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Richard Rider

Federal aid shortchanges California? Nope. We are average.

The Tax Foundation’s annual “Facts and Figures” booklet is out for 2019.  Much to consider, and I just got the download.  But one thing jumped out at me that I’ll comment on for now.

A common refrain of CA progressives is that California is shortchanged by the feds — that blue states such as ours get short shrift when federal aid is parceled out to state governments.  Turns out, it’s a non-issue.

When looking at the percent of our CA general revenue budget, 32.2% comes from the federal government. The 50 state average is 32.9%. We are slightly below that average — 29th in rank.    Table 9

But given how much more the Golden State compensates public employees vs. the other states, it’s amazing that the feds still cough up over 32% of our budget.  For instance, in California we pay our firefighters 60% more than the other states’ average. We pay our police 56% more. Most other categories of our state and local public employees are similarly overcompensated.  Yet our median CA household income is only 13% higher than the national average.