California’s top dog, Jerry Brown, announced late last week that his state faces a $16 billion deficit. That’s up from a $9 billion deficit announcement a few months ago. Oops. Apparently one of California’s bean-counters was educated in our public schools.
What’s at the heart of the deficiency? Unfunded obligations — that’s PC for government union negotiated benefits. In February, MercuryNews.com reported that “the average California household’s share of the debt for underfunded state and local government employee pensions comes to about $30,500.” That’s today. Pensions, of course, increase as a worker logs more time on the job, so that number perpetually rises. Tick tock, tick tock.
But Brown proposed a fix. He called for slashing child care for mothers trying to get off welfare, cutting in-home supportive services and trimming health care for the poor. Isn’t it interesting that he didn’t include the real problem — reforming union negotiated pensions.
Another component to his plan, if it can be called that, is to delay paying $2.5 billion of debt and other internal borrowing, which of course, isn’t a solution at all. The debt remains even though the Democrats pretend it’s not there.
And finally, of course, Brown wants to raise taxes. During his press conference he implied that part of the reason his staff messed up the deficit arithmetic by some $7 billion was because of an unexpected “tax revenue” shortfall. So, to correct that, he wants to raise taxes. This should come as no surprise as this is the only solution the liberal-progressive mind can propose. According to TaxFoundation.org, the individual income tax in California is the third-highest rate in the country. But hey, that means there’s room to increase it to get to number one, right?
The non-partisan foundation, established in 1937, also reports the following:
California levies a 7.25% general sales or use tax on consumers, which is the highest in the nation and well above than the national median of 6%
California’s statewide gasoline tax stands at 48.6 cents per gallon and is the second highest in the nation
The state’s 8.84% flat rate is the highest corporate tax rate in the West. Nationally, only 8 states have a higher top corporate tax rate
California ranks 48th in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, only ahead of New York and New Jersey.
The Governor claims the problem with his state is “tax revenue” and yet the state ranks among the top in the country in numerous tax categories. Is it any wonder most of the country laughs at the expense of California. Once bitchin’ -cool, the state has become a national joke. And like Maryland and New York, it’s “tax revenue” persecution is driving businesses away.
And yet, amazingly, like cows in a slaughter line, the vast majority of California residents do nothing. Why this is remains a mystery. Perhaps it’s that hip, liberal mind-set or that laid-back, progressive persona. Maybe too much marinating with the good bud. Whatever the reason, they better snap out of it because allowing businesses to bounce because of the tax man is guaranteed to wreck the crib.