Does the State of California Need More “Public Investment”?

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Renowned economists such as Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, and Milton Friedman often talk about the differences between “good economics” and “bad economics,” but often disagree about what these terms actually mean. Similarly, in California politics you often hear public officials talk about the need for increased “public investment” in things such as education, health care, […]

Read more

Are California’s Climate Change Goals Too Extreme?

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Perhaps the biggest looming threat to California’s economy is the state’s pursuit of unrealistic, unworkable and unaffordable “climate change” goals. While polling consistently shows that majorities California voters support environmental policies aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change, many of these same polls indicate that support for such policies drops dramatically if people are […]

Read more

Analyzing Health Care Financing–Part 2

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

In short, I believe there are a few red flags regarding the State of California in particular that lead me to question whether the State of California could in fact afford to move to a fiscally sustainable health care system. First, the political system in the State of California (i.e. State Legislature, Administration) has not […]

Read more

Can the State of California Afford to Provide Universal Health Care Coverage?

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Perhaps no issue looms larger on both the state and national political stage than the question of universal health care coverage. U.S. Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris (D) sent a shockwave through the national health care debate on Monday Jan. 28th by nonchalantly stating that she would eliminate private insurers as a necessary part of implementing […]

Read more

Should “Tax Reform” in California be Connected to “Spending Reform”?

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Discussions have been underway in the media and certain political circles in California for sometime that there is a dire need for “tax reform” in the State of California. At the same time, there has been a separate debate in the media and other political circles about the need for “spending reform” in California, particularly […]

Read more

Can More Money Help Solve California’s Major Public Policy Problems?

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

A quick review of the Governor’s January budget proposal illustrates that one common thread is spending more money, in many cases a lot more money, that is intended to address a variety of major public policy problems such as early childhood education, homelessness, and lack of affordable health care and housing. The new Governor Gavin […]

Read more

Raising the White Flag to the “Tax and Spend” Interests Behind Prop. 55

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

There are some who believe that the passage of Prop. 55 is inevitable, the measure can’t be beat. Maybe these folks have been right all along.  But maybe they have really been just too afraid to take a strong stand against Prop. 55, for fear of fighting a losing battle. However, I would argue that […]

Read more

Prop. 30 Extension Represent CA Taxpayer-Funded Bailout 

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Perhaps the best decision California voters can make at the polls this November is to vote “NO” on the initiative extending the Prop. 30 temporary tax increases that expire in 2018. Why?  The short answer is that extending the Prop. 30 tax extensions effectively bails out California State Democrat politicians for their inability to take […]

Read more

Prop. 13 is California Taxpayers Only “Saving Grace” 

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Proposition 13 is certain to continue to be a hot topic in 2016 and beyond as “reformers” continue to work on mobilizing a statewide effort to enact a “split-roll” that raises billions of dollars in increased property taxes from California businesses. I have worked in and around Prop. 13 in one form or another for […]

Read more

California Would Benefit from a True Two Party System

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Technically speaking, California’s political system is a “two party system,” but that is largely in name only in most places in the state. California has become a “one party state” controlled by the California Democratic Party and California Democrat politicians. Two key drivers was the decline of the Republican Party in the wake of Pete […]

Read more