[1/21/17] California’s projected budget deficit is rising. “Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration miscalculated costs for the state Medi-Cal program by $1.9 billion last year, an oversight that contributed to Brown’s projection of a deficit in the upcoming budget, officials acknowledged this week,” the Associated Press reported today.
California’s projected deficits could have been avoided by curtailing wasteful spending. As the Reason Foundation notes, California spends more money to get worse roads than most states:
“California spends 4.7 times as much per mile of state-controlled highway as the national average. More specifically, for every $1 Texas spends on its highways, California spends $5.80. For every $1 Michigan spends on its highways, California spends $3. … California ranks 47th for highway conditions, while Michigan ranks 30th and Texas 11th. So while spending a lot less per mile, those states are able to have much better road conditions. In fact, over the last 20 years, California’s highway system and road conditions made the least amount of progress among all 50 states.”
“… There is arguably more fat and wasteful spending at Caltrans than there is in any other state agency, which is saying a lot. Spending 4.7 times the national average per mile (in exchange for one of the poorest-ranked transportation systems in the county, no less) means a lot of bad decisions about spending are being made.”
But left-wing special interest groups that hold sway in California block reform.
California’s rising budget deficit could be reduced in future years by canceling a massive minimum wage increase that goes into effect by 2022 – an increase that economists warned against in vain.