Stress Testing In Sacramento

Dear Legislators, In January the Department Of Finance will issue the Governor’s Budget for 2022-23. No section will be more important than the Stress Test, which forecasts revenue losses in the event of a stock market decline such as in 2001-3 and 2008-9. Last January, the Governor’s Budget forecast revenue losses of $100 billion. Just … Continue reading Stress Testing In Sacramento

Political Finance

A couple of supporters wrote to ask how this line in a recent WSJ op-ed — “Teachers were the fourth-largest campaign contributors to California’s legislative races in 2020 behind energy, prison guards and healthcare” — fits with our assertion that GFC is the largest bundler of direct donations to legislators and candidates for the legislature. … Continue reading Political Finance

LAO’s Impossible Task

Dear Legislators, The Legislative Analyst’s Office is filled with talented people who occasionally take on impossible tasks. Take LAO’s recent Fiscal Outlook for Schools in which it boldly predicts that “capital gains revenue [will be] strong in 2022-23.” I can’t predict the stock market next week much less next year but unlike the state I’m … Continue reading LAO’s Impossible Task

“Low Cost Collective Action, Persistently Applied”

Explaining what we do in a pithy fashion isn't easy but we got some help last week when a questioner translated my long-winded answer into “Low Cost Collective Action, Persistently Applied.” We like that! As informed GFCers know and many a special interest has demonstrated, political power in Sacramento is less about wealth than organization … Continue reading “Low Cost Collective Action, Persistently Applied”

CA Needs $100 Billion In Reserves

Dear Legislators,California needs at least $100 billion of reserves. Don't take our word for it. See page 245 of the Governor's Budget: “Revenue losses in this recession forecast would total over $100 billion (an average of over $30 billion per year) for three years, continue with more years of revenue declines in the range of … Continue reading CA Needs $100 Billion In Reserves

Lies And Leverage In La Habra

Last night the La Habra City Council was scheduled to approve the issuance of debt the proceeds of which would be deposited in the city’s pension fund. But that's not what they disclosed. Instead, they said the city was seeking approval “to exchange higher cost variable rate debt with lower cost fixed rate debt.” But … Continue reading Lies And Leverage In La Habra

Covered California Stands Out Again

November 1 marked the commencement of the Open Enrollment period during which residents can purchase health insurance for the upcoming year and another opportunity to praise Covered California, the state’s healthcare exchange that’s an exemplar of government services well provided. At a time when even the New York Times is cynical about blue state performance, … Continue reading Covered California Stands Out Again

Democracy In California

If ever you needed a reminder that our nation has always been a confederation of diverse states united only when facing a common enemy, re-read Democracy In America, Alexis de Tocqueville's 1835 masterpiece. There are twenty-four small sovereign nations, whose agglomeration constitutes the body of the Union.Tocqueville, Alexis De. Democracy in America, Volume I and … Continue reading Democracy In California

Scapegoating And Suppression At SFUSD

When it reported a deficit last year, San Francisco Unified School District blamed Special Education. This year, SFUSD is blaming declining enrollment. Not being blamed is the real culprit. Despite a near-tripling of the stock market over that period, pension costs more than tripled. Another truth being suppressed at SFUSD is the unnecessary expenditure of … Continue reading Scapegoating And Suppression At SFUSD

GFC Is Relentless

Last year, the GFC Network made 1,100 donations averaging $2,000 each to more than 100 members of or candidates for the California Legislature. Do those figures surprise you? They shouldn’t. That's the pattern of donations made by any active special interest union or corporation in Sacramento. Persistent donations broadly distributed are the path to power … Continue reading GFC Is Relentless