Category Archives: David Crane

California’s Budget 2010–2018

Fast revenue growth, even faster expense growth By David Crane | California’s annual General Fund revenues grew a fast 46 percent during Jerry Brown’s eight-year tenure as governor. That makes sense given the stock market more than doubled over that … Continue reading

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Sacramento’s silliest subsidy

By David Crane | In December, I became eligible for Medicare, the national health insurance program for people aged 65 and older. Medicare is fantastic — and fantastically cheap — insurance. But, believe it or not, if I was a retired California state employee, … Continue reading

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The Federal Reserve tells a big truth

By David Crane | On September 20, the Federal Reserve recognized a truth long covered up by California’s public pension funds. In its latest quarterly Financial Accounts report the Fed revised its measure of unfunded pension liabilities owed by state and local … Continue reading

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CalSTRS’s underperformance

By David Crane | For the 12 months ended June 30, 2018, the S&P500 returned  more than 14 percent but California’s State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) earned less than 9 percent. Some of the underperformance results from the difference in allocation … Continue reading

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The Verdict On Prop 30 — Part II

More than 70% went to retirement costs By David Crane | In January 2012 California Governor Jerry Brown announced he would ask California voters to approve temporary sales and income tax increases. Later that year his proposal was embodied in … Continue reading

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More pension math: CalPERS’ and CalSTRS’ investment earnings

By David Crane | Triggered by recent earnings reports from CalPERS and CalSTRS, some readers have asked why California’s pension funds are underperforming the overall stock market. For example, for the fiscal year just ended June 30, 2018, CalSTRS and … Continue reading

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The Verdict On Prop 30 — Part I

More than 100% of schools’ share went to increased retirement spending By David Crane | In January 2012 California Governor Jerry Brown announced he would ask California voters “to approve a temporary tax increase on the wealthy, a modest and … Continue reading

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Government debt growth in California

By David Crane | Yesterday my Democratic Party tweeted that California was “paying down debt.” Not true. Net, California added more than $200 billion in debt over the last decade. The only debt paid down was budgetary debt of ~$30 billion, a fraction … Continue reading

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Thank you, Governor Brown

By David Crane | Earlier today, California Governor Jerry Brown released the May Revision to his proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1. The document is a must-read. State budgets are never perfect. That’s because they employ cash-basis budgeting, … Continue reading

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‘Big Three’ items are eating state revenues

By David Crane | California’s General Fund tax revenues have grown nearly 50 percent since a tax increase in 2012. But funding for most services has grown at a fraction of that pace, e.g., funding for courts has grown only 12 percent. … Continue reading

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