End the deadlock now!

Speaking of embarrassments, let’s glare again at our leaders. They’ve done such a great job of governing that the state has run out of money and is now sending out IOUs, stiffing its vendors and making life miserable for anyone who depends on it. Students won’t get loans, Medi-Cal clinics won’t get reimbursed, construction projects are on hold, and the poor and elderly who rely on state aid will get chits instead. Wonderful.

Everyone in the Capitol—the governor, the Democratic and Republican legislators, the unions—shares blame for this fiasco. But right now, the single biggest obstacle to moving forward is the Republicans’ ideological fixation against taxation. There simply is no way to erase a $42 billion deficit through spending cuts alone; without compromise, this budget impasse can’t be resolved.

The people of California know this. According to a recent poll by the Public Policy Institute, a solid majority is willing not only to accept higher taxes to bridge the budget gap, but also to reduce the supermajority vote required to pass a budget to 55 percent, something voters heretofore have resisted.

Give the Republicans credit: Their intransigence has brought about this sea change in public attitudes—hardly the result they intended.

Compromise is never easy. All parties need to give up something to make it work. But it’s time that our public servants in the Capitol started doing the job we pay them for: governing California.