California’s debt crisis

Debt at the national, state and local levels has mushroomed in recent decades. Three California cities have sought bankruptcy protection and there are constant rumors that more may soon follow.

Among the problems impacting California cities are the huge debt obligations owed to CalPERS, the state’s public employees’ retirement system. For example, Stockton, one of the bankrupt cities, is paying CalPERS roughly $29 million a year, in addition to payments being made to other creditors.

Despite passage of a so-called “balanced” budget last June, a report by the California Taxpayers Association placed state and local debt at an astounding $443 billion, which amounts to $11,600 for every man, woman and child in the state.

Mac Taylor, the legislature’s budget analyst, recently reported that California’s structural budget deficit has disappeared. While this is good news, the report is based on a shaky economic recovery and temporary taxes. It also ignores California’s huge future debt obligations.

As we enter 2014, we should remember that all state programs are based on tax revenues generated by private-sector economic activity. Future state and local spending must be reined in so that the debt burden we have accumulated over the last decades can be addressed along with massive unfunded mandates and liabilities that threaten future prosperity. Only then can we truly begin to celebrate California’s return from the brink of fiscal insolvency.

By Calif. State Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-75th District)

5 Responses to "California’s debt crisis"

  1. VDH   January 9, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Until this state deals with its cumbersome regulations, record taxes, hostility to resource development

  2. DR DR   January 10, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Pensions for the Retired State employees….and will continue to because the LA and Orange County are currently heavily Union – thus, pensions for all the employed still joining the unions everyday… as the salaries continue to go up.. as will our taxes to pay for them.

    Pro-non-union-thankfully San Diego County dilegently fights in PLA agreements.

  3. Ray (the real one)   January 10, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    I will never in my life understand California voters. I thought the late 1970`s would still be remembered, guess not. Remember when Brown and the rest of the rock n roll set were running things, Brown created most of the nonsense that plaguing California today.

    California voters are the KING of the misinformed.

  4. FR86   January 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    I hope that Assemblywomen Waldron reads the responses posted here.

    One area that she should also consider discussing is what the California Legislature is doing to curb the overwhelming regulatory mentality that is driving large employers and corporations out of the state to other more business friendly states like Texas and Nevada

    All we ever seem to hear from Sacramento is about new laws/regs that choke our economy and increase the burden on the taxpayers that are finding it increasingly difficult to live in this state.

    Please speak to this issue in the next communication we see.

  5. VDH   January 13, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    The problem is that California has exorbitant built-in costs unlike any other state and, in politically correct fashion, usually tries to keep mum about them. We are home to about a quarter of the nation


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