yellow pages news jobs local specials coupons hotels events calendar movie times RSS News Feeds
Rocklin and Roseville Today
   |   Current Temp: 41.0 F (5.0 C)
 

Windfall Could Tempt Legislature to Repeat Past Spending Mistakes





runner.jpg

We've all heard dramatic stories of lottery winners acquiring hundreds of millions of dollars only to declare bankruptcy a few years later. In fact, studies show 70% of all individuals who suddenly receive large amounts of money will lose it in a short period of time.

The cause of this problem is impulse spending by people who incorrectly assume they will never have to worry about money again. They spend as much as they want on whatever they want, making permanent financial decisions with their one time earnings.

This year, California essentially won the lottery when it comes to the budget. The Governor's budget proposal shows nearly $20 billion more in revenues will be generated during the next fiscal year than was collected three years ago.

Years ago, during the Davis administration, California found itself in a similar situation. As Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee at the time, I remember sitting in Governor Davis's office as he personally promised to show fiscal restraint with the state's large revenue windfall. Unfortunately, Governor Davis ultimately caved to pressure from legislative Democrats and authorized ongoing spending with those temporary revenue dollars.

Governor Davis said all the right things, but his actions spoke louder than his words.

Despite Governor Brown's assurances, the messages we are hearing from the majority party indicate we may be on track to repeat these fiscal mistakes. Much like an irresponsible lottery winner, legislators can't seem to fight the impulse to spend extra money as soon as it's in the bank.

Our increased revenues are primarily the result of temporary tax increases that will soon expire and volatile capital gains that can disappear at any time. California cannot solve its long-term budget problems by relying on these temporary and unreliable solutions.

However, to go along with this new revenue, we've already seen proposals for increased spending.

For example, Democrats in both houses of the Legislature have already thrown their support behind SB 837 (Steinberg), a bill that will create a completely new school grade. By establishing a "transitional kindergarten" program available to every four year-old child in California, SB 837 will rack up a price tag of nearly $1 billion by the year 2020.

These kinds of new, permanent spending proposals expand government, but do nothing to invest in the private sector.

Recently, a prominent Democratic elected official even called for the extension of Proposition 30, the temporary tax increases Californians imposed on themselves to get out of the fiscal hole of overspending. The majority party is already planning on making this latest round of "temporary" tax increases permanent before they expire.

Job creation and economic growth is the pathway to preventing future financial trouble for California. Our long term problems will only be solved if Governor Brown resists the impulse to spend our new surplus. We need to learn from the budget mistakes of the past, before it's too late.

George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a taxpayer advocate and elected member of the State Board of Equalization. For more information, visit www.boe.ca.gov/Runner.





more news Print This Article


Placer County News Headlines

Big DoG Countdown: Child Advocates of Placer CountyBig DoG Countdown: Learn how the Child Advocates of Placer County impacts your community.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: An Affordable Compact SUVWhen shopping for a Mitsubishi Outlander, note that there's quite a major difference between the "standard" Outlander and the Outlander Sport.

If the Government Takes Your Money Illegally, Shouldn't You Get it Back?Did you know, if the State of California takes your money in the form of an illegal tax or fee, you might not be able to get it back?

Loomis Soroptimist Club Celebrates 40 Years of ServiceSoroptimist International of Loomis Basin (SILB) celebrated its 40th Birthday with over 60 attendees on April 16 at Venita Rhea's in Rocklin, CA

Janette Moynier receives Community First Award In recognition of her outstanding volunteer spirit in 2013, First Bank's Janette Moynier received a First Bank CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) Community First Award.

New Kinesiology Program at William Jessup William Jessup University, the Sacramento area's only residential four-year private university, has selected Dr. Scott Roberts to serve as Lead Faculty to the growing university's new Kinesiology

West Nile Virus Season Begins in Placer CountyThe Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District (PMVCD) announces the official beginning of the season during West Nile virus and Mosquito and Vector Control Awareness

Big DoG Countdown: Sierra College FoundationBig DoG Countdown: Learn how the Sierra College Foundation impacts your community.

Disabilities: Luongo Has Miracle SurgeryOn Good Friday 2013, then 39-year-old Nicole Luongo of Plantation, Florida, took a step of faith. She'd had cerebral palsy since birth, had significant difficulty walking her entire life

Advice on Getting Through the DroughtDrought Watch: Linda Yager, who manages the PCWA's water efficiency program, says there are many available resources to help people save water. "Many people ask what they can do to save water," said Yager. "Here are some of the best ways to save

Surging Gas Prices Hurting ConsumersAverage retail gasoline prices in Sacramento have risen 7.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $4.03/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 720 gas outlets in Sacramento

Spring Band Invitational Concert April 23 in RocklinThe Sierra College Music Department is proud to present a Spring Band Invitational Concert on Wednesday, April 23rd, 7:30pm in Dietrich Theatre on the Sierra College Rocklin




more news