This is very bad news. We used to laugh at those fellows with the "End is Nigh" placards: now not so much. Caifornia seems a long way off from here, but one wonders. California Deficit Swells to $16 Billion, Governor Says (Update 1) By Michael B. Marois - May 12, 2012 3:49 PM ET California’s budget deficit has swelled to $16 billion after tax collections trailed projections amid the tepid economic recovery, Governor Jerry Brown said in a comment on his Twitter post. The shortfall has widened from the $9.2 billion Brown estimated in January, after lawmakers resisted the Democrat’s call for cost cuts, the federal government blocked other reductions and April income-tax revenue missed budget forecasts by $2 billion. On May 14, he’s set to unveil a revised spending plan and to say how he would erase the gap. Brown, 74, set out an initial budget in January with $92.6 billion in spending for fiscal 2013, which begins in July. That plan stripped more than $4 billion from health and welfare programs while relying on higher income and sales taxes. The levy increases will go before voters in November. If rejected, schools will lose $4.8 billion midway through the year.