Government Pensions Are Dividing Americans and Damaging the Economy

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is a co-founder and senior fellow at the California Policy Center

A few weeks ago, the condition of California’s public employee pensions systems was serious, but it was a crisis unfolding in slow motion. As reported in their 6/30/2019 financial statements, CalPERS, the largest pension system in the U.S., was only 70.2 percent funded. To cope, the system was requiring its participating agencies to nearly double […]

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Californians Reject New Taxes and Borrowing

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is a co-founder and senior fellow at the California Policy Center

The preliminary election returns reported on March 4th – the day after the election, and the day when we used to get final returns – indicate that California’s voters delivered a stunning rejection of new taxes and borrowing. It’s about time. At the state level, Prop.13 which would have authorized $15 billion in general obligation […]

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How Much Does California Actually Spend on K-12 Students?

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is a co-founder and senior fellow at the California Policy Center

“It’s not enough. We’re still 41st in the nation in per pupil funding. Something needs to change. We need to have an honest conversation about how we fund our schools at a state and local level,” –  California Governor Gavin Newsom, State of the State Address, February 12, 2020 It should come as no surprise that […]

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California’s Progressive War on Suburbia

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is a co-founder and senior fellow at the California Policy Center

For three years in a row, California’s progressive lawmakers have attempted to legislate higher density housing by taking away the ability of cities and counties to enforce local zoning laws. And for the third year in a row, the proposed law, Senate Bill 50, was narrowly defeated. But eventually, inevitably, something like SB 50 is […]

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Using Online Resources to Qualify Ballot Measures

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is a co-founder and senior fellow at the California Policy Center

There is a mass delusion afflicting millions of Californians. They endure a cost-of-living nearly twice the national average, high taxes, the highest incidence of poverty, the most hostile business climate, some of the worst K-12 schools, well over a $1.0 trillion in bond and pension debt, unaffordable homes, among the highest prices in the nation […]

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Newsom’s 2020-21 Budget – A Big Pie, But Empty Calories

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is a co-founder and senior fellow at the California Policy Center

Governor Newsom has unveiled his budget proposal for the fiscal year 2020-21, and it comes in at a whopping $222 billion. That’s up from $209 billion last year, and sharply up from a few years ago. Backing up a decade, the 2010-11 budget totaled $130 billion. What on earth could justify a 70 percent increase […]

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California Pioneers Subsidized Housing for Public Employees

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is a co-founder and senior fellow at the California Policy Center

When it comes to affordable housing, what California’s state legislators have done epitomizes what happens when you have a government bureaucracy that serves itself instead of the public, one that is under the complete control of special interests. They have enacted laws that have made it nearly impossible for the private sector to build homes, […]

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The Cost to Taxpayers of Enhancing Sonoma County Employee Pensions

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is a co-founder and senior fellow at the California Policy Center

In the early 2000s, along with many other cities, state agencies and counties in California, Sonoma County enhanced their employee pension benefits. As of 6/30/2018, Sonoma County’s pension system had $2.7 billion of invested assets, but nearly $3.1 billion in actuarial accrued liabilities. To what extent is its $400 million unfunded liability attributable to the […]

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California’s Boondoggle Archipelago

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is a co-founder and senior fellow at the California Policy Center

Across California, there is a growing string of islands, exquisite gems in the urban ocean. Dredged from the pockets of taxpayers, constructed by elite artisans, these pristine islands have been created at stupefying expense. But their beauty is seductive. Spend more! Each time an island is completed, or even proposed, glowing reports are logged across […]

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Long-Term Solutions for California Wildfire Prevention

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is a co-founder and senior fellow at the California Policy Center

Nobody knew how the fire started. It took hold in the dry chaparral and grasslands and quickly spread up the sides of the canyon. Propelled by winds gusting over 40 miles per hour and extremely dry air (humidity below 25 percent), the fire spread over the ridge and into the town below. Overwhelmed firefighters could […]

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