What we are witnessing is nothing short of surreal: in the manner that Tijuana was a different universe from San Diego, so too the entire state of California is becoming a different world from its neighbors. Whether one examines its near dead-last schools, its oppressive income and sales taxes, its decaying roads and infrastructure, its absurd prison system, its dysfunctional state offices (try the DMV), or its priestly public employee caste, California is becoming Detroit. -Victor Davis Hanson
Democrats have also enjoyed complete control of the state legislature since 1997. And they have governed exactly the way you'd expect Democrats to govern. Spending has more than doubled, from $45.4 billion in 1996 to more than $92.5 billion today. Income, sales and car taxes have all been hiked. As a result, California has the most progressive income tax system in the nation, with seven income tax brackets, and the second-highest top marginal rate. Even with all those tax hikes, California's 2012 budget is still $15.7 billion in the red. So what does Gov. Jerry Brown want to do? Raise taxes again, of course. -Conn Carroll
With the approval of a resolution in the California state assembly on Monday, the state's lawmakers officially declared that June 20 will be International Surfing Day, the Los Angeles Times reported. Published June 19, 2012 NewsCore
Democrat, Liberal, Incompetence, Financial, Debt
Were California's state government a business, it would be a candidate for insolvency with a negative net worth of $127.2 billion, according to an annual financial report issued by State Auditor Elaine Howle and the Bureau of State Audits. The report, which covers the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, says that the state's negative status -- all of its assets minus all of its liabilities -- increased that year, largely because it spent more than it received in revenue.
State leaders erred on another market prediction when they assumed Facebook shares would trade at $35 this fall. The stock has traded below $25 since August, and the analyst estimates that California will see $626 million less than expected as a result. The LAO said last week the state faces a lingering $1.9 billion deficit, partly because of less Facebook and cap-and-trade money.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Financial, Fraud, Oops
Rampant fraud within California's recycling redemption program is costing the state millions of dollars, as scammers drive trucks full of cans across the border from Nevada and Arizona to collect nickels on deposits that were never paid. California recyclers also are claiming redemptions for the same containers several times, or for containers that never existed, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times.
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday affirmed California's A-minus general obligation rating with a negative outlook, but warned any ratings downgrade would likely be related to liquidity problems.
The federal government gave California's state government $120.7 billion in the 2009-10 fiscal year to underwrite education, health services, welfare grants and dozens of other programs, a very detailed new report from the state auditor's office reveals.
Government, Incompetence, Financial, Education
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The pension system for California’s teachers has $56 billion less than it needs to cover the benefits promised to its 852,000 members and their families, the fund reported Thursday, as big investment losses in 2008 continue to reverberate. RffaHF7CYZeC
California -- particularly two of its counties, Los Angeles and Humboldt -- has been declared the nation's second worst "judicial hellhole" by the American Tort Reform Association, a business-backed group that campaigns against what it says are excesses of the civil court system. The ATRA labeled Philadelphia as having the worst climate for personal injury lawsuits and California second, saying, "California courts are known for wacky consumer class actions, extortionate disability access claims against small businesses, and expansive liability.
Government, Incompetence, Financial, Fraud, Crazy, Waste, Debt
Proposition 63 vowed to shave 1 percent off the income of all Californians who earned more than $1 million a year, then put it toward preventing and treating mental illness. Turns out the Department of Mental Health has a pretty lax definition of "mentally ill." According to the AP, programs currently being funded by Prop. 63 money include lunchtime yoga classes for San Francisco city workers and $1 million in horseback-therapy sessions for Kings County.