The seeds of California’s current crisis were planted more than 30 years ago, when voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 13, a ballot measure that placed the state’s budget in a straitjacket. Property tax rates were capped, and homeowners were shielded from increases in their tax assessments even as the value of their homes rose.
And while the party’s growing extremism condemns it to seemingly permanent minority status — Mr. Schwarzenegger was and is sui generis — the Republican rump retains enough seats in the Legislature to block any responsible action in the face of the fiscal crisis.
Over at Commentary's blog the reaction to this and another column in the New York Times about California is this:
Sometimes you just have to wonder if there is sentient life on the opinion floor of the New York Times Building.
They also pick up on Krugman's banana republic line, which is different from the line here and here.