Patterico's Pontifications


California’s New Budget Joke

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:36 pm

[guest post by Dana]


California is a beautiful state. No doubt about it. Golden sunshine, stunning coastline, great beaches, breathtaking forests, endless deserts, small towns, big cities. Something for everyone.

Unfortunately, our state motto appears to have changed to: A bloated budget is a better budget! This speaks to the fact that what we do lack in our great state is a sane government. Californians are held hostage by the looney left, who, to put it mildly, believe that big spending is the duty of all governments. And of course, as is always the case, the middle class gets stuck with the bill.

With that, Governor Jerry Brown just signed our new budget. Here are some of the more troubling items in the new budget:

Record Level of State Spending – General Fund spending spikes year-over-year in Brown’s budget by over $12 billion, taking general fund spending up to a new record high of $108 billion. If you actually compute total state spending from all fund sources, total state spending hits a new record high of $230 billion! Many of these spending increases are reflected in significant increases in entitlement programs, ensuring that California continues to be a leader in providing the most generous social welfare program funding in the country.

Swimming Pools – Courtesy of taxpayers all over California, the people of the relatively small border town of Calexico will receive millions of dollars for a very large swimming pool. But there’s more. The budget also contains millions to fix some cracks in the large, iconic “Neptune Pool” at the historic Hearst Castle on California’s central coast.

Local School Districts Required to Reduce Reserves – In a blatant flexing of political muscle by the California Teachers Association, a last-minute change in the budget will put severe restriction on local school districts to keep healthy reserves–their “rainy day funds”–to protect themselves against future economic downturns. The motive of the unions here is to force school districts to spend that money, knowing that some of those funds will be spent on the salaries and benefits of their members.

Drug Felons on Welfare – Until the enactment of this budget, state law prohibited convicted drug felons from receiving any benefits from two of the state’s largest welfare programs, CalWORKS and CalFresh (food stamps). But not anymore–now, instead of just vouchers, they will be eligible for cash (ka-ching!). The projected cost increase of this new policy: $50 million!

Unoccupied Governor’s Mansion – The State of California owns a 137 year old Governor’s mansion. It has been unoccupied since then-Governor Reagan and his first lady, Nancy, abandoned it for a house in the Sacramento suburbs. Even though Governor Brown has no plans to live in it afterwards, the state budget contains $2.5 million bucks to renovate the mansion.

Blank Check for High-Speed Rail – You would never know how unpopular the high-speed rail (HSR) boondoggle is in public opinion polls if you looked at Brown’s budget. The budget includes $250 million in spending on HSR from funds coming in from the state’s dubious cap-and-trade carbon emission program. It also establishes that in future years, hundreds of millions will be spend on HSR with no future vote of the legislature required – it’s on perpetual auto-pilot! Even worse, the HSR Authority will undoubtedly issue revenue bonds against this future revenue, borrowing money now to be repaid later. Oy.

More Funding for Abortions – One of the most controversial aspects of California’s budget is the substantial amount of taxpayer funding for “pregnancy termination services.” This year’s budget provides for a staggering 40% increase in the reimbursement rate for abortions in the MediCal program. Well over $5 million in taxpayer funds is set aside to fund abortions. Sick.

Coastal Commission Power Grab – It pays to be the Assembly Speaker. Just ask the current occupant of the job, Toni Atkins. The Assemblywoman had been trying for years to expand the power of the California Coastal Commission, a controversial government entity because of its wide-ranging control over private property along our state’s coastline. Atkins had not been having luck passing a bill to give the Commission the power to levy fines independently without going to a judge. Somehow this power grab ended up in the final language of the budget.

California dreaming has taken on a whole new meaning.


26 Responses to “California’s New Budget Joke”

  1. The High Desert of Nevada is looking more and more inviting.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  2. Askeptic: I am moving to Nevada myself. My brother wants me to come back to CA, but there is no way in the world I will do that.

    celebratehomogeneity (abb685)

  3. I do believe there is a business advertising on I-80 in Nevada that says “Get off at this exit and come inside.” Not sure if that’s the invitation you’re talking about, askeptic. 😉

    John Hitchcock (1a2204)

  4. Left the land of fruits and nuts 10 years ago and have not regretted one single day since. And I moved from Laurel Canyon in the Hollywood Hills to a small Arizona town of less than 5000 people. Not a single traffic light, either. Heaven.

    Gazzer (6a76d0)

  5. Thinking more of one of the old mining towns in west-central NV.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  6. Gazzer, I recently spent some time in Laurel Canyon after not having been there in about 30 years. It was like being stuck in a time warp. Nothing had changed. Same people, same vibe, same self-importance. Not everyone grows up.

    I would add that after living in a community of 192, what a relief to get back to a city and my privacy. Anonymity in a small town is nearly impossible.

    Dana (6875fb)

  7. Dana,
    A couple of years ago I was driving through town in my little convertible when the Town Marshall lit me up and pulled me over. I wondered what the hell I had done as I certainly wasn’t speeding. Anyhoo, he strolls up and says, “Hi Gazzer, haven’t seen you in a while. How are you and the missus?” Gave my little dog a biscuit, and off he went. Gotta love it.

    Gazzer (6a76d0)

  8. wait’ll the tax revenues don’t materialize…

    we’ve got a speshul kind of morons driving this bus.

    #Falifornia here we come! 😎

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  9. That’s another thing. I have a friend back east in NJ whose property taxes are $25,000 a year. Mine are less than $900!

    Gazzer (6a76d0)

  10. the one thing that has changed in Laurel Canyon is home prices (ridiculous) and the traffic, especially morning & evening (obscene)

    welcome to Los Angeles, now go home.

    (instead, these idiots want to bid on the 2024 Olympics %-)

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  11. Lived in Cali since 1956… watched the OC change from rural suburbia to crowded part of SoCal megalopolis… left SoCal for NorCal in mid-80s. Our state has an abundance of beauty and a shortage of common sense, political leadership and the ability to foresee inevitable results and consequences of idiotic overspending. Governor Jerry “Grandpa” Simpson-Brown is not a man with the desire – let alone principles – to improve things.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  12. Californians are held hostage by the looney left, who, to put it mildly, believe that big spending is the duty of all governments.

    That sentence makes it sound like the idiocy of the ideology that pervades the state, or its government in particular, is not due to the knuckleheadedness of a large percentage of California’s electorate. IOW, “we have met the enemy and he is us.”

    Both politically and demographically I foresee a state that eventually will resemble — more and more — what goes on in countries like Mexico. And since California is the US’s largest state, what does that say about this country in general?

    Moreover, the changing demographics of California will be merely a small part contributing to that slow downhil trajectory, since countries not just like Mexico but similar to that of Greece, Spain or France also are a glimpse into our future.

    Mark (246552)

  13. (instead, these idiots want to bid on the 2024 Olympics %-)

    I was in LA in 1984. Went to the Olympic Boxing finals. They anticipated traffic to be a huge problem. There were bumperstickers that read, “Interstate 405: Official Parking Lot of the 1984 Olympics. For two weeks, it was the easiest commute I ever had to Boyle Heights. Apparently, everyone thought it was going to be a disaster and took those two weeks off.

    It was a great experience. Peter Ueberroth did a great job. Paid $40 for my ticket and $5 to park on some guys lawn, which was about 5 blocks away.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  14. the California Coastal Commission makes the EPA looks like a fuzzy little nazi kitten

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  15. Hadoop, remember how easy traffic was when they held that “Day without a Mexican” fiasco?

    Gazzer (6a76d0)

  16. 14. the California Coastal Commission makes the EPA looks like a fuzzy little nazi kitten
    happyfeet (8ce051) — 6/21/2014 @ 3:02 pm

    Sing it sister.

    Why a blog about getting a building permit?

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  17. Hadoop, remember how easy traffic was when they held that “Day without a Mexican” fiasco?

    I moved to San Diego in 1986, but the traffic here was pretty light as well.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  18. happyfeet (8ce051) — 6/21/2014 @ 3:02 pm

    It seems that one of the Progressive Ladies in the Assy snuck a provision into the budget fulfilling one of her long time wishes – granting the Coastal Commission the power to unilaterally impose fines upon property owners under their jurisdiction – without bothering a court.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  19. owning property here is a choice Mr. skeptic and it’s like betting on the horses

    you don’t wanna play with money you can’t afford to lose

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  20. It never rains, it pours…

    Gazzer (6a76d0)

  21. One-party rule. And I mean RULE!

    Until you break the back of the PEU, their forced dues will fund the continuing debacle. Sure, they could buy both parties, but one party will do the trick.

    “Drug Felons on Welfare” – In the war between the Yuppies and the Homeless in DTLA, score a three-pointer for the Homeless. Skid Row and Friends is funded largely by us, the taxpayers: EBT, GR, grants to Homeless Advocates and Missions.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  22. This kind of profligate spending is why I left California. They’re addicted to spending in Sacramento and won’t stop until they hit rock bottom. Unfortunately, when that happens family and friends of the addict (I.e., the citizens and taxpayers) will suffer more than the addict.

    ExRat (ab3097)

  23. these idiots want to bid on the 2024 Olympics

    If it’s anything like the 1984 Olympics, I could use a few weeks of light traffic. There’s a famous picture of the downtown 4-level interchange at 8:30 AM the morning the ’84 games started: a few cars.

    and more

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  24. granting the Coastal Commission the power to unilaterally impose fines upon property owners under their jurisdiction – without bothering a court.

    IANAL but it would seem that there is a separation of powers issue here.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  25. @Mark: Blame the coast and Sacramento, not the whole state.
    They have a majority of the population, and they vote leftist.

    Most of the inland areas vote more conservative.

    Ibidem (34e45a)

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