“Send us exactly $1 trillion. Don’t ask questions.”
That’s Gavin Newsom and the Western States Pact’s modest request in a five-paragraph letter to Congress.
It comes as California faces a $54 billion budget deficit, a number that would be a lot smaller if the state didn’t spend so much to begin with. In January Gov. Newsom proposed a $222 billion budget, which is $100 billion more spending than just a decade ago.
If you feel like all this added money hasn’t helped you much, you’re not alone:
–Despite $64 billion more in Medi-Cal spending, researchers did “not detect significant improvements in patient health.”
–Despite $39 billion more in education spending, 8th-grade math and reading scores kept falling.
–Despite $7 billion more in social services spending, California still has the nation’s highest poverty rate.
There is one area where spending actually declined over the last decade: public health.
As part of any aid package, Congress could follow the IMF model and require that California make reforms to root out cronyism. For instance, appoint a qualified professional to lead our Economic Recovery Commission instead of Tom Steyer, the partisan mega donor and vanity presidential candidate. There’s no doubt California needs help. But if federal aid serves only to prop up special interests and perpetuate bad habits, we’d be better off without it.