And the bottom line: the eventual capital gains from the 2012 Facebook IPO will no doubt help balance the state's books. But the smart bet is that it won't be enough to stave off the vast majority of the tough choices that lie ahead.
A new year has arrived and, now that we've closed the book on 2011, here's a glimpse into the crystal ball at what might be some of the interesting things around the bend in California politics for 2012.
Yes, some of them are more likely than others. But foresight isn't 20/20, so take this with all of the appropriate caveats.