No Real Reforms, Prolonging CA’s Economic Problems

The State of California sits poised to fall off a financial cliff with a budget deficit of almost $16 billion. At the same time, the state’s employee pension plan is so awash in unfunded liability it’s been called a looming fiscal tsunami. Rather than demonstrating courage and addressing our state’s most pressing problems, legislative Democrats are dragging their feet on pension reform, and punting on the budget, making our state’s economic situation that much worse.

What has the majority party offered to the people of California? A no reform, gimmick laden, tax and spend budget that ignores a $15.7 billion state deficit that has almost doubled since January. The Democrats continue to risk California’s financial security on the tenuous hope that voters will raise taxes this fall.

Making Promises with Empty Pockets

This past week the majority party voted to create yet another pension plan – this one for private sector employees – that is supposed to guarantee returns to all Californians who invest in it.

Don’t they realize that creating new state-guaranteed financial benefits simply pushes California closer to Greece’s fate?

Senate Bill 1234 (de Leon) does two things that expose the state to even deeper financial and legal liability. First, it sets up a retirement program for private investors that guarantees a specific rate of return. Second, it sets up yet another government bureaucracy that the taxpayers will be required to fund – with, one must wonder, what? Monopoly money?

Our bank account is not only empty, it is extremely overdrawn. We cannot even pay for current programs, so how can the state possibly consider taking on another government pension program?

Democrats Add $1 Billion in New Spending

On May 24, 2012, the Democrat-led Senate Appropriations Committee released 119 bills from the suspense file, of which at least 28 were labeled as having major state costs of approximately $1.1 billion. All of them were authored by members of the majority party.

With millions of Californians out of work, high gas prices, some of the highest state taxes in the nation, and thousands of families still losing their homes to foreclosure, the current “spend at any cost” mentality exhibited by legislative Democrats will only serve stifle growth and prolong our economic crisis.

They must realize that California families have suffered too much and for too long, and that it is time for a new direction; namely, honest budgets and real reforms.