The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

May 19, 2010
Have you heard the one about the Greek debt crisis?

Most politicians and everyday folks in California shudder at any comparison with Greece.

Not Congressman Tom McClintock.

He even shot off a one-liner about it today at a forum at the U.S. Capitol on the European Union's bailout of Greece:

"Do you know the difference between Greece and California? About three years."


So California, like Greece, is in financial crisis, and has similar problems with some not paying their taxes and with too-powerful unions in the streets to protest any givebacks.

But even with a $19 billion budget hole, California is not quite bankrupt yet, its bonds are above junk status and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is only seeking $3.4 billion from Uncle Sam, not the $136 billion bailout that Greece received.

But McClintock, a Granite Bay Republican, used the Greece comparison to make his point about what he sees as reckless spending by the Obama White House.

"The first law of holes seems applicable in this case: When you're in one, stop digging. That goes for my home state of California, whose fiscal affairs are just a few years behind Greece; and it goes for America whose fiscal affairs are just a few years behind California.

"America must not become an enabler for the fiscal folly of Europe. Nor should it become an imitator of that folly. Under this administration, it is doing both, and Americans have had enough."

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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