SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ Three inarguable facts dominate California's system of financing state government:
It's a mess.
It's currently a mess in large part due to the deepest and most pervasive global recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
It's been a mess for much of the past three decades because the combination of an out-of date tax system, reckless spending and fickle voters has made state government extremely vulnerable to the ebbs and flows of the economy.
While there's not much the state's elected leaders can do about the worldwide economic woes, they have tried for decades _ mostly unsuccessfully _ to wrestle with the triple threat of taxes, spending and ballot-box budgeting.
Now a special commission is set to present the state Legislature with proposals to dramatically restructure the tax system. Two other reform groups are pushing changes that include, among other things, revising the state's budgeting process and overhauling the state constitution.
How well any of the reforms succeed in improving California's financial stew may depend on how much the state has learned from the deficiencies of the current recipe. For example, that stew just doesn't have enough rich people.
Read the full story at sacbee.com.