“You ain’t got no problems, Jules. I’m on the mother-f***er. Go back in there and chill them n****rs out, and wait for The Wolf who should be coming directly.” –Ving Rhames, as Marsellus Wallace, in Pulp Fiction

California’s budget is constantly out of balance. The current budget was called balanced last July, and is already $5 billion out of balance. The feds and the courts keep making decisions that make things worse. The entire budget system seems to behave like a ratchet, pushing spending up and revenues down.

But worry? No.

Jerry Brown says he is working on it and making progress. He has a plan.

The state desperately needs revenues, but can’t agree on how to raise them. There are three competing tax initiatives that appear headed to the ballot. The multiple measures seem likely to confuse voters and compete with each other – virtually guaranteeing defeat for all of them. Parents, professors and those who rely on social services are fearful.

But don’t worry. Jerry Brown is trying to clear the ballot.

Debt service is the fastest growing part of the budget. The state has to borrow just to meet cash needs. A host of previous obligations, including deficit bonds, have created a “wall of debt.”

But fear not. Jerry Brown is working on tearing down that wall.

The state’s unfunded pension obligations run into the either the tens of billions (according to the optimists) or the hundreds of billions (according to the pessimists). Ballot initiatives to curb these costs aren’t going anywhere politically, and may not save all that much money if they did. The teachers pension fund has adjusted its rate of return downward, forcing governments to contribute millions more in the future. Labor unions and Democrats are fighting virtually any attempt to curb these obligations.

But Jerry Brown has a plan.

Education is in crisis in California. School districts have laid off teachers and shortened their school year – and may have to do more of both in the near future. Universities have lost more than a quarter of their state support in recent years, and have made up the money by ordering a series of large tuition increases. With access to public higher education limited, the state saw a decline in its college graduation rate over the last decade.

But Jerry Brown is working hard to save education.

The estimated cost of the state’s high-speed rail project nearly tripled this year. Experts in and out of the government warn that the effort has all sorts of problems – and represents a possible fiscal calamity to the state. The federal government is offering money to start construction in the middle of the Central Valley, where ridership would be low. The state and local agencies don’t even have the money to make necessary improvements on the rail lines California already has.

But Jerry Brown has a plan.

Still, maybe someone should call the Wolf. Just in case.