'What can't go on forever, won't.' Things are going to get a lot worse for California before they get better. What's sad is that there are many who refuse to believe that a problem even exists or that it can be solved by higher taxes. It can't. This is primarily a spending problem.


Elected to the city council in 2000, he became mayor six years later; in 2010 he was re-elected with 77 percent of the vote. He’s a Democrat, but at this point it doesn’t much matter which party he belongs to, or what his ideological leanings are, or for that matter how popular he is with the people of San Jose. He’s got a problem so big that it overwhelms ordinary politics: the city owes so much more money to its employees than it can afford to pay that it could cut its debts in half and still wind up broke. “I did a calculation of cost per public employee,” he says as we settle in. “We’re not as bad as Greece, I don’t think.”