Jerry Brown, the former governor of California is returning as governor of California.  He was also known as Governor Moonbeam for his off-beat ideas.  He drove an old plymouth, rejecting the governor’s limo and often slept on a cot. 

Maybe his ways will be more in vogue now California is scrambling to keep its head above water.  It has 12% unemployment rate and is often described as bankrupt.

From USA Today:

Today, the 72-year-old gets sworn in to his third term as governor, having been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “a stolid party leader” and “senior statesman of Sacramento.”

Brown defeated former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, who spent a record $141 million on her campaign, by about 10 percentage points.

In keeping with Brown’s populist bent, the new governor’s inaugural party today will feature hot dogs and chips at the state Capitol. Brown first served as California governor from 1975 to 1983.

Maybe Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can announce ‘He’s Boooock’ in his very best Arnold voice.  Governor Brown will inherit a $28 billion dollar shortfall. 

Will Jerry Brown be able to turn things around or will the federal government have to bail out California?

34 Thoughts to “Governor Moonbean Returns”

  1. BS in VA

    One pundit i heard on the radio yesterday predicted a tough time for the new Congressional tea party types. They were ardently against bailing out Detroit auto makers and the banks so what are they going to do when California comes hat-in-hand and asks for a bail-out. California’s economy was supposed to be one of the ten largest economies in the world. Will Congress allow to go bankrupt? I will go ahead and predict a population migration from California back to Dixie from whence their grandparents and great grandparents came from in the first place.

  2. That won’t go over well, that’s for sure. It might even go over less well when one considers the demographics of California.

    I doubt if those who are prosperous will leave. The TP types might want to rethink this resistance. They need to bail them out. I don’t even care if they put in stipulations,speaking of states rights.

    I think the TP types are going to be very frustrated. Those new to Congress are going to find out that there are ways of doing business. Obstructionism will only go but so far.

  3. Congress should not bailout California. One – Congress has NO MONEY. Two – the size of California’s economy may be one of the largest, but it is California that is killing it and bailing them out will allow them to continue bad habits.

  4. So you would propose that Cailfornia just cease to exist? Would the other states just absorb it? Or maybe it could seceed and become its own bankrupt country?

    Maybe all those congressmen and women from California would find themselves voted out of office if help were not provided. Otherwise, what good does it do to be a member of the USA?

    Its easy to blame when you don’t live there. My stepson lives there and he pays a huge proportion of his income to the state of California.

  5. BS in VA

    “Congress has no money” I thought they had unlimited money. Allocate funds and call the Mint to start printing. Pleas explain.

  6. Legalize It Cali!

    It won’t make you any money, but if the revolution goes down, at least most of your populace will be waiting for the stop signs to turn green on their way to overthrow the government… 😉

  7. marinm


    CA has the capacity to be a great place to live and work. Unfortunatly, it doesn’t want either. It’s issues are self inflicted. You don’t give an addict more alcohol and keys to a shiny car. We don’t need Civil War reparations but CA has to show a willingness to pull itself up by it’s own bootstraps and to clean off some of the mud clinging to it’s boot.

  8. Need to Know

    Jerry Brown has really aged. I remember him from back years ago. He’s starting to look like former California Senator Alan Cranston, who died in 2000.

  9. Need to Know


    One of the big issues in 2011 will be sovereign debt crises – not in Europe but in our own state and local jurisdictions. California, Illinois and New York will be leading the way. We’re also going to see the rating agencies take another big hit. They don’t know what they doing with municipal credit ratings any more than they did mortgage-backed securities.

  10. Wolverine

    We will sort of have to steal a march from both the the AA and the personal financial planners. California, we have a 12-step plan just for you. Each successive dose of relief will depend on how well you are cleaning up your own mess. And, once you are back on your feet, we will talk about the technicalities of the repayment plan.

  11. Wolverine

    Of course, giving California a 12-step plan will not make much sense unless Washington starts to get the bigger house in order — beginning this month.

    1. @Wolverine, whatever happened to less government? re # 13

  12. Big Dog

    The Rolling Stones are rocking, Jerry Brown is Governor
    of California and Hef is planning to marry a hot 24 year old.
    Thank goodness, I haven’t become old after all!

  13. California should not be bailed out. They need to cut spending. Also, the federal gov’t needs to stop passing unfunded mandates on the states.

    California won’t cease to exist. It will just have to pay more interest on money it borrows. It will also lose more citizens and more business. And that will continue until it fixes things.

    I have an idea. Since the citizens of California keep electing the fools that put California into this condition and those pols have proven incompetent, if California wants to be bailed out, let it become a federal territory again. It, or portions of it, can re-apply for statehood once its bills are paid. Perhaps portions of the state can apply to join other states.

  14. That would be LESS government. There would only be one level of incompetence to account for….

    Of course, if California then split into more than one state………things would get interesting.

    Would Los Angeles still get all that water from a the new northern California state? Or would the coastal area split from the interior?

  15. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    It’ll be interesting to watch what happens in CA, that’s for sure. Hey anyone remember Governor Brown’s part in the breakup of the Eagles? Back during the “long night at wrong beach” concert?

  16. I don’t remember that re the Eagles, one of my favorite groups. Fill us in, Slow.

  17. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Hmm, I’m wrong, it was Cranston, not Brown. But one of the Eagles (Frey or Felder) was booking the band for concerts in support of politicians, and the other didn’t like it. This was the primary argument that led to that concert where the two band members hissed obscenities at each other throughout the concert.

    1. @Slowpoke

      That is funny. I hope that someone hissed at that idiot drummer, Don Henley. He stuck his nose in PWC business over Disney.

      Alan Cranston was like an adopted grandfather to my stepson. My stepson adored him and they were very good friends. His future father in law was Cranston’s barber. That is how they met. Just an aside. What is strange, my stepson is a die hard Reagan Republican.

  18. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    It was Glenn Frey that was associated with liberal (not meant in a mean way) politicians in CA, but that particular night, it was Sen. Alan Cranston that the concert was benefitting, and Felder and Frey got into it. Frey would walk over to Felder in between the numbers and tell Frey “Three More songs ’till I kick your ass.” It was their last concert before the long break-up.

  19. punchak

    @Need to Know

    Well, you know, twentyeight (28) years does something to a man! Like aging, for instance.
    Brown left the governorship in 1983. Actually the guy looks pretty darn good compared to his father, Edmund (Pat) Brown, who also was governor of California – and Mayor of San Francico.

    Considering that he has spent 8 years as Mayor of Oakland, California, and is still going strong, is proof that he has stamina and sisu like few people his age.

    An aside – Brown has a juris doctor degree from Yale (’64)

  20. Wolverine

    Moon, it seems to me that “less government” doesn’t really apply in the event that there is an ultra-serious need to bail out an entire state about to go under. I cannot recall that happening since Reconstruction. As far as I can see, we don’t even have a road map for something like that.

    But I wouldn’t want to look at this as “Big Brother” coming to help and impose. Look at it more like an entrepeneur going to the bank to seek a loan to start a new business or rejuvenate a current business. He had better have a well crafted and logical business plan to show the bankers. If California ever needs to come to the “bank” in Washington for help, those Californians better have a good business plan to put on display.

  21. BS in VA

    California’s previous “well crafted and logical business plan” was Proposition this and Proposition that which prevented tax increases. They had Reagan and other Republican governors to enforce Reaganomics. California is the home of the trickle down theory. That theory failed. The state must cancel those props that are killing them, raise taxes, even retroactively, and pay for failed Reagan economic voodoo.

  22. Except for all that extra spending. Failed Reagan economic voodoo? Really? California BOOMED because of Reaganomics. Then, because their state gov’t was flush with money, they got addicted to spending. When the boom stopped, they just kept on spending. And regulating.

    Budget deficits are caused by spending, not a lack of taxes. High taxes are a big reason so many are moving out of California now. And you want to raise taxes?

  23. BS in VA

    YES !! How else does one pay off the state’s debt?

  24. marinm

    I guess CA could raise the tax rate to 100% and pay off the state’s debt quicker then…..

  25. BS, if California insists on continuing business as usual, as they did under the Ahnold, and resists any cuts, then how will the debt be paid, even if they do raise taxes? If they raise taxes, thereby forcing those that pay high taxes to leave the state, how will that pay off the debt? California is losing the producers, just like New York.

  26. BS in VA

    I’ll give you the answer, but you ain’t gonna accept it. We are now at a point where capitalism is showing the predicted structural failure. Our system is one that rewards enterprises that show the most profit. The most profit is garnered by spending the least on labor and materials. The cheapest labor and materials are found in the third world so we stiff American labor, manufacturers and raw material suppliers. Our money then goes overseas and American labor and industry gets zilch. American consumers have less and less to spend so they ask their governments to provide for them. Government can’t say “no” so they borrow money from overseas to provide for its citizens. The answer: impose massive embargo taxes/import fees on all foreign made goods and services. Use that money to pay off the debt and at the same time stimulate American industry which will re-employ American workers, which will give the workers money to purchase goods and services and stop asking government to satisfy their needs.

    Be prepared though. The embargo will hurt foreign capitalists and governments and people overseas will end up with less money and people do not starve quietly. We can solve our domestic problem but will cause conflict, terrorism and revolutions elsewhere.

    I have another thought, Cargo. I think this issue is a much harder nut to crack then either you or I can even imagine. Unless you have a PHD in economics from and Ivy League University (I know I don’t), I think I’ll quit considering your input and leave it to the experts. I’m sure they don’t need either of our opinions.

  27. These PhD’s did a hell of job getting us here. Apparently, the opinions that they DO listen to are idiotic.

    Why is it so expensive to make things here? Part of the problem is government. California imposes huge restrictions. The EPA wants to restrict CO2 for no good reason. And you think that it all goes overseas because of profit motive?

    I’m not a free trade advocate purist. I have no problem with tariffs. That’s how we financed our government for years. Tariffs, etc., are just another trade tool. Are you saying that because we would put tariffs on foreign goods, that those people would starve? Really? Our market is not that big. They would just sell elsewhere. Why not make the tax laws for producing here more attractive and then add tariffs? Let those foreign companies build stuff here. If its such a tough nut to crack, why is the Texas economy growing and California shrinking? Could it be that Texas is a business – friendly environment.

    You go right ahead and ignore my input. I’m not writing this for you. I opine here for my pleasure and to provide a counterpoint to opinions with which I disagree, for any readers that care to read the comments.

  28. Heidi

    Squid, you made a comment about Texas doing so much better than CA the other day. I jsut read up on it and evident ally Texas is also up sh***ts creek without a paddle and they don’t even have unions there. Just wanted to throw that into the mix.

  29. Heidi

    I typed in TX and gov Perry and found this interesting tidbit. Read the comments from Texans below about their governor.

  30. Heidi

    Great comment BS- read Richard Wolffs book: Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About . It talks about this very subject you mentioned. I am almost done. Really fascinating book. You really have to keep your mind open to what he is saying though. It challenges everything we thought we knew.

  31. Texas is gaining population. Investment is growing. California is doing the opposite.
    Do you have a link to that report on Texas?

    The Texas economy continues to outperform the U.S. economy in the current recovery. The state’s economy gained 194,400 jobs from November 2009 to November 2010, an annual growth rate of 1.9 percent. Over the same period, the U.S. economy gained 842,000 jobs, an annual growth rate of 0.6 percent. Texas’ private sector continues to play a key role in creating jobs. The state’s private sector posted an annual employment growth rate of 2.2 percent compared with 1 percent for the U.S. private sector from November 2009 to November 2010.

  32. e

    texas is one of the most vibrant states in the union. california is going down the toilet

Comments are closed.