Scapegoating In Sacramento

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

Govern For California supports lawmakers who legislate in the general interest. This week two bills will be up for votes in the State Assembly that are pure examples of special interest legislation. To explain, first we must start with an understanding of Medicare, which is government-funded but not necessarily government-provided healthcare. Though funded by the […]

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Fearing the Wheelbarrow

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

According to the Smithsonian, researchers believe the wheelbarrow first appeared in classical Greece between the sixth and fourth centuries B.C. and could pay for itself in just 3 or 4 days in terms of labor savings. Its invention drove a massive improvement in productivity that freed humans for other endeavors. But imagine if the laborers […]

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It’s K-12, Stupid

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

To keep Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign on message, campaign strategist James Carville hung a sign in Clinton’s Little Rock campaign headquarters that read “It’s the economy, stupid.” The country was in recession then and Carville knew a Clinton victory depended on keeping voters focused on that subject. Clinton won.

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Bugs in the K-12 System

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

Dear Legislators and GFC Supporters, Imagine if one of Apple’s products had a software bug. Do you think Apple’s management would act immediately to fix it? Of course it would. Now ask the same question about California’s K-12 school system, which operates under rules established by the state legislature and governor. Would they act immediately […]

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Legislators Need Courage to Avert School Funding Crisis

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

In 2012 the California Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown asked voters to approve a big sales and income tax increase to better fund schools. Voters approved the measure and per-pupil spending has risen 60 percent since then to $17,160 per student. One would expect schools to be faring well. They aren’t. Despite the spending increase, school […]

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Political “MacGuffins” Ignore Facts

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

Alfred Hitchcock often made use in his films of a “MacGuffin,” which according to Merriam-Webster is “an object, event, or character in a film or story that serves to set and keep the plot in motion despite usually lacking intrinsic importance.” (emphasis added.) The MacGuffin itself is usually irrelevant to the plot. What matters is […]

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Sacramento’s Silliest Subsidy

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

In December I became eligible for Medicare, the national health insurance program for people aged 65 and older. Medicare is fantastic — and fantastically cheap — insurance. But, believe it or not, if I was a retired California state employee, I would also be entitled to a state-provided health insurance subsidy that this fiscal year will cost the state $2.6 billion — more than […]

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Reform Medi-Cal To Reduce Poverty

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

Ten years ago, California’s Department of Social Services — whose mission is “to serve, aid, and protect needy and vulnerable children and adults” — received nearly $10 billion, which was nearly 10 percent of the General Fund that year:           This year California’s General Fund is 34 percent larger. But DSS is receiving only $9 billion. As […]

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The Trump Distraction

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

Everyone knows Donald Trump trolls California and that trolling is not a presidential responsibility outlined in Article II of the US Constitution. But many California state officials troll Trump and likewise are not fulfilling any legislative responsibilities under Article IV of the California Constitution. Just consider K-12 education, which is a legislative responsibility and the single largest […]

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Verdict on Prop 30 Tax Increase, Part 2

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

In January 2012 California Governor Jerry Brown announced he would ask California voters to approve temporary increases in income and sales taxes. Later that year his proposal was embodied in Proposition 30. Projected by the Legislative Analysts Office to raise $6 billion per year for four years and smaller amounts for three years (ie, $42 […]

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