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Gov Brown Increases Spending 24% Since Tax Vote

From an unquestioning Associated Press:

California governor releases $108 billion budget

May 12, 2104

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s tax windfall lifted Gov. Jerry Brown’s spending plan to a record level Tuesday, but the Democratic governor cautioned that the surplus is needed for higher-than-expected health care costs and an underfunded teachers’ pension system.

Lest we forget, "California’s tax windfall" was when the voters voted to massively increase their taxes two years ago. In return for which, Jerry Brown pledged that he would cut spending to the bone. But two years later, he has raised state spending to a new record level. Which should be a lesson for all of us.

The governor is projecting $107.8 billion in spending from the general fund, the state’s main account for paying day-to-day operations, bringing total state spending to $156.2 billion for the fiscal year starting July 1. That’s $1 billion more than the general fund plan Brown proposed in January.

The figure represents a 24 percent increase over the $87 billion general fund budget approved during the 2011-12 fiscal year, the low point of the recession when California cut billions of dollars from state programs and furloughed state workers.

That is to say, spending has been jacked up 24% since Brown promised a new austerity if Californians raised the taxes on themselves.

"I can tell you this is good news for California," Brown told reporters Tuesday.

Maybe because it isn’t good news.

Tax revenue in the current fiscal year is running more than $2 billion ahead of expectations, but the governor’s office said expenditures increased at a similar rate.

California can expect about $1.2 billion in additional costs this year for Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for the poor, which saw 1.4 million more enrollees than the state projected in January. Brown’s office said the additional cost will climb to $2.4 billion in the next fiscal year as even more people enroll due to an expansion under the Affordable Care Act…

Er, we thought the federal government was going to pick up the tab for the expansion of Medicaid? And the red states were fools for not taking that deal?

[Brown] announced an agreement with legislative leaders last week to replace a rainy day fund measure on the November ballot with a different, bipartisan plan that would set aside revenue of up to 10 percent of California’s general fund and dedicate some of the reserve to paying down the state’s massive debts and unfunded liabilities.

California’s debts remain massive, even as Brown proposes to spend more to pay them down. Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor said last week that California has $340 billion in debts and unfunded liabilities, or more than $8,500 for each of its 38 million residents…

Maybe they need another tax increase?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Gov Brown Increases Spending 24% Since Tax Vote”

  1. “Help! I’m being taxed and can’t get up!”

    (new Lifeline ad)
    (now a Taxline ad)

  2. Rusty Shackleford

    Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”

    Aesop knew us all too well.

  3. Rusty Shackleford

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the bullet train for Californica is going into billion-dollar overruns under Brown’s watch. Not that anyone cares.




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