Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
“The budget deal will maintain the state’s ongoing commitment to fiscal prudence,” Senator Holly Mitchell, who heads California’s budget deal committee, said of its $215 billion budget.
The Democrat official also falsely described the state’s highest budget in history as “responsible”.
Responsible in California on budgetary matters is graded on a curve the size of the planet. This is a state whose senate passed a socialized medicine bill with no way to pay for its estimated $400 billion cost.
A mere $215 billion budget is as prudent and responsible as California Democrats ever get.
California’s corrupt one-party state didn’t just pass a state budget on a party line vote. This was a national budget. Mexico’s socialists unveiled a $289 billion budget last year. A sizable part of Mexico does live in California, but Mexico still has a population of 130 million people to California’s 40 million.
At $215 billion, that’s over $5,000 in spending for every single person stuck in the state.
Democrats are obsessed with the Russian threat these days. California’s budget is six times higher than Russia’s defense budget. If California Dems just got their spending under control, they could afford to defy President Trump with their own tanks, aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons.
8 years ago, Governor Brown’s budget had been a mere $98 billion. The budget has more than doubled.
Where will the money go? The responsible and fiscally prudent budget does contain $98 million for health care for illegal aliens. And a $695 fine (that will rise with inflation) or 2% of your income for Americans caught without health insurance that will be used to subsidize coverage for Democrats.
The individual mandate, the most hated part of ObamaCare, is back in California.
The estimated $1 billion from those fines, mostly inflicted on young middle-class Californians, will be used to subsidize people getting ObamaCare plans through its failing Covered California exchange.
California Democrats are no longer even pretending that their giveaways to their base have anything to do with fighting real poverty. The ObamaCare subsidizes, derived from an unconstitutional fine, are targeted at “helping” individuals making as much as $75,000 a year and families earning $150,000.
The budget also expands eligibility for CalWorks welfare payments to $10,000 and a vehicle value of $25,000. If a family has $10,000, do they really need help paying for “housing” and “food”?
This isn’t about feeding hungry children or providing for the poor.
The median savings account balance in this country is $4,830. Welfare payments in California are being extended to households with more than double that number in their bank accounts.
Meanwhile, young working people have a choice between paying a $695 fine or avoiding the fine by buying a garbage Covered California plan that they won’t need, but which in turn will also be taxed.
That $98 million for illegal alien health care is a drop in the bucket. California’s Medi-Cal costs tripled in a decade to over $100 billion a year. Russia’s official defense budget clocks in at $61 billion.
Don’t sneer too hard that Californians are just getting what they deserve. You’re paying for it too.
California’s Medi-Cal is estimated to bring in $59 billion in federal funds in one fiscal year. Two billion more and the federal taxpayer dollars going to California’s Medicaid would match Russia’s defense budget.
How can this be? Easy. A third of California, or 13 million people, are on its version of Medicaid.
Over 50% of births in California are taking place under Medi-Cal. The demographic future of the state is an endless welfare office extending everywhere except for Mark Zuckerberg’s walled compound.
Speaking of walled compounds, there’s another $650 million there in the budget for the homeless.
The homeless have become the third leg of California’s insane budgets, after Medi-Cal and the teachers’ unions which consume almost everything else. The homeless population has kept growing with nearly every increase in homeless spending. But these latest grants will help the homeless by also spending $5 million to make shelters friendlier to pets. Surely that will clean the typhus out of Skid Row.
A system that wasn’t run by incompetent criminals could house hundreds of people for $5 million.
It also wouldn’t need to spend $2.5 million to add an elevator to a science museum.
While China is building hundreds of cities in a matter of years, at a cost of as little as under $4 billion, Los Angeles spent 3 years trying to figure out how to spend over $1 billion to house 10,000 homeless.
It’s an understandable problem when spending as much as $220,000 per unit for the homeless.
China’s socialists remedy the incompetence and corruption pervasive to the system with firing squads and gulags. California’s socialists just spout identity politics gibberish and earn another promotion.
Los Angeles is now trying to puzzle out how to build 1,000 units for a mere $120 million. The obvious answer is to petition to join the People’s Republic of China and a solution will be swiftly forthcoming.
Followed by the execution of virtually every elected ‘champagne socialist’ by actual socialists.
Back on the Sacramento ranch, the $215 billion budget barely made a dent in the $256 billion in unfunded pension liabilities for state workers. A responsible government would have thrown serious money at that problem, but pension spending isn’t a sexy cause like spreading typhus to city workers.
Not that there isn’t plenty of education spending to fix the problems with the old education spending.
After-school programs are getting a $50 million boost to $600 million to cope with the cost of Dem minimum wage increases. That $600 million is a drop in the $102 billion in educational spending.
China, a nation of over a billion people, spent $675 billion on its education system.
And Chinese graduates, unlike California graduates, can read, write, do math and show up to work on time. Unlike Chinese grads, California grads lead the world in filing frivolous workplace complaints.
But there is some sensible spending in this frugal and responsible $215 billion boondoggle.
The budget includes a $3 million dog park. With $2 billion in new state taxes, at least the canines of California get a little bit of something to bark about.