The Real Reason Behind The CA Single Payer Proposal

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

Hint: It’s not about health This past weekend the California Democratic Party of which I am a member held a state convention riven by the election of a new chairman. Behind that was a battle over a proposal to enact “Single Payer” (SP) health care financing in California. Behind that is a power play about money. […]

Read more

Pension Loan would Cover Up Wealth Transfers to Employees

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

California proposes to issue a pension obligation bond to finance extra contributions to the state pension fund, CalPERS. It would also cover up wealth transfers from citizens to state employees. Here’s how it works: When pension promises are made by the state to its employees, both the state and employees incur costs (“Normal Costs”) in the form of contributions […]

Read more

State budget more vulnerable than ever to stock market decline

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

Take a look at California’s General Fund revenues over the last twenty years: Schedule 2, 2017–18 Governor’s Revised Budget Zero in on 2000-03. Notice how revenues peaked at $76 billion in 2000 and then fell below that level for three years. Aggregate revenues over those three years fell $30 billion short of the revenues the state would’ve collected had they continued […]

Read more

CDA CMA CNA CHA CTA SEIU CCPOA: Gibberish to you but not to candidates for CA governor.

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

Ask the average Californian what those acronyms stand for and you’ll draw a blank stare. Ask a candidate for governor and they’ll snap to attention. Those acronyms are associations (see * below) representing the largest recipients of state spending and the beneficiaries of state laws shielding them from accountability or competition. The health, safety and teaching […]

Read more

CA Legislature Must Stop Bullying UC

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

As the State Legislature holds a hearing about the University of California, consider the following: UC will collect $3.5 billion from the state this year, just six percent more than a decade ago. Since 2010, state spending on UC is up just two-thirds of the growth rate of state revenues and just a fraction of […]

Read more

Healthcare Providers Aren’t Greedier than Uber

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

I just read An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Kaiser Health News Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal, a fact-filled* critique of the American health system. The author does a marvelous job of describing the Kafkaesque world in which Americans all-too-often find themselves — no fixed prices for procedures or tests, no […]

Read more

Dissecting San Jose Unified

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

Normally, California school districts don’t face financial stress when state revenues are robust. Usually that stress arises only when state revenues shrink as a result of declining stock markets. But schools in California are experiencing stress right now despite record revenues from a long bull market and a tax increase. One illustration is the San Jose Unified […]

Read more

Now California Must Take on the Healthcare-Industrial Complex

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

California dodged a budgetary bullet last week when Congress elected not to change Medicaid reimbursement rules. With 14 million people covered by Medi-Cal, which is California’s version of Medicaid, the consequences for the state budget of having to pick up more of that cost would’ve been enormous. But that’s just one battle. Medi-Cal is a […]

Read more

San Francisco Officials Are Chasing Rabbits

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

San Francisco’s pension costs are expected to rise three times faster than revenues over the next five years (see “Even San Francisco, Flush With Tech Wealth, Has Pension Problems,” Bloomberg) but another disclosure in the city’s latest Five-Year Financial Plan is equally troublesome: Pension costs, which had already increased 5x in the ten years to FY2015, were […]

Read more

LAUSD and Detroit Have This In Common: Pension costs will be higher than projected

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

Last month Detroit mayor Mike Duggan claimed he had been kept in the dark about calculations used during Detroit’s 2014 bankruptcy proceedings to predict future pension payments. Realizing now that payments will be much higher than projected, the mayor is considering a lawsuit because “we did not know that [the projections] were based on optimistic […]

Read more