© 2023 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Playing California's Budget Game

California's record $35-billion budget deficit is anything but a game, but a Sacramento Bee columnist has made it one. The paper's Daniel Weintraub challenged his readers to study where the money goes, and then plug their proposed spending cuts and tax increases into an online budget game.

As NPR's Andy Bowers reports for Morning Edition, Weintraub developed a kind of printed and online parlor game that walks players through what state programs do, and how much they cost. It also shows how California general fund spending has jumped by one third since 1998. Weintraub says people often ask him why the state just can't roll spending back to that earlier figure.

The game is designed to show why it's not easy to balance the budget. But that didn't stop some players from coming up with some novel solutions. One suggested legalizing prostitution and gambling, then "taxing both those activities to the hilt," Weintraub says.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Andy Bowers
Andy Bowers oversees Slate's collaboration with NPR?s daytime news magazine, Day to Day. He helps produce the work of Slate's writers for radio, and can also be heard on the program.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.