◼ It’s hard to find good news for the state’s taxpayers or business owners, although the state’s public-sector unions ought to be stocking up on champagne. - Steven Greenhut/OC Register
California's Democratic leaders are giddy about the future now that they have gained everything they wanted in the recent election – voter-approved tax increases and two-thirds supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature, thus rendering Republicans little more than an annoying irrelevancy who can no longer block tax hikes.
Will Democrats just ramp up the taxing-and-spending spree or will some semblance of a "moderate" Democratic caucus emerge to offer a limited check on those tendencies? Either way, it's hard to find good news for taxpayers or business owners, although the state's public-sector unions ought to be stocking up on champagne.
Given that backdrop, I offer some subdued predictions for the new year.
No. 1: Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislative leadership will continue to argue that the state government is on a bare-bones diet and, therefore, continue to look for additional revenue to fund it, regardless of mounting evidence of waste and excess.
No. 2: The state's optimistic budget projections will not come to pass...
No. 3: Democratic leaders will begin increasing every tax imaginable to fill the budget gap, in what will amount to death by a thousand cuts....
No. 4: Legislators will make good on their promise to "reform" the referendum and initiative process, thus assuring that there will be less opportunity for voters – who still tend to be more conservative in their votes on ballot measures than for candidates – to keep a Democratic majority in check.
No. 5: Waves of California millionaires and business owners will throw in the towel given that there's no longer anybody to protect them....
No. 6: We'll see a return of every bad policy idea, including some resurrected version of redevelopment agencies – those property-rights-abusing, central-planning agencies that Brown eliminated last year as he sought new funds. Now that there's no problem with raising taxes, Brown and legislative leaders will bring them back. California will become an even bigger laboratory for crazy proposals.... More at the link.
◼ Oct 25, 2011 CA Debt: $612 billion – CA Media Totally Silent
◼ Sep 3, 2012 Ouch! Total State Debt Tops $4 Trillion Dollars, California Ranked ... - HotAir Greenroom
California again trumped other states with a $617 billion debt. California’s debt is more than twice the size of New York‘s state debt, and New York has the second largest total debt burden in the nation. Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey rounded out the top five states with the most debt. Although New York and Texas moved up one and two spots, respectively, the states with the five largest debts remained unchanged from last year’s report....◼ Sep 21, 2012 'Wall Of Debt' Threatens California: Independent Study - IB Times