Town Square

Post a New Topic

Balancing act: Newsom's plan to cover California's ballooning budget deficit

Original post made on May 18, 2023

Gov. Gavin Newsom says his plan to cover a budget shortfall that has grown by $9 billion protects investments in education, health care and housing. But it also relies on more borrowing.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 18, 2023, 9:43 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 18, 2023 at 12:41 pm

What Will They Do Next is a registered user.

What happened to the 29 billion dollar surplus that Gav was "campaigning" on all over the country last year in an attempt to get face time recognition for his potential presidential run in 2024 ? Oops! It's gone. While he continues to preach that "Every state should be like California" he has failed as governor just as he did as mayor of SF. He promised to end homelessness as mayor and governor. It only got worse. California leads the country in homeless population. Rampant crime is on the rise, people are afraid to walk the streets in our largest cities, our public schools are failing and have 3rd graders that can't read to grade level. Corporate and individual state income taxes are the highest in the country, our roads are in terrible disrepair despite the highest gas taxes in the country. I thought those taxes were supposed to handle that. Residents are leaving the state in record numbers and the list goes on. Be like California? I don't think so. The state is a laughing stock. Newsom is a fraudulent empty suit, yet voters rejected a recall effort and he won re-election by a large margin. Just remember that your vote matters and one party rule in Sacramento for decades has created this mess. It's time to wipe the slate clean and start over with some moderate Democrats and Republicans who have real business sector problem solving experience and who can work together to repair the damage that's been done. The state is on a fast moving downward spiral and hopefully, it's not too late.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 18, 2023 at 12:58 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

So much for the pitches he made last year about this state being the top dog in funding. Only because he has not spent the budget money for the specific issues that concern the welfare of the state in total - upgraded roads, upgraded control of water collection points to prevent flooding. Those major issues only arise after it has become apparent that all is a total mess. He consumes himself with telling other states what to do to match our "standards".

Stick to the business of running this state and fix those things that we gave you money to fix. Note that CalMatters recognizes blather and bosting vs actual performance of fixing the problems we are experiencing.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 18, 2023 at 2:06 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

What happened? The surplus vanished when the stock market crashed and the state wasn't getting its huge cut of market gains, it vanished with the layoffs and declining income tax, it vanished with the corporate write-downs and bankruptcies, it vanished when many business failed / cut spending, it vanished when consumer spending dropped --

Just like it's always vanished during past crashes. Remember the dot.bomb crash and the sub-prime real estate market crash -- to name just 2 big crashes in recent memory.

One can debate if this latest crash -- with bank failures and startup funding shortfalls, doubts about the "fake it 'til you make it" culture, crypto, Holmes, population outflows, increase in the homeless and gig workers etc -- is based on more systemic issues and will last longer.

Yet our "leaders" continue behaving like nothing's changed.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 18, 2023 at 5:23 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Taxes are higher here and people are leaving the State because of this, the politics, crime and general unpleasantness of having to deal with woke issues.

Newsom is a big problem and his main focus seems to be on getting his name in the headlines in other states as a future presidential race.

We deserve better than Newsom.

Posted by Barron Parker Too
a resident of Barron Park
on May 18, 2023 at 5:41 pm

Barron Parker Too is a registered user.

When you are in a hole, the first thing to do is admit the situation and stop digging. This long collection of Media Matters reporting significantly omits the one thing that is primarily responsible for our ongoing fiscal hole and decayed infrastructure repair/replacement -- and this is in spite of having the highest state income tax (13.3%, which is 2.3% higher than No. 2 Hawaii) and the highest gas tax per gallon ($0.63, compared to $0.09 for the lowest) in the country. That one thing is 25 years of over-promising on defined-benefit pensions.

And the Democrats own the problem. For the past nearly 20 years, California government workers can retire after 30 years with 81% of their final income (plus medical for their family) for life. Public safety workers get 90% of their final income for life. This level of recklessness is unheard of outside California government. It's a giant Ponzi Scheme, where debt we incur (in the form of these pensions) will be paid by others in the decades ahead. It is utterly immoral, and it is the reason why when the stock market tanks and the pension funds lose money -- exactly then, when state revenues dry up -- the state is forced to cover the shortfall. Each recession is a perfect fiscal storm, generating huge deficits that require yet more diversion from infrastructure and services. Cities are in the same boat: Stockton, Vallejo and San Bernardino have all gone through bankruptcy from similar city pensions, all with drastic loss of services, including public safety.

And what I find most significant about this Media Matters reporting is that this "elephant in the room" is not even mentioned. The hole keeps getting deeper because politicians and reporters pretend it's not there.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 18, 2023 at 5:57 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

The article is by CalMatters, not Media Matters which monitors the media.

You didn't mention that many government employees retire with several pension and benefits packages when they're double- or triple-dipping. There was an article in the last month that a huge percentage of Redwood City cops retire on disability to further up their payouts, maybe 75%, and officials were quoted defending that practice just as PA won't say if "bad" cops who've cost us millions in legal settlements are allowed to retire with full benefits.

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2023 at 6:21 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

We had a chance to get rid of this train wreck but 2/3 of the state voted for him, including a large percentage of people in the area. You have nobody to blame but yourself that this man is still in office, and further running this state into the ground. Enjoy.

Posted by Taylor Kendricks
a resident of Stanford
on May 19, 2023 at 7:44 am

Taylor Kendricks is a registered user.

Governor Newsom has presidential aspirations and governing California is his stepping stone to the White House.

Progressives love him as do the potential recipients of his reparations study. He will receive many liberal-mindrd votes when he decides to run.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 19, 2023 at 3:34 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

Re: above comment on Gov. Newsom,
Newsom is happily joined by the CA State Legislature in running this state into the ground.

Also: these politicians have capitalized on the success of the hard working people in Silicon Valley, taxing them mightily.
They have expressed little interest in us (except to solicit donations in addition to the above taxation).
They have been lucky. They have nowhere nearbthe brain power of Silicon Valley yet hold immense, entrenched power over the state.

Now we’ll see if Tech really moves out of state: it IS possible, owing to high state taxation/regulation, lack of appreciation/acknowledgement of Tech and knowledge workers/industries; rampant crime, homeless invited in.
Various criminal records now wiped so landlords, employers cannot check on that as was customary and common sense: (endangering women at their employment or apartment dwellings).

CA seems to prioritize very odd things while it should focus on principal responsibilities of government- primary needs such as the economy/sectors, infrastructure, raising standards in the public schools.
Public schools here are headed down, down, down based on legislative action, dictates dumbing down while virtue signalling. Very worrisome for the future of the people here.
The legislature makes a complicated muddle of poorly written regs and laws, intentionally confusing business and taxpayers, IMO. Please try to,follow their actions and contact the governor, tour statevsenator and your state assembkymember with your input.

it’s bureaucracy filled with excuses as the state swings into a huge deficit while claiming it will pay massive reparations to some individuals under vague premise of “over policing of some areas” (?) & etc., and the “infrastructure” consists of appearing to buy votes to stay in power by supplying high paid union jobs on things like the ridiculous costly high speed rail which has a miniscule portion done.

Posted by Teresa Benson
a resident of Mountain View
on May 20, 2023 at 9:18 am

Teresa Benson is a registered user.

Governor Newsom is trying to create economic equity in California which involves taxing the wealthy and exploring reparations to all African Americans living in California.

This is a noble progressive gesture on his part. My husband and I both feel it is a societal obligation to make amends for slavery and are more than willing to contribute via higher income and property taxes.

Others could easily do the same.

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 21, 2023 at 6:24 am

Annette is a registered user.

Barron Parker Too has done an excellent job of spelling out the pension problem. Ironically, Newsom IS the wealthy. AND he is on the receiving end of the pension gravy train. We need to get a lot smarter with our votes, add some party diversity in Sacramento, and vote in some people who have, as the saying goes, signed both sides of a check.

And not let Newsom anywhere near the White House. Can you imagine an entire nation as fiscally messed up as California?

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 21, 2023 at 12:02 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Well Teresa - you are making a personal choice to center yourselves in the progressive party agenda. There are a lot of other people who are making a choice to avoid the Progressive party agenda at all costs. Teresa lives in Mountain View so her personal income and property taxes are specific to her city and profession. A lot of people in Mountain View are losing their jobs and probably do not agree with higher property taxes. We are not looking for "noble' gestures here - we are looking for well informed business management skills that make both short and long term use of the exisitng budget.

Posted by Cale Winslow
a resident of Woodside
on May 21, 2023 at 12:57 pm

Cale Winslow is a registered user.

America is not ready for an overly progressive political-economic-social agenda and the ongoing conflicts (aka disunity) we are experiencing today as a country speaks volumes.

It is time to pull in the reigns on this disruptive leftwing agenda.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 21, 2023 at 2:35 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"It is time to pull in the reigns on this disruptive leftwing agenda."

And on the disruptive rightwing agenda focusing on wedge social issues, book banning, etc.

It would be great to have candidates and parties in the middle, looking at solutions to real problems like safe roads and bridges etc.

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 21, 2023 at 5:00 pm

Annette is a registered user.

@Online Name: Amen! Progressive takes policy too far to the left (and isn't even remotely affordable) and Republican is just plain hateful and contrary to American principles. Middle territory would work but the people we've elected are loathe to think like that. I don't know where these Left/Right "leaders" think they are taking us, but it looks to me like there's far more interest in winning a policy argument than there is in governance and doing what is in the best interests of the American people.

But then I ask myself this question: am I willing to change my mind and I have to admit that on some things, like a woman's right to choose and banning assault/military-grade weapons, I am not. I actually hate to think what this means.

@Bystander: I appreciate your comment about woke issues. Anyone else woke-weary?

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 22, 2023 at 7:43 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

What is “economic equity?”
I am honestly asking. I never read/hear specifics.

When would one be satisfied?
- Or is this a vague, convenient term so as to virtue signal and demand ever more taxpayer “funding” (to whom and to achieve what measurable goals!?)
- Decided by government officials and bureaucrats over us.
Be careful of our increasing bureaucracy. Be careful of elected officials buying votes. It’s sad.
We are equal under the Law.
If for “equity” you require exact equal situations in terms of same job, same car, same housing, same proportion in software engineering or on corporate boards, well, we live in a country with individual choices and freedoms.
We cannot guarantee exact same outcomes, for ecample, on SAT tests for each labeled group. Oh, wait, many have dispensed with objective tests. Not a good idea.

Insofar as involving taxing the wealthy, OMG, the state of CA already has highly progressive income taxes!!

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 22, 2023 at 9:20 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I love the topic of book banning. If you want a book order it from Amazon or go to Barnes and Noble. The progressives want to push their agenda at taxpayer expense - make a government agency go buy the book. Check out the best sellers in the Sunday papers - at least one half are Dr. Suess books. If people like a book they will go out and buy it. Or go to the library for their latest Charlie Brown or Nancy Drew books. What some states are saying is that the budget for the school libraries is limited and will be filled with appropriate books. The budget for Mitchell Park is limited - new books for kids will be age appropriate.
Authors get paid for the number of books sold. We are not rewarding authors for writing books which are not age appropriate.

Posted by Chris G Zaharias
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 23, 2023 at 10:55 am

Chris G Zaharias is a registered user.

It is amazing to me how someone can write an article on California gov't budget without saying front and center that our state's taxes are already incredibly higher relative to other states that have better education and public safety. It is so sad to see that California Democrats are blind to the failures of progressive policies.

There is no anthropogenic global warming or anthropogenic climate change, and even if there was, there's nothing we can spend billions on that will mitigate it.

There was never slavery in California, nor slaves, nor slave owners. Reparations are morally and fiscally wrong.

Renewable energy will only ever become a real alternative to fossil fuels when standalone market forces and energy efficiencies make it so. Pushing tens of billions of the state taxes we pay into this ill-begotten progressive vision is *ruining* our middle and lower class citizens' finances.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 23, 2023 at 4:54 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Resident 1, I agree with your comment (I miss the like button).

Movies have ratings, children are not allowed into adult movies. TV shows have warnings about violence, sex, adult content. If these adult movies were shown in school,or some of these explicity tv shows, shown in schools, parents would be in uproar. Why are books not in the same category? Why don't we have warnings on books that are not age appropriate? Why can't books for older children be not in elementary school libraries or even in the chidren's section of our public libraries? It is about time that we stopped talking about banned books and instead just keep our schools and libraries monitored so that only books designed for a certain age group are kept out of younger hands.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 23, 2023 at 6:30 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

How special that municipalities are banning The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill A Mocking Bird, The Invisible Man etc. not just from schools where many of us read them but also for PUBLIC libraries where adults might read them.

Maybe they'll even start to police Amazon purchases and out-of-state travel for book buying and theater tickets like some states are now banning travel by women and girls lest they try to get abortions, plain old birth control and/or Plan B -- I mean why else would they travel out-of-state??

And in case you're thinking they're going for jobs or college interviews, remember some states have also banned books about women programmers ans scientists lest females aspire to anything above domesticity.

Other contemporary authors now banned include Margaret Atwood, Jodie Picoult, Joyce Carol Oates.... I'm sure it's coincidental they're all women.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Holiday Fun in San Francisco- Take the Walking Tour for An Evening of Sparkle!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 3,381 views

Boichik Bagels is opening its newest – and largest – location in Santa Clara this week
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 2,313 views

I Do I Don't: How to build a better marriage Ch. 1, page 1
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,406 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 30 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away almost $10 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.