California Governor Jerry Brown bet that a nascent financial recovery would lift the world’s ninth-largest economy enough to whittle down a $9.2 billion deficit. Instead, the gap has widened to $16 billion.
Today the 74-year-old Democrat will unveil his revised budget and explain what additional spending must be cut. Tax collections have run $3.5 billion below what he calculated four months ago. Spending has grown $2 billion above projections. The federal government and court ruling blocked some savings he expected, while his fellow Democrats in the Legislature balked at others.
California, with an economy bigger than Russia’s, lost more than a million jobs in the recession that struck in 2007, costing the most populous U.S. state 24 percent of its revenue. The new deficit estimate increases the urgency of the governor’s plans to increase income taxes on some earners to the highest in the nation, and boost sales levies that are now more than any other state.