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With the state of California entering what looks to be the beginning of a long-term fiscal meltdown, local governments should consider slashing costs.

In the long term, the prospects for the state moving away from the extreme forecasted deficits (as high as $25 billion for the next fiscal year) without raising taxes are dim. State government will hopefully look to dramatically cut its costs, but may be forced to ask Californians to reach into their pockets to make up the difference.

Counties and cities must respond with strict cost controls on the local level by eliminating the extras and delaying large-scale projects. With the prospect of tax increases looming on the horizon, local government has the ability to soften the blow.

While schools, parks and government infrastructure remain priorities, it would be a mistake to approach spending the same way we would have two years ago.

Like the fundamental laws that govern physics, the laws of economics must be followed. Right now, they are telling us to scale back and reevaluate spending priorities.

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