State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson declared the new state budget “visionary ” last Thursday. The senator’s view, however, may be a bit blurry. The new budget is the largest in history and contains the most spending. In the senator’s statement of new programs, she fails to highlight a few expenditures. The individual mandate, which was dropped from the ACA, has reappeared for Californians who do not buy health insurance. The penalties collected from these taxpayers will go to provide free health for undocumented aliens age 19 to 26. Cap-and-trade taxes will be diverted from environmental projects, as promised, to water system repairs in Central California, and $3 million has been allocated to a dog park in Rancho Cucamonga. But our senator didn’t get a dime for improved water storage right here in her district.
California, as the senator stated, has a “healthy surplus” but fails to mention a new income tax of $1.7 billion, which is included in the new budget. A new tax on those earning in excess of $250,000, i.e., the evil rich, may be on its way. This does send a message to those taxpayers: “Have a clear vision of California in your rear-view mirror.”
California has fulfilled the legislated mandate for a “rainy day” fund, but has not used any of the surplus funds for infrastructure as mandated.
A “visionary budget” should include a solution to the state’s pension crisis without new taxes, water storage and dam improvement, state park updates, and provide educational funding for all state legislators to attend Economics 101.