made WORSE as unemployment rises again.

      August 24, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
      • AppleSolutions

        Not right away. We're thinking about immediate solutions here like cutting the education budget for schools and some of the best colleges in the world.

        August 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Left 2 years ago

    So My husband and I and our 2 children relocated from Cali and we are living better than we ever lived in California. I wish the Golden State was truly as golden as in years gone past but now it is so tarnished and rusted by poor leadership and special interests and social programs that do not benefit Americans.
    Big income industries have all left the state due to the high cost of doing business, the schools are lackluster at best if you can even find one that doesn't teach all the classes bilingually, yes really, and the teacher kid ratio is 1 – 32+ per class, even though there are laws against that happening. The taxes are so horrible on everything from housing to gas to income tax, to sales tax, over 10% in more than a few areas. The housing market is a joke, even the weather has become much ado about not much, between the wild fires and the smog its a waste, unless you have the millions to live on the coast then you may as well live in AZ, TX, NM, NV or any of the other desert states, where at least you do get a return on your investment into the state funds.
    I believe when California fails as it is doomed to do, then the 60% of people who currently live there and drain the resources with out contributing will be moving to the near by states so look out all, its like when your neighbor get sprayed for bugs they just move next door!
    The democrats have run this state into the ground with their take from the workers and give to those who dont want to, cant be bothered to, aren't legally allowed to, or just couldn't give a crap. And i haven't even touched on the Illegal issue! Thats a whole other page or 50 right there. Illegal used to mean breaking the law right?
    Boomers aren't killing California, the democrats and their social programs did that already. Boomers can't even afford to live there in their Golden Years.
    FYI I am not a Republican neither am i a Democrat i am just moved out of California for a better standard of living and future for my family. Thank Goodness we did.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bush

    Why dont they double or triple the taxes on citizens so people can move out to Texas. They really need a influx of Democrats in that region. Texas is boiling red hot with Republicans anger

    August 23, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Aerocog

    With the current issues and with the somewhat unruly people we have today does she really think it'll just as easy as waiting the storm out?

    August 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. yannaes

    Has an ex-Californian I am so proud of all the illegals that has been supported by Ca. You are the reason I left! Your school system sucks, welfare state, increase taxes, ran business out of the state etc. and not a multi-billion fast train costing billions....go figure...

    August 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Irving M. Terzich


    Am 95 years old, have lived in California all of my life, except for 4 years of service in WWII, two of which were in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). After I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, still a single man, I enjoyed a reasonable income from my engineering work. After WWII, I returned to rural CA, joined my parents in a family busines for some 13 years, then after marrying, decided I had to return to my engineering field. I have worked hard all of my life, we are now retired, with a comfortable income from our retirement plans and investments. It is possible to live in California, enjoy its great weather (Central CA), the magestic Sierra Nevada, and our Pacific Ocean.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann Watters

      Good for you, Mr. Terzich, and thank you for your service in WWII.

      August 24, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  16. Gravel

    The problem with the economy stared a long time before the first boomer retired.

    Look at which cities are bankrupt in Calif. They are in the Central Valley where there are large numbers of illegal aliens.

    They don't work all year, often are paid very little. They swamp social services which they have not contributed towards in the form of paying taxes.

    They send money to Mexico, they don't support the communities they live in at the rate they take from them.

    Boomers pay property taxes, they pay taxes on income from investments, and have health insurance..

    Their money mostly stays in Calif.

    Very few have Swiss Bank Accounts like Romney does.

    August 23, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • TrueGrissel

      Let California fail. Brown isn't helping nor is their legislature. Let them fail, fence off the state and give it back to Mexico.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kyle

        Mexico wont take us.

        August 26, 2012 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
  17. 257Roberts

    Tax revenue to the State of California has increased by 35% in the last ten years (per the state controllers website)...yet they still do not believe spending is the problem.

    August 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  18. 257Roberts

    The amazing thing is that the good people of California (and New York...and Illinois) believe the answer to their problems is to vote for pols that vow to "double down" on the same policies that created the problem in the first place. At some point it is no longer possible to have sympathy for self inflicted wounds.

    August 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  19. 1stSig

    California is something alright....I just can't quite figure out what it is.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  20. mike

    I live in Fresno County. Illegals, and others that choose to abuse the system, get free medical care, just take your sniffling kid to the emergency ward and don't speak English, they have to help you. They get free education, free school supplies, and lots of free food, without paying a dime in income taxes. Now surprise! There is no money left for the justice system, and the local jails are "overcrowded". The police brag about arresting the same car thieves 6-8 times in as many months, but there is no room in the jail to hold them so they get out in a few hours and keep up their lucrative business and make a mockery of our justice system. Great that the police get credit for 6 arrests, but it is the same guy 6 times? Wonder why we have the highest car theft rate in the nation? This area has become the wild West, police are powerless without efficient courts and prison space. So we live in fear behind fences, gates and walls, thankful everyday that our car is in the lot and the windows are not smashed when we come out of the market. Why do we stay, our houses are worth less than our mortgages because no one wants to move to here.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joeseph

      Actually mike "illegals" Pay income tax More than you do, it gets taken out of their check Every week just like yours, but they DONT get Refunds at tax time lke you do... so they pay MORE taxes than you...!! so you need to shu up..!

      August 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nate

        Actually mike "illegals" Pay income tax More than you do, it gets taken out of their check Every week just like yours, but they DONT get Refunds at tax time lke you do... so they pay MORE taxes than you...!! so you need to shu up..!

        This comment is so incredibly stupid, it makes me wonder how we'll ever get out of this mess with people like you voting. Please don't breed.

        August 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
        • Left 2 years ago

          I agree!

          August 24, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
      • Sergio

        Agree with with you

        August 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  21. jess787

    California is what liberals want to do to the entire United States. go ahead vote Obama in and in 4 years all of the US will be California. The thing is there will be no where to move.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Macc

      The out sourcing of millions of jobs had absolutely nothing to do with it. Right?
      Reducing their tax base by giving corporations tax break had nothing to do with it. Right?
      Not enforcing the immigration laws on businesses had nothing to do with it. Right?

      So the answer it to try all of the above again! Right?

      August 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nate

        The out sourcing of millions of jobs had absolutely nothing to do with it. Right?

        Have you ever tried to run any sort of business? How about here in CA? The business climate is so unfriendly to businesses that they have little choice. Besides, there are thousands of companies that do not outsource their jobs, but those companies can't hire more people because of the tremendous cost – thanks to our wonderful state government.

        Reducing their tax base by giving corporations tax break had nothing to do with it. Right?

        What tax cuts has California given to corporations? How much? You do realize that CA is one of, if not THE most expensive state to try and run a business, right? We have some of the highest corporate taxes in the nation. California ranks 48th in the Tax Foundation's State Business Tax Climate Index.

        Not enforcing the immigration laws on businesses had nothing to do with it. Right?

        I completely agree - start throwing business owners that hire illegals in jail. Wow, you actually said something that makes sense. Although I think you actually just stumbled across it in your effort to demonize businesses. Isn't there an Occupy protest somewhere you're missing out on?

        So the answer it to try all of the above again! Right?

        I did – but I included some facts instead of just spouting off about all of those "evil" corporations.

        August 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joeseph

      jess787, California banked ALL their economy on the housing Industry, by Over pricing homes, and Lenders giving Loans to people that didn't even have Jobs.. a Lot of people kept buying these WAY Over Priced homes, that's why the California economy is So screwed up right now : ( sorry..

      August 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nate

        California banked ALL their economy on the housing Industry, by Over pricing homes, and Lenders giving Loans to people that didn't even have Jobs.. a Lot of people kept buying these WAY Over Priced homes, that's why the California economy is So screwed up right now : ( sorry..

        Ummmm... California didn't "over price" homes, I'm not even sure what that means. Do you think the government sets the price for houses? But you're half right, lenders did give a ton of loans to people that can't afford them. What about the millions of people that took out those loans, knowing they couldn't pay them back?

        The real problem was that our state government acted like those increases year over year were going to go on forever. And they gave away the farm to unions in exchange for votes. We're only starting to see the consequences of that. It will get much worse in the near future as all of those people who were given pentions start collecting on them. Along with the free healthcare for life. Again, all of these things were given to them by our state government. Thank you Grey Davis.

        August 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Scott

        Joeseph, you are wrong the illegals get paid and there employers give them a 1099 MISC, there is no social security or medcare tax or federal tax withheld. Then they get their taxes
        done they file head of household with two to three kids and the IRS gives them $7000 to $9000 refund for earned income credit and child tax credit. Illlegals drain the system from free health care to free education and food stamps.
        The only reason the system has been running is because of hard working baby boom who have been paying into the system for the last forty five years. Now that we are retiring you will be forced to do something about half the people in this country that do not pay income tax and get refunds. So do not blame the baby boomers for this mess. California is only going to be the first state that is going down in bankrupcy. When that happens they will default on all the bond holders who happen to be alot of baby boomers. So I suggest if you are holding muni bonds sell them and get out before you get screwed by California. I left the Bay Area thirty years ago and very happy that I did, no regrets at all.

        August 24, 2012 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Left 2 years ago

      You are definitly on to something there, social programs that do not encourage and contribution are a fail! As is supporting people who break our laws, or have never worked, or who get drugs while on any form of public assistance. Canada is looking much better... even tho its cold as heck!

      August 24, 2012 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  22. jess787

    Did California run out of other peoples money?

    August 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  23. michael g

    I was raised and lived in California for 42 years. I remember Prop 13 coming into play and all the money going away from our schools. I remember a lot of financial and economic issues that all went to hell. When the economy went down, I was working a great job until the day after Christmas when I was laid off. I never recovered financially, but was able to land a job. As typical in the state, our dollar is taxed heavy to support programs that the state deems good. Problem is by the time your pay is taxed, you pay for high taxed fuel, and all the necessary things to live you are just scraping by. Last year was the end of it for me. While I love the state it just didn't make sense to stay any longer. I moved to another state where I get paid the same amount that I was getting paid there, but my cost of living is a third to half less allowing me to pay back bills that I could not. Its a shame it came to this, its a shame for the state. I was the typical middle class living, doing the best I could but just feel that the burden of that state took everything. I hope it gets better there.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  24. matt

    Agreed. I'm moving soon, there is no reason to stay in a area (southern California) that increasingly reminds me of Mad Max. The high desert area especially is starting to look like a a post-apocalyptic zone. Roads turning to rubble, busted down stores. Cruise down the main drag in Apple Valley/Victorville. Old Route 66 has more shuttered shops than a gold ghost town. DOOMED STATE!! I've actually been told by San Bernadino Police Dept than they do not have enough money left to investigate noise complaints and other minor crimes. This place is broke, no one works, wants to work and most aren't qualified for a real job outside of 7-11 anyway. DOOMED.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lmao

      ... and you forgot to state that half of those you mentioned are also here illegally.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamyou

      Don't worry I have my Obama pin on my college backpack. Hope and change and forward and stuff. If i live in Cali he is going to take care of me. I will not have to worry about my morgage or gas for my car. I feel better now

      August 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • L

        Huh? Hope and Change? I've been on this earth almost 49 years and this is far by the worst I've ever seen.

        August 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kyle

        I want what your smoking!

        August 26, 2012 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
  25. Lmao

    LOL – The problem is not the government overspending and their support of illegal aliens and sanctuary cities. California's fiscal problems can be laid at the feet of baby boomers who have had the nerve to remain in California after they've stopped contributing so much to the state economy and are now taking money out. It's all their fault. Wow...

    August 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamyou

      You go right on believing that and cali will keep going down the drain. It is entitlement spending and government regs

      August 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  26. mike

    Mitt was right, Cali is doomed. But don't wake up the Libs from their fantasy world... they might cry.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  27. JCMars

    Simple...the liberals have run out of other people's money. Can't wait for all the California cities to become Detroit, the liberal Democrat paradise.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  28. judeamorris

    California shot itself in the foot with Prop 13. What was once a model education system is a now swampland of mediocrity. And the huge pensions awarded to those who are now Baby Boomers continues to drain the system. I have retired to the SF Bay Area and love the mild climate, but I am constantly amazed by the "spend, spend, spend" philosophy here. California cannot be compared with other states because real estate has been inflated here for so long that housing to income ratios are ridiculously askew. That mentality permeates everything else. We could use a shot of Yankee fiscal conservatism.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimroopecnn

      Exactly what Professor Grossbard, the demographic economist was saying.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  29. jimroopecnn

    Thank you all so much for your input, response and comments. Let's hope decision makers will see some of these and maybe change can be initiated. As far as California is concerned, the hole may have to get a little deeper before it can dig out of it.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      Know what would help Jim?? To have the media start reporting on some of the points brought up here.

      Do you notice a few of the same comments about illegals killing our state? How about if CNN started running a few stories about that? Instead we get Ruben writing daily articles about how we're all racists for saying it. Or stories about some poor lady and her three kids who just want a better life here - stories like that run almost daily on your website.

      How about mixing in a few facts in your article? A lot of people have made some very good points here. If we know it, you must have some idea, right? Why no mention of any of these issues? How many articles has CNN run about any of these points?

      And you wonder why we think the media has a Liberal bias....

      August 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lmao

        Super post. Thanks.

        August 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • jimroopecnn

        Hi Nate,
        Agreed there are good points and I (we) have done many stories on the drain that illegal immigration has on our states and this nation. This piece however was about how the income and expendures occured not from or on who they were used. I'm sure more on specific economic drains will be done in the near future. Lots of factors, reasons, issues, etc. and no one clear cut solution. Thank you so much Nate, for your comments. Please keep them coming.

        August 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
        • Nate


          The illegals example I used was only one of many points - and I used it because I think it does in fact have a HUGE impact on our state's financial situation, and it happens to be one of the things that CNN never covers. You say it has "run many stories on the impact of illegals" - where? Show me? Post a link please. You might be able to find one, but I can show post links to 10-15 articles CNN has run in just the last week that are totally pro illegals.

          Where are the articles about the impact of Unions and Union benefits have had on our state?? Remember the WI situation. CNN sure covered the heck out of that story, and it was all pro-union. Where were the articles on the other side? Again, I'm only asking because in my opinion Unions have had a tremendous negative impact on the state (for those of us not in a union).

          I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Thank you.

          August 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • jimroopecnn

        Hi Again Nate,
        CNN takes great pride in how it presents stories. If you go to the search bar on cnn.com and type in illegal immigration, you'll see a long list of stories from Arizona, to health care, to education and more. We present information and facts and allow the listener, viewer and reader to form their opinions. Some of the stories may seem to lean one way or the other but that might be through the personal bias of the listener, viewer or reader. We strive to offer stories that matter to people's lives and not just answer questions but pose questions and promote conversation and debate. I'm proud of the way we do this. It is something we at CNN Radio are constantly reminded of almost daily. Balanced truth is the goal of our stories. Immigration is a hot-button issue for sure, but there is also the salaries of politicians, spending, bonds, mis-management, social services and more that contribute to economic troubles. As we get closer to the election however, I;m sure all of these including, immigration and illegal immigration, stories will be presented. If we can, through our work, spark conversation and thought, then all of us can work together to fix what still is a great Nation. I am encourged by your concerns and comments. Thank you, truly.

        August 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
        • Nate

          Most of those stories, like this one, are quickly burried on the back pages. I think this one was up on the front page for all of 15 minutes. Meanwhile, every piece the Ruben writes, calling anyone who thinks illegal immigration is bad a racist, is up for days. Anyway, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

          Back to the topic at hand – yes, California is Greece for these reasons:

          Horrible business climate
          Too many people on public assistance, not enough paying into the system
          Excessive Taxes
          Unions controlling the state
          Public Union Pensions
          No term limits – Polls show 14% approval rate for the state legislature but 90% of incumbants win

          Unless these things change, the state will go bankrupt.

          August 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  30. jimroopecnn

    One thing I know for sure after covering this state for more than two decades is that there is no easy solution to any of this. Schwarzenegger use to talk about running the state like you'd run a home or living within your means. But there are too many variables. I'm not making excuses but too many different parts of the state with different needs and priorities. Too many cooks in the financial kitchen. Somehow, however, REAL conversation, not dialogue, but conversation in which everyone HEARS what is being said, must occur to get the checkbook balanced. What will it take? How will that happen? Who will be that person who can get that REAL conversation started? I just don't know. But the future of California and the US will depend on it.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Kevin

    Well it is up to the blue states to keep propping up the red welfare states. Perhaps if they would live within their means and stop taking in more federal money than they contribute, the blue states could start to recover.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Better idea

      How about we stop sending all our money to the federal governemtn, because then we wouldn't have to fight to get it back. Besides, the "blue" states choose to elect politicians who don't fight to bring money back, they want to subsidize everything – the main reason red states are winners is because of farm subsidies, not social welfare. If that money didn't go to farmers you'd see higher greater fluctuations in food prices – which I'd be fine with. But back to California, it isn't going broke because "red" states are bleeding it dry – it's going broke because it gave the farm away to the Unions via pension obligatoins and to the poor who don't work by continually bolstering its welfare system – to try and pay for this it keeps raising taxes which drives businesses to more friendly environments, including Nevada just to the east.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  32. 250K

    Brown once said 250K income will be millionaire in 4 yrs. Gues they have no expense. So will 100 K be millionaire in 10 yrs. So will 50 k be millionaire in 20 yrs???

    August 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Jesse0824

    The only reason why the aging of the baby boomers is a problem is because birthrates have fallen so sharply in the US. If people still had an average of 4 or 5 kids then there would be a lot more workers to cover the pensions and healthcare of the retirees. But when everyone only has 1 or 2 kids then there are too many retirees for the number of workers.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimroopecnn

      The problem is the ability to afford 4 or 5 kids anymore. Seems like a weird kind of catch 22

      August 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      Do you realize that you are endorsing a Ponzie scheme i.e. where wealth of new investors is used to pay old investors. This is not sustainable and it’s not ethical. It’s why social security is now bankrupt.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • FKell

      To which I respond where would they be working? They already have an 11% unemployment rate with only 1-2 children over the last 30-40 years. If they had an average of 4-5 children the unemployment rate would be in the 14-15% range with a dramatically higher % in the 18-30 year old group.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • carlito

      california has to grand work permits to the millions of illegal immigrants living there, so they pay taxes, if california does that all the money issues will be gone

      August 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • 257Roberts

        White citizens are leaving Cali in droves...and being replaced by uneducated illegal aliens. What outcome do you expect?

        August 23, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • JMD

      Jesse, good point but we don't have enought jobs right now to handle to population looking for work let along twice to two times that amount.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  34. David Feaster

    It is expensive to live in CA but I feel I get my money's worth. Taxes are too low for all the benefits we receive. I would hate to live anywhere else.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Californicated

      What benefits? You must be a Union member (not worker) or a welfare case. The only benefit I get for $15 to $20K in state taxes is bad roads and horrible traffic.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Better idea

        You forgot about the gang violence and schools that teach that two daddies/mommies are better than one of each.

        August 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lmao

      You're probably going to be forced to go somewhere else after your state goes belly up.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Californicated

    I was born here in California.

    I've watched as we’ve been overrun with illegal aliens. They’ve drained our public services. Hospital emergency rooms, over-burdened our schools and lowering the education quality of our citizens.

    I’ve watched as our wonderful elected officials have created the largest welfare state in the nation.

    I’ve watched these same idiots create regulation after regulation that have scared 100’s of businesses out of the state. Some of these stupid laws were even vote on by the citizens of our state. All you have to tell them is “big business” is BAD.

    I’ve watched as voters approved high-speed rail that is so “green” at a cost of over $200 billion. Mainly, it’s green because it will NEVER be completed or used. Although, it does create more public union jobs.

    I’ve watched as these same uninformed voters re-elected the same Jerry Brown that started the whole problem the first time he was governor. He created collective bargaining for Public Sector Unions. Now, depending on their contact, they can retire in 30 years 90% plus of their highest salary. Which includes spiking it with overtime. Let’s not forget lifetime medical for twenty to forty year.

    I’ve watched as Public Sector Unions have run the Calif. Government through their union dues contributions to our politicians. Anytime the citizens put something on the ballot to even slightly control the unions ENORMOUS pay and benefit package, these unions spend MILLIONS of dollars on ad campaigns. It’s for the kids, not their paychecks. Don’t think for a minute that their low paid. Union Prison Guards start at $79K a year with 25 vacation days to start.

    I’ve watched all this and did nothing, you ask? I tried. I voted against these things whenever we were allowed to vote.
    I’ve circulated and signed petitions. I’ve spoken to individuals and groups. Unfortunately, 51% or more of the people in this state are too stupid to understand even the fact that a bond even for something high minded and great is still MONEY BORROWED. Now is the time that the payments are coming due.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      I saw a bumper sticker on a recent trip to the Golden State. It read, "California: last one to leave, turn off the lights". The rest of the country is heading down the same path with Obama.


      August 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        No need to turn off the lights; that will have already occurred at a higher level in the power grid!

        August 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Better idea

      I grew up in Oregon and moved here 7 years ago – sadly everything you said is true. What's even worse is that as I was growing up all the high paid californians who were retiring and sick of high taxes (but enjoying flush pensions) moved to our state and then started complaining about the tax rates here and passed prop 5 (same as CA prop 13) and then proceeded to push for a massive entilement state with no long term funding plan. I, too, vote against the idiots, and hope that sooner later people will see that 30 years of the same policies are not working.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamyou

      you said it all. It is funny to see all of these people trying to explain it all. They are spending money that they don't have. That is it. To business leaving because of government. why can't the people understand. Taking money from people who work and giving it to those who don't or are illegal leads to by by work. You can argue the point all day long but the end result is the same.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • FKell


      While some of what you said I might agree with, but one area you are completely off your rocker is pay, especially your example of prison guards. You are talking about probably the highest risk job in the country. You are in an area where you are outnumbered 20 to 1 by hardened criminals, rapists, and murderers. Why don't you go do that job and see how much mental and physical abuse will take and tell me what it would cost to pay you to continue doing it especially knowing that at any moment someone might decide that it would be fun to put a shank in the neck of the "new guy". High risk jobs cost money, plain and simple. The costs need to be high in order to keep the people you have from simply quitting, especially after you paid for the costs to train the people, and would need to train their replacements as well.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  36. brussell

    I'm goin back to Cali, Cali, cali, I'm goin back to cali... hmmm... I DON'T THINK SO. "LEARN TO SWIM"

    August 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  37. freshbutnoteasy

    BTW I have only lived here a year, have never not had a job, and have actually turned alot down. So it can't be that bad of an economy. I can't speak for downtown or other cities but in Santa Monica and Venice it seems a helluva lot of people are buying clothes and going out to dinner and such.. I think we will make it.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  38. freshbutnoteasy


    I work in Venice, everyone one smokes, and most buy it illegally which means its not taxed. And yes I know you can get your card but LA just decided to close all the dispensaries instead of creating simple legislation like for alcohol. Legalize it and make a TON of money.

    Also for you who are opposed, read this.. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/22/yale-study-alcohols-gateway-effect-much-larger-than-marijuanas/

    August 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Better idea

      Not a bad idea, but it won't close the $16 billion dollar budget gap

      August 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • nala777

      This. Legalize weed, tax it, and move on.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Carl Schmidt

    I left there in 1997 after living there for 31 years due to the fact that the south has no clue what it's doing with all it's Hollywood and dude grab.. So.Cal sucked the life out of the north and stole are water and never payed any thing to help the north we built dam's they built house's in a dam desert ??? That man made canal was Jerry's baby to and you put that idiot back in office !! So do what should have bin done 60 years ago split in two or three and give the south Sacramento seeing how they run the the Cr-p hole.. Save your self's split it up and charge them dips for the water for the problem they made...

    August 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Draxta

    "Jerry 'dum $hit' Brown proposing $8.3 billion cuts in California to help close a projected $16 billion budget shortfall." All the while this loser pushed through a useless high speed train while the states schools continue to suffer.
    There just isn't language strong enough to use that conveys my sense of disgust and anger with the corruption and the imbeciles that infect the state. From teachers molesting students, to thuggy fat cops beating innocent people, to municipalities plagued with politicians having affairs, stealing or hiding money and bankrupting cities, and the list can go on and on.
    There is no one that can save this state. It's too late and too corrupt. I for one don't care any more about California and am taking steps to move my family and business out of this useless state.
    California can slide off into the ocean and the country would be in much better shape.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Bobbie

    This is exactly the same situation we are heading for in the entire country, and yet, the LIBERAL FOOLS refuse to accept that their polilcies ARE NOT WORKING!!!!! What evidence will be sufficient to convince the left that giving everything to everybody for free DOESN"T WORK!!!!

    August 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Russel

    I lived in an affluent area called Silver Lake in LA from Jan 1999 to Jun 2010 (from age 26 to 38). I moved to Tampa FL. Quite often when people ask (usually with wide eyes), "what made you move from LA to here?" Often implying "why on earth would you leave LA and come to Tampa" as if Tampa were some back woods place and, more importantly, implying LA is the mecca of civilization. I simply look them in the eye and simply respond "LA". They would pause a moment and then laugh saying "Yeah, I guess CA is pretty messed up isn't it".

    I have a 6 figure income and in LA I could never afford to buy a home (I refused to over extend myself). The brand new home I just purchased in Tampa (my first at age 40) would have cost me 3 times as much in LA.

    In July 2009, every conceivable tax went up in the state of California. Income, sales, utility – my monthly disposal income dropped by almost $300. Moving to Tampa FL gave me an instant 10% increase in income (no state income tax) and by my calculations I was going to save a total of about 38% (in total cost of living) more than than I was able to in LA. 38% is a whopping number for anyone. It was impossible not to consider. People began leaving in droves. California's solution – raise the taxes again, increase every possible fee (registration fees doubled) or fine (parking tickets tripled) to squeeze more money out the remaining residents. The affect – more exodus by residents to other locations. An endless domino affect.

    Businesses have left taking jobs with them. Rules, taxation and regulation have driven businesses away. Business revenue continues to decline, residents leave following the jobs further eroding the tax base. California is so environmentally conscious its forgotten how to care about the people its supposed to be governing – in CA, the environment comes first, protecting illegal immigrants who don't pay into the system comes second, and then giving entitlements to everyone comes third – however big the list, businesses and tax paying citizens come last. CA has been biting the hands that feeds it for many many years and now the chickens have come home to roost.

    For the last 30 years CA has turned itself into a Social Democracy experiment with many parallels to Europe. Its the least business friendly, highest state income tax, highest sales tax and most entitlement friendly of any state in the country. And whats to show for it: CA is broke, in massive debt, has the worst and oldest deteriorating infrastructure and has the worst education system in the country. Whats CAs...and voters...solution to fix it? Keeping voting in the same politicians with the same ideologies to keep pushing the same failed plan forward.

    CA is a shinning example of what Progressive Liberals want to push America towards. Its also a shinning of example of why we need to vote OUT Obama in this up coming election.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      So many good point made. CA is on a huge decline and nothing is being done to help it. Just more free handouts and spending

      August 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Left 2 years ago

      Totally on point! We left too after living there over 25 years, just couldn't take it any more.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      California, sad to say, is an example for why not all citizens should be given the right to vote. The entitlement people just keep voting to up their share of the entitlement and the people that work, are getting out, as you did, cause they can no longer afford to keep paying the people that "take, take take, and produce nothing"

      Sadly, the political class, favors the takers.

      August 26, 2012 at 6:08 am | Report abuse |
  43. Steve

    Just as liberalism, and in extension, socialism have bankrupted Spain, Greece, etc. so it has done to Cali. So it will do the entire country unless some big changes are made. It has to start in November.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  44. California sucks

    I've lived in California since 79 and watched its decline. I've gotten so bitter and turned off by the legislature's budget shenanigans that I've decided to protest in the only way I know how by retiring early and have my taxable income minimized so this year will be the first I will pay no state taxes (take that you corrupt legislature). Oh, and the feds will no longer be getting 30% of my income from when I worked.

    Take that you corrupt government. I'm going to enjoy watching them panic from the lack of funds they wretch from the taxpayers this year. Oh, and Jerry I'm voting against all the increased tax propositions too. Get off your asses and reform the outrageous public pension systems, and quit raiding the coffers of our cities to support our corrupt state. I wish we had a proposition to reclassify that all legislature positions are part-time so we can drastically cut their benefits and perks.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  45. vtski

    Yup, illegal immigrants should have the same rights as americans, democrats runnin the state, bleeding heart liberal lefties running it into the ground... best thing that could happen to them is for California to fall into the ocean.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  46. MINE, MINE, MINE!!!!!

    California is everything the Liberals want America to be.

    Of course they are not finished with Cali yet.... Needs more gun control, enviro restrictions, taxes, food control.... and more free hand outs to "undocumented workers", gang bangers, unions....

    August 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ASwingVoter

      MINE!!!!!!MINE!!!!!!MINE!!!!!! You have correctly identified half of the problem. Now instead of voting for the politicians on the other side of the aisle who will give you unfunded tax breaks from the public largesse in exchange for your vote let's vote for politicians who have our country's long term success on their agenda. Oh wait, our system of two parties of world ruiners is designed to pillage on behalf of two different voting blocks all screaming MINE!!!!!!MINE!!!!!!MINE!!!!!!

      August 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  47. w2lucky

    California has some tough decisions to make and continue to be blocked by the "feel-gooders" that care more about taking care of the needy and what's politically correct than getting their house in order. Politicians have destroyed California and here we sit waiting for more politicians to fix it? Talk about a doomed scenario. I lived there for 13 years, I'm glad to be gone, and I'll never return (except to eat some good mexican food).

    August 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Nate

    Unions control this state. They have bankrupted us with help from the Dems who have run this state for 40 years and sold us out for votes.

    CA is always at the bottom of the US for business climate - no one wants to open a business here because the government has made it more trouble than it's worth.

    In 2014 the City of Los Angeles will file for BK - just watch.

    Oh – and add the fact that we have 12% of the population in the U.S, but 30% of the welfare cases (many of which are illegals, or the children of illegals). Too many takers, not enough producers – and more and more producers are leaving.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bloggerrogr

      California's decline began with passage of Prop 13, that piece of garbage Howard Jarvis foisted on the people of this great state. It looked good on paper, but it's consequences have been disastrous.
      It has NOTHING to do with unions. Union scale makes it possible for the middle class to be economically vital and a vibrant and vital middle class is what made America an economic powerhouse following WWII and the GI Bill.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nate

        Ah yes – the old not enough taxes excuse - you must work for Jerry Brown. California is in the top three for taxes paid in income taxes (I currently give ~9% of my income to the state), gas tax, and sales tax (currently at 9.75% where I live). So where's the money going?

        If you don't think the Unions are the problem, I don't know what to tell you. Keep your head in the sand.

        August 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • geckobrothers

        Prop 13 really is the cause of a majority of this issue. You cannot have money going out without having money coming in. Economics 101. When Romney gets in and foists upon us a nationwide Prop 13 in the guise of Ryan's budget. Get ready for third world status. Any moron who tells you govt is too big just ask them how the roads get fixed that take their SUV down to Walmart to buy some patriotic freedom fries. Ayn Rand is selfishness exemplified, and if the her minions get anymore control of this country I'm thinking we may not survive as a nation.

        August 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
        • Californicated

          California already has BIG Government and our roads are still HORRIBLE.

          If we didn't have Prop. 13 no one would have homes.

          As for Ayn Rand, maybe if you didn't expect the government to take care of you, you'd understand her wisdom.

          August 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
        • max3333444555

          The government is too big. your arguments seem to indicate we need a federal government this large to have decent roads...

          August 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jeff Seders

        You are so wrong. The state's decline has nothing to do with Prop 13.

        August 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Californicated

        Must be another Public Union leech. Prop. 13 is the last thing that actually help Californians. Even with it, I'm still paying over $6,000 in property taxes. And the usual excuse that business should pay more doesn't work either. It just means less real jobs to feed the Unions.

        August 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • HA25

        No, union scale turned every entry-level data entry person without a high school diploma who works 37 hours per week into a middle class earner with 4 weeks of vacation (to start) and accrued sick time and a full pension after 20 years.
        Suddenly someone with a college and masters degree working 50 hours with 3 weeks vacation in the private sector is wrung out by the state to pay these union wages and benefits.
        Out of control unions serve to weigh down the middle class, not preserve it.

        August 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Allen N Wollscheidt

    We are faced with an economic threat - an economic emergency - just as dangerous to our future as the military threat we faced in 1939-40. . It is time to pull the gloves OFF, put the brass knuckles ON, declare a FULL National Emergency, REQUIRE (NOT ask) BigMoney to invest IN and ONLY IN AMERICA just as we did in the days of WW-2.

    The scheming of the 1% to further suppress the U S Middle Class must NOT ONLY be stopped in its tracks right NOW, but it MUST be IMMEDIATELY reversed ! ! . These CONSERVATIVE FOOLS are killing the "Goose that Laid the Golden Egg" and THEY MUST BE STOPPED NOW ! ! ! . It is YOUR life : TAKE IT BACK ! ! !

    August 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      The CAPS really help - nice work.

      You do realize this state has been run exclusively by liberal dems for the last 40 years, right?

      That's almost beside the point though, because both political parties are in it for themselves. Blaming one side for our national situation is part of the problem. We have to throw them all out.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • MINE, MINE, MINE!!!!!

      Problem with your rant is that Liberals have been in control of the cities and state for at least 30 years.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russel

      What Conservative fools? CA legislature has been run by liberals for over 30 years. Outside of two Republican Governors CA is the most liberally run state in the nation. The state legilslature is so lobsided with liberals that they literally don't need a single vote from Republicans to pass anything so they just bull doze right over any GOP ideas and they typically have enough power to veto and over ride anything a GOP governor does that they disagree with.

      CA : First to Worst in 30 years.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Iron Joe

        The GOP is useless in California. In fact they are insolvent. Broke. Why? Because all the socially moderate/liberal republicans were run out of town and replaced with social conservatives who can't connect with voters. I don't spend my entire day obsessing about how others are living their lives. And certainly believe that if government should be small that includes in the PRIVATE lives of it's citizens. But nope, the GOP in California insists on following the likes of Akin, Palin and Newt Gingrich. Government out of everything BUT IN PEOPLE'S PRIVATE LIVES. Thus we are left with Democrats in charge, because they leave people's private lives to themselves. I bet that the California GOP could revive it's fortunes in california by elimintating all divisive social issues and focus on fiscal matters. Of course, they are broke here so maybe even that wont work. Read this: http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_21292053/cal-gop-senate-nominee-says-feinstein-out-touch

        August 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah

      Funny how you declare it to be an economic emergancy.. and then you mindlessly defend the people who actually created the problem. The "1%" didn't cause California's problems, liberal politicians pandering for votes did.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  50. swamie

    So, basically, the state relied on the dedication and hard work of the baby-boomers and no one else is stepping up to the plate. Sorry, that's too easy. How about the fact that the state has turned from an entrepreneurial state (where the middle class found their hard work earning riches and building an economy) to a labor state where business has turned stagnant due to the government favoring workers over the entreprenurs who once made the state a shining beacon for this country.

    August 23, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |