California may be the world’s 8th-largest economy and key to President Obama’s re-election, but requests for financial aid are falling on deaf ears in Washington, Politico reports. The Golden State remains deadlocked over a $24 billion budget deficit, and many of its own officials are unsympathetic. “Why would we bail out the state when it’s like giving drugs to a drug addict?” asked one congressman.
Experts say bailing out California would look bad—picture unemployed Michigan autoworkers alongside chardonnay-sipping San Franciscans and pool-lounging Beverly Hills starlets—and would also set a dangerous precedent for other cash-strapped states. But others insist California is too big to fail. “Pending budget cuts could delay a national recovery and weaken the nation’s long-term competitiveness,” said one analyst.