Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Fix the Budget Yourself



    Everyone's been all a-twitter about a possible movie version of MacGyver, the TV series starring Richard Dean Anderson as a master of mechanical improv -- but what about a movie version of the 1986 TV series The Wizard?

    Since California voters don't seem to have nominated any budget MacGyvers in Tuesday's elections, perhaps there's a budget fixer among the citizenry.

    Next10, an organization founded by the venture capitalist Noel Perry, has a terrific tool called the California Budget Challenge. It gives you the options that legislators and the governor face as they try to balance the budget -- and lets you make decisions.

    The tool has just been updated and is worth a try, particularly if you want to get a sense of how difficult budget balancing is.

    I took the new challenge and managed to reduce the budget deficit from $22 billion all the way down to $500 million. But I had to cut programs I would rather not cut and raise taxes I would rather not raise.