Category: Articles & Op-Eds

Boosting Pension Contributions Is Fine

But borrowing from a special fund to do so is not. Governor Jerry Brown has proposed that California borrow $6 billion from a state special fund (SMIF) to finance extra contributions to a state pension fund (CalPERS) in order to reduce…

Plus Ça Change in California

State budget more vulnerable than ever to stock market decline. Take a look at California’s General Fund revenues over the last twenty years: Schedule 2, 2017–18 Governor’s Revised Budget Zero in on 2000-03. Notice how revenues peaked at $76 billion in 2000…

CDA CMA CNA CHA CTA SEIU CCPOA

Gibberish to you but not to candidates for CA governor. Ask the average Californian what those acronyms stand for and you’ll draw a blank stare. Ask a candidate for governor and they’ll snap to attention. Those acronyms are associations (see…

CA Legislature Must Stop Bullying UC

As the State Legislature holds a hearing today about the University of California, consider the following: UC will collect $3.5 billion from the state this year, just six percent more than a decade ago. Since 2010, state spending on UC…

Don’t Blame UC for Establishing a Reserve

Blame state officials for defunding UC A state auditor criticized the University of California for establishing a $175 million reserve. But what would you do if the state treated you like this: And how might you react if over the…

Healthcare Providers Aren’t Greedier than Uber

So why do health care costs rise while ride sharing costs fall? I just read An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Kaiser Health News Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal, a fact-filled* critique…

Dissecting San Jose Unified

Even “Positively Certified” Districts Are In Serious Trouble Normally, California school districts don’t face financial stress when state revenues are robust. Usually that stress arises only when state revenues shrink as a result of declining stock markets. But schools in California…

California’s K-12 Pension Cost Crisis

Exacting toll on arts, CS, teacher raises, training, staffing Before 2005 my knowledge of defined benefit (DB) pension plans was limited to experience with a small business I joined in 1979 that offered a DB plan. I was pleased with…

California Needs A Truman Committee

In 1941 the US Senate formed a committee to address waste, inefficiency and profiteering in war production. Chaired by Harry Truman, the committee was extraordinarily successful and launched Truman on to the presidency. Today the country is in another war…

California Dodges One Bullet

Now it must take on the healthcare-industrial complex California dodged a budgetary bullet last week when Congress elected not to change Medicaid reimbursement rules. With 14 million people covered by Medi-Cal, which is California’s version of Medicaid, the consequences for…