The State Net Capitol Journal's Lou Cannon Says the Fiscal Numbers Rarely Add up for Candidates Promising to Change Government

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Telling voters they can have something for much less than it really costs has produced not only California's current fiscal impasse, but an almost unimaginable federal budget deficit and accumulated national debt.

Politicians, including both of this year's presidential candidates, often bill themselves as agents of change. But as SNCJ columnist Lou Cannon notes, rarely do they calculate the actual cost of how much changing the system really costs.

"Candidates for high office most often go astray in underestimating the cost of their proposals," Cannon says." But he notes that such optimistic projections are also a staple of state government leaders as well. None more so than California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who came into office promising to "blow up the boxes" of government, only to resort to "gimmicks and bond issues that pushed the costs of governance onto future generations."

"A more realistic mathematics of change is needed," Cannon says. "This practice of telling voters they can have something for much less than it costs has produced California's current fiscal impasse and led to an almost unimaginable federal budget deficit and accumulated national debt."

To get the full story, check out the new issue of the State Net Capitol Journal on the State Net Web site at

About State Net
State Net ( has helped organizations track legislative and regulatory developments for more than 30 years. Headquartered in Sacramento, State Net monitors every bill in the 50 states, District of Columbia and Congress as well as all state agency regulations. The company delivers online services, issue-based consultation and analysis that enable the nation's leading organizations to effectively respond to opportunities and risks across the nation.

The State Net Capitol Journal delivers coverage of public policy issues from all 50 states. Featuring analysis of emerging trends, state budgets, governors, legislatures and elections, SNCJ readers gain an intelligent overview of the major political issues and events in state governments.

References: Cannon, Lou. (2008, August 18). "The Mathematics of Change" State Net Capitol Journal.


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