Is California Becoming Unaffordable?

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.

The unaffordability of trying to just make a living in the State of California has increasingly become an unpleasant fact of life for all but the richest Californians. But the key drivers of this unaffordability appears to have eluded most public officials and public policy analysts, particularly those on the left. Yet to the seasoned […]

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How Much Do Government Policies Really Cost?

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.

It is often overlooked that the actual price tag of government policies extends far beyond their actual annual cost in terms of an annual government outlay or appropriation in the terms of public budgeting language. Many government regulations, such as the state’s “cap and trade” program or other regulatory decrees, either technically have a negligible […]

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Does the “Progressive” Policy Agenda in California have any Limits?

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 has been much debate recently in the national media regarding an ongoing battle between “socialism” and “capitalism” and what each would mean for the future of this country. Meanwhile, here in California state Republican lawmakers, such as this past weekend at their convention, have been increasingly sounding the alarm that California has become and […]

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Is the California GOP Dead?

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 the wake of 2018 election, there was a surge of articles pronouncing the California Republican Party dead, or near dead, as a political force in California politics. But nearly all of these articles, or the vast majority, were written by individuals who were either Democrats, members of the mainstream media, or GOP officials who […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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