Governor Brown has just released his spending proposal for 2017-18 and taxpayers should not be blamed if they feel like they are walking down a dark alley in a high-crime neighborhood.
While the governor’s proposed budget has been described as austere, it still represents a spending boost of five percent, a rate of increase only slightly smaller than last year’s six percent. Because the state is in the process of rewarding its employees with generous pay increases and covering an expanding requirement to fund their pensions — pensions that are currently subsidized by six percent of the general fund budget — more spending does not represent an increase in the quantity or quality of services for average Californians.
The Brown budget contains no major program increases except for transportation. But the kicker is that this would be contingent on higher taxes on gasoline and car registration. So, while state workers will be kept snug and comfortable, if commuters want those pot holes repaired, they must pay extra.
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