With a $46 million deficit, San Bernardino is the third city in California to file for bankruptcy.
The easy-breezy paydays to public sectors has come to an end. At least two other saintly cities, San Diego and San Jose, did not sit idly by while the public sector pensions and benefits swallowed a greater portion of dwindling tax revenue.
The mayor has claimed for two days straight that the city council received falsified records for thirteen out of sixteen years. Yet how many different leaders have passed through city hall during nearly two decades.
The fiscal mismanagement that is sinking one of the largest cities in the Inland Empire is a systemic failure, one which every mayor, every councilmember, must be held accountable.
The hot housing market that has chilled over cannot be blamed for the economic hardships alone. Municipal leaders must take responsibility for their glaring ignorance regarding the rise and fall of markets, including the housing bubble, which would pop at some point.
City govermments must invest in cost effective and efficient business proposals. Government never enters free enterprise without frustrating trade and hampering private investors. Once the government has failed or poorly managed taxpayer dollars, the voters are on the hook and endure the terrible fallout from the economic bust.
Besides Bell, where hogs got happy on taxpayer dollars before getting caught, San Bernardino exemplifies the frustration of many hands preparing budgets over time, pleding dollars into future obligations, which subsequent residents are bond to pay for, either through tax increases or the terrible aftermath of bankruptcy restructuring.
The voters in Califormia will not stand by much longer as one city after another seeks refuge under bankrupcty protection. Will the entire state seek a handout, next?