Politicians generally employ their annual State of the Union/State/City speeches to tout their accomplishments, to announce their big initiatives and rally the troops while glossing over the missteps or looming problems facing their administration.
Not Gov. Jerry Brown, who was his usual fiscally gloomy self in his State of the State speech Thursday morning.
"The challenge is to solve today's problems without making those of tomorrow even worse. We face a future that is partly determined and yet in many ways unknown. Our job is to clearly face the facts we do know and prepare for the many unknowns as best we can," he said at the top of the speech.
My quick and dirty summary: Yeah, we've got billions more in revenue, but the budget badness is always just around the corner. Yeah, it's raining this year, but our aquifers and groundwater are draining fast. Yeah, we passed some landmark climate-change legislation, but the planet is still heating up. Yeah, we raised the minimum wage and passed an earned income tax credit, but there's a growing pay gap between the wealthy and the working poor.
Hard to pep the squad with such a sober assessment, but it did seem awfully familiar. Not unlike what, say, an editorial board might write. We can always see the dark shadows cast by the silver linings.