Hey Dude, Where’s My Bailout?

Jim Cox/The Old Globe

This is positively un-American.

So, we're a little in the red. A lot of institutions are like that. Wall Street firms, big automakers, and big banks all needed a little more money than they had in their accounts. And the feds came running. There were more bailouts than oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

So now it's California's turn. We're facing a little deficit for sure. $20 billion, give or take. And while we weren't expecting the Feds to pick up the whole tab, we thought Washington might kick in a little. We were counting on a mere $2 billiion, a piece of a $24 billion plan of proposed assistance for all states facing budget problems.

And now we're lieft screaming "Dude, where's my bailout?"

That's because Americans are getting a little burned out on the bailout solution. It's becoming as popular as poison ivy. Congress was ready to dole out the cash, but both Democrats and Republicans in the House are having second thoughts. Some are facing some tough reelection campaigns, and they don't want to be seen as being too loose with taxpayer money. Republicans are pointing at a growing federal deficit, and calls for fiscal responsibility are getting louder.

So, if you can believe this, we might actually be expected to pay for our own programs.

Our governor is already proposing deep cuts to deal with our deficit, targeting welfare-to-work programs and child care programs among others.

But we wanted to be like GM, and AIG, and B of A (and other teetering sets of corporate letters), and we wanted a bailout. Its the American thing to do. Without one, cuts would go even deeper. States say the economic recovery is fragile at best, and cuts in government programs along with layoffs of state employees threaten to erase any progress we've made.

So, states like California will call on Congress to reconsider, and do a solid for states sinking in red ink. And that could be a tough sell to Washington lawmakers who already face criticsm for bailing out the private sector. A tough call for sure.

But come on. It's only a couple billion between friends. I mean, we're California. Aren't we too big to fail too?

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