Are California’s Climate Change Goals Too Extreme?

David Kersten
David Kersten is president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy (www.kersteninstitute.org). Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public finance and economics 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 president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy (www.kersteninstitute.org). Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public finance and economics 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 president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy (www.kersteninstitute.org). Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public finance and economics 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 president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy (www.kersteninstitute.org). Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public finance and economics 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 president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy (www.kersteninstitute.org). Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public finance and economics 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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Raising the White Flag to the “Tax and Spend” Interests Behind Prop. 55

David Kersten
David Kersten is president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy (www.kersteninstitute.org). Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public finance and economics 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 […]

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Prop. 30 Extension Represent CA Taxpayer-Funded Bailout 

David Kersten
David Kersten is president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy (www.kersteninstitute.org). Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public finance and economics 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 […]

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Prop. 13 is California Taxpayers Only “Saving Grace” 

David Kersten
David Kersten is president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy (www.kersteninstitute.org). Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public finance and economics 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 […]

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California Would Benefit from a True Two Party System

David Kersten
David Kersten is president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy (www.kersteninstitute.org). Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public finance and economics 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 […]

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California Legislature Needs to Stop Punishing Business

David Kersten
David Kersten is president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy (www.kersteninstitute.org). Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public finance and economics at the University of San Francisco.

A number of recent anecdotes suggest that the California Legislature, particularly the California Democrat Leadership, is out to punish the California business community for its legitimate policy differences. For example, the California Democrat leadership abused the political process by holding back a number of tobacco regulation and tax bills from reaching the Governor’s desk to prevent industry from […]

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