In poetic language:

"California no longer has low-hanging fruits — we don't have any medium-hanging fruits, and we also don't have any high-hanging fruits," Schwarzenegger said, explaining the cuts Friday at a news conference in Sacramento. "We have to take the ladder from the tree and shake the whole tree."


In plain language:

"There will be layoffs," the governor [of Oregon] stated flatly. "I have learned — and am convinced — that in a situation like this, the best response is swift and decisive action."

The cuts in California will eliminate welfare programs and child care funding. The cuts in Oregon will "eliminate school days, idle some state police troopers, and lead to pay freezes and benefit rollbacks for state workers." In both cases, not much will be saved; in both cases, the social costs will be considerable.