Patterico's Pontifications


New York Times Article on Alleged California Surpluses Ignores Crushing California Debt

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

Their story is titled California Faces a New Quandary, Too Much Money.

Too much money!

After years of grueling battles over state budget deficits and spending cuts, California has a new challenge on its hands: too much money. An unexpected surplus is fueling an argument over how the state should respond to its turn of good fortune.

The amount is a matter of debate, but by any measure significant: between $1.2 billion, projected by Gov. Jerry Brown, and $4.4 billion, the estimate of the Legislature’s independent financial analyst. The surplus comes barely three years after the state was facing a deficit of close to $60 billion.

It’s “by any measure” significant? How about by the measure of what we owe?

Apparently the debate is over how best to squander the alleged tiny surpluses: spend spend spend, or tax cuts. Not mentioned anywhere in the story: California’s crushing debt burden. For that, you have to go to this link from CBS.

The combined debt of California’s state and local governments is at least $848 billion and could escalate past $1.1 trillion, according to a new report.

The California Public Policy Center – focused on the analysis of California’s financial information on the state and local government levels — based its findings on official reports from the offices of the state controller and treasurer.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s $27.8 billion “wall of debt” was only part of the state’s official debt that the report put at $132.6 billion.

All of a sudden a $1.2 billion alleged surplus does not look “significant” by the “measure” of placing it next to a trillion dollars of debt and unfunded liabilities.

Too bad the New York Times doesn’t offer this perspective, at all, anywhere.

The Kaitlyn Hunt Case

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

I am somewhat out of the news loop and have not closely followed the case of Kaitlyn Hunt, who is facing charges in Florida for a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl. But people seem interested in the case, so I figured I would give you a thread to discuss it.

Emily Bazelon says: “It’s hard for me to see how you can take the homophobia out of this case.” But she seems to provide no evidence to support that statement. Is there any genuine reason to believe this is about gay rights in any way? I don’t see it.

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