Releasing a new budget proposal Tuesday, California Governor Jerry Brown didn't bask in the glow of the $850 million budget surplus he predicts for the end of next year. Despite the bounty, Brown's new budget preaches restraint, focusing on prioritizing education spending and paying down debts.
As Joel Stein wrote in our recent cover story, Brown's "unsentimental, grown-up leadership" is chipping away at the state's most intractable problems. In November, California listened to Brown and passed a $6 billion tax hike, largely through an income tax on the wealthy (though it also included a sales tax increase that everyone pays). In January, Brown proposed a budget that had long been unthinkable: A boost in collected and projected taxes let the state run a surplus.