<b>Brown's bad bet</b>

EDITOR: With regard to Thursday's front-page article about the state budget ("Brighter outlook for state budget"), Gov. Jerry Brown might as well have been reading tea leaves, having a session with an astrologist or having a palm reading while planning the budget. What could he have been thinking when he was "counting on the IPO of Facebook"?

Now, the shortfall is "due to the lagging price of Facebook's stock price." According to the article, we have a budget deficit of $1.9 billion, partly because he was betting on the stock market. Our illustrious governor has indeed shown poor insight as well as poor planning. Just keep raising taxes instead of fixing the real problems.

Brown could start the New Year off right by reducing the number of public agencies and the overlap among them. That would certainly be a step in the right direction.