California is on an unsustainable financial path, but we can counteract the influence of special interest groups in Sacramento if enough Californians come together and act to fix our state. Many people care about the issues, but without a collective voice, politicians will not listen.
This week California Common Sense launched a revolutionary civic engagement platform where people can learn more about issues that affect California and “Vote to FixIt!” Visit http://www.cacs.org and make your voice heard.
For example, here you can learn that public employee pensions are crippling our state. California’s expenditures on public pensions will be over $25 billion annually in the near future. This is as much as the government spends on the environment, labor, consumer protection, higher education, and corrections combined. So the question is: do we want pensions or everything else?
While the quality of core services is severely undermined, public pension costs are rising and being paid for by your hard-earned taxpayer dollars. This problem is the result of back-door deals between politicians and public employee union leaders (who donate millions annually). It means you pay more for public pensions and it will hurt employees who have been made promises that cannot continue to be promised or fulfilled.
$25,000,000,000 are at stake annually. This will be the annual state contribution to pay for pensions and is computed in Joe Nation’s SIEPR report on California’s pension systems (assuming a 6.2 percent investment rate of return–which is still likely too high) prepared with the assistance of CACS researchers, available at www.siepr.stanford.edu. This is an unjust and unsustainable burden to taxpayers who deserve better.
California Common Sense is a non-partisan non-profit founded by Stanford students and alumni to enable data-driven discourse and political activism. The CACS platform features a variety of user-discovered issues based on detailed government data that you can explore, comment on, and then vote to fix in order to bring about real reform, learn more here.
Elected officials will be encouraged to respond to the most popular issues. Now is the time to fix California, and using the CACS platform you can build the grassroots movement needed to spark positive change.