As they padded their left shoulder with their own right hand, while congratulating a job well done.
Let's not forget balancing the book is only one facet of gate keeping. The idea is to spend as much as one could, back into the society and not let resources sit idle. Many will argue that over spending is better than not getting the resources being used.
In my memory, only one governor of our State in recent years had balanced the book. Gary Locke. A conservative democrat. Boring but he kept the books balanced.
The following governors spent and spent like no tomorrow. Very different approach from within the same Party.
Of course we had fallen into the budget deficit, just like the other States.
Healthcare is a big wheel to turn, can't change direction in a short term, if one force the spinning wheel change direction suddenly, something will break. To blame one for trying to move mountain in a limited time frame. The shaky result is leaving everyone in need buried under the pile of dirt which had been dug up.