CA May Have Budget Surplus in 2014 – Lawmakers Get a Raise

by Jack Lee

It took a recession of near Biblical proportions  to force lawmakers in Sacramento to stop their lavish spending habits, cut back on wasteful programs and draft a budget that does not exceed the State’s income.  Today it’s reported that we may be looking at a $2 billion dollar surplus in 2014.   

Question:  What are the odds that those tax and spenders in the capitol are already finding frivilous ways to relieve us of that yet to be determined… surplus?   Answer 100%, and it will start with a raise in their wages of 8%, that too was announced today.   No connection to job performance or need, it’s just a raise for…well, just because.

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23 Responses to CA May Have Budget Surplus in 2014 – Lawmakers Get a Raise

  1. Harriet says:

    The “Gagle of Goons” on the move again.

  2. Libby says:

    I could have been a convert. I liked Mr. Pitney’s point about inadequate representation. I’m right sick of Senators in states where nobody lives holding up the show. But then Mr. Baird opened his big mouth:

    “This movement is just about people whose lives don’t work because they don’t have representation,” said Mr. Baird. “They wonder why we’re called the ‘welfare counties.’ It’s because our economy is being strangled by government regulation.”

    This just isn’t true … unless … it is his aim to cut down all the trees, divert and/or pollute all the waterways, and generally despoil what resources you do have in the name of a quick buck.

  3. Bob says:

    A surplus? Hogwash! If you count unfunded liabilities like pensions the state is deep in the hole.

  4. Bob says:

    And Obammiecare will bankrupt what’s left of this country.

    Let’s Talk About Obamacare Subsidies

    For once the NY Times actually prints the truth: New York Times: Obamacare Decimates Middle Class

    “But middle class Americans, with incomes much lower than the family of four in New Hampshire, will get decimated. An analysis by the Times found those in the middle class may have to pay nearly 20% of their income on Obamacare. To put that in perspective, “experts consider health insurance unaffordable once it exceeds 10 percent of annual income.”

  5. Tina says:

    Back in July Thomas Del Becarro of Forbes put the real California budget, and the slight of hand utilized by our governor in perspective.

    The various government entities are confiscating 50% or more of the job creators incomes which puts a big dent in the private cash that might be placed at risk for growth and jobs. The middle class is being squeezed with high energy (gasoline) prices, health insurance and healthcare costs, rising food prices and, coming soon, rising interest rates.

    Jerry Brown creates the illusion of surplus because he continues to dream about that bullet train.

  6. Tina says:

    Okay Libby…I see how this works:

    I’m thinking city dwellers should be charged a luxury tax for dwelling in the same state where all the open space, clear air, and trees are preserved in the areas where “nobody lives”.

    City dwellers are the ones doing all of the polluting…maybe they should be more heavily taxed just for living where “so many’ people live….call it the peeps tax! It’s in these areas that the vast majority of resources are being used too.They definitely should be penalized for that! And they should pony up for having all of the extra infrastructure that others in the state never get to use. Or how about we impose a heat tax for anyone living in one of those massive heat producing concrete jungles?

  7. Peggy says:

    Hey Tina, I think you’re onto something there. I love the idea of taxing those who live in high populated areas more since they are the ones using the very expensive services and resources. They should pay more just for the privilege of being able to live in such an expensive area that pollutes the air in rural areas carried on the “delta-breeze.”

    Privileged and wealthy city dwellers should pay much more than rural and poor rural dwellers. City dwellers should also give the rural dwellers some of their wealth to compensate them for the pollution and climate change damage to crops. It’s only fair to take from the “haves and give to the have nots.” I think the libs call it “redistribution of wealth.”

  8. Libby says:

    You guys are nuts. You seem to think that you are subsidizing my BART system. This is bogus. I am subsidizing your DMV office … that’s how it works. The areas with lots of people subsidize services in areas without lots of people. I don’t know why you cannot be convinced of the truth of this. But if you do ever Jeffersonize yourselves, you’ll be persuaded … yes, you will.

  9. Peggy says:

    According to this report Calif. is $777,918,403 in debt. It’s insane for the legislators to believe they’re owed a pay raise for the “work” they’ve done.

    State Budget Solutions’ Fourth Annual State Debt Report:

    by Cory Eucalitto | January 8, 2014

    “State Budget Solutions’ (SBS) fourth annual State Debt Study reveals that state governments face a combined $5.1 trillion in debt. This total equals roughly $16,178 per capita, or 33 percent of annual gross state product. Another telling way to view the problem – state debt is equal to 469% of all fiscal year state general and other fund expenditures.

    Since 2010, SBS has conducted a comprehensive examination of debt facing the 50 state governments. These reports have repeatedly found trillions in combined debt that stand in stark contrast to officials’ proclamations of balanced budgets and belt-tightening. This year’s update, and those in the past, show unfunded public pension liabilities’ incredible contribution to state debt. In fact, these liabilities make up 79 percent of all state debt.

    SBS’ unique and comprehensive approach to calculating state debt includes four separate components. The components are market-valued unfunded public pension liabilities, outstanding government debt, unfunded other post employment benefit (OPEB) liabilities, and outstanding unemployment trust fund loans. Together, these four factors present an all-inclusive view of state obligations not conventionally presented but that both lawmakers and taxpayers nonetheless must confront.”

    Grafts and charts include…

  10. Dewey says:

    So can we all agree to stop the pay raise?

    The Billionaires want to bankrupt the country so they can buy it out. leveraged buyout of democracy.

    I say Politicians should be paid the median income of the country

    Question if about 1/2 of Americans are working for $11.00hr or less now and there is only 1 job for every 3 Americans looking for work…… why are we still giving tax cuts to companies to move jobs overseas and why did we give a communist country our jobs?

    PS EDITOR’S NOTE – We hope everyone will write comments respectfully, without personal attacks, racist comments or threats. All comments are subject to the guidelines of the E-R’s editorial staff.

  11. Tina says:

    Libby you may be subsidizing our DMV…big whoop.

    You are still using way too many resources (Your sides big complaint) and the concrete jungle heat factor (Also your sides big issue) is huge. It’s time you had to pay extra for all the damage.

    By the way I am one of many that have left the Bay Area who did subsidize “your” BART system. I lived for ten years in a town taxed but not served by the rail service.

    Also, according to this site on public transportation funding, BART is subsidized by state wide and federal taxes:

    Where does the rest of the money come from? Taxes, the types and amounts of which differ from region to region. In the United States, the most common form of taxation for transit is the sales tax. In states as ideologically diverse as California, Texas, and Washington, state wide sales taxes provide the lions share of transit subsidies.

    Federal tax dollars are also used to subsidize transit systems:

    These taxes are used to fund budgetary programs at the local, state, and federal levels. At the federal level, a segment of the federal gasoline tax is used to support the programs of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The FTA supports transit development through such programs as the New Starts Program , which provides funding for new rapid transit projects and the rehabilitation of existing lines, the Job Access and Reverse Commutes (JARC) program, which provides funding to assist the poor in accessing jobs in underserved communities, and operating subsides to transit agencies in areas with a population of under 200,000. The federal government has recently passed a new federal transportation bill.

    See also here:

    California transportation spending is derived from two main sources: gasoline and diesel fuel excise taxes, and sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. Although California, like most states, spends the vast majority of its transportation revenue on highways – more than 80% – it does set aside a significant amount for public transit.

    So the DMV example, which is questionable since every state regardless of size or population has them, is a poor one and your point not at all supported by the facts.

  12. Peggy says:

    Libby you are toooo funny or brain dead. I’m not sure when you’re serious.

    You’re not subsidizing the DMV in our area, we are. You’re paying for the DMV in your area.

    We don’t have BART up here, yet you expect us to pay for you to ride on it every day while we never step foot in one of those trains.

    You lib’s ability to justify taking from some to pay for what you want is laughable, if it wasn’t so sad and bankrupting states and this nation.

    We “know how it works.” You’re the one who’s nuts if you expect us to keep paying for your goodies.

  13. Dewey says:

    We are a state. The city of Chico is a small town. If a tornado which is becoming possible wipes out Chico will we want to assist Chico with state and fed relief…YES!

    Why does everyone say it is OK for companies to tear up our roads trucking and pay no taxes?

    Why is it OK for 75% of corporations to pay no taxes while taking fed tax money and using our infrastructure!

    What exactly is the total tax revenue for Chico and if we took all state services away how would that be? Not Good. We are a collective not a selfish country.

    • Post Scripts says:

      Dewey… you just posted a flagrant leftwing propagandist lie.

      You said 75% of corporations pay no taxes – that is a flat out lie and it comes from an old congressional report that only gave half the story. Read the whole article below to see the truth. But, I doubt you will retract the lie even with this evidence.

      According to Forbes magazine, “Nearly two-thirds of U.S. companies and 68% of foreign corporations do not pay federal income taxes, according to a congressional report released Tuesday.

      The Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined samples of corporate tax returns filed between 1998 and 2005. In that time period, an annual average of 1.3 million U.S. companies and 39,000 foreign companies doing business in the United States paid no income taxes – despite having a combined $2.5 trillion in revenue.

      It’s all absolutely true so why is it horribly misleading? Misleading to the extent that I would accuse some of those using the line, those who do in fact know better, of coming quite close to lying.

      There are, conceptually, two ways we could tax an organisation. These alternatives can be applied to anything from a bowling club to General Electric. The first is that we consider the organisation as an organisation and tax it accordingly. What goes on inside the organisation, any surpluses or profits, get taxed at the level of the organisation.

      We could also decide not to do that. Instead, we’ll look at who gets money from the organisation and tax them instead. Conceptually, there are merits to either system: and we do in fact tend to use both. Interest paid out of an organisation we tax when it gets to the recipient: interest income is income that you pay taxes on. Profits made by an organisation sometimes get taxed at the level of said organisation, sometimes when they reach the recipients (or, as I pointed out with Mr. Buffett’s taxes, both in the corporation and when the dividend reaches the recipient).

      And it’s that “sometimes” which gives us the figure of nearly two thirds of corporations not paying the federal corporate incomes tax. For we have two types of corporation, the C and the S Corporation.

      A C corporation is taxed at the level of the corporation, the organisation. It is subject to the federal corporate profits tax on any profits that it makes. An S corporation however is a different beast:

      An S corporation, for United States federal income tax purposes, is a corporation that makes a valid election to be taxed under Subchapter S of Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code.

      In general, S corporations do not pay any federal income taxes. Instead, the corporation’s income or losses are divided among and passed through to its shareholders. The shareholders must then report the income or loss on their own individual income tax returns. This concept is called single taxation; if the corporation is taxed as a C corporation, it will face double taxation, meaning both the corporation’s profits, and the shareholders’ dividends, will be taxed.

      I deliberately use the Wikipedia entry as my source to show that this isn’t some secret and arcane piece of information. It’s generally and widely known. So S corporations aren’t subject to the corporate income tax at all: the profits are taxed as income when in the hands of the shareholders instead.

      So, what proportion of US corporations are S rather than C? The IRS can tell us that:

      S corporations continue to be the most prevalent type of corporation. For Tax Year 2003, about 61.9 percent of all corporations filed a Form 1120S. The total number of returns filed by S corporations for Tax Year 2003 increased 5.9 percent to nearly 3.3 million, from nearly 3.2 million reported in Tax Year 2002. S corporations became the most common corporate entity type in 1997.

      Nearly 62% and rising: that’s close enough to our reported number of “nearly two-thirds” (ie, 66.66%) that it’s not exactly a great intellectual leap to identify this as the source of that “two-thirds” number.

      Which brings us to our conclusion. Yes, it is true that nearly two-thirds of US corporations do not pay the federal corporate income tax. This is because nearly two-thirds of US corporations end up paying the personal income tax on profits, not the corporate one.

      This may or may not be a good idea, that’s for another time. But good idea or not, it’s certainly very different indeed from the way the true fact seems to get used, which is as evidence of widespread tax dodging by corporations. That’s just horribly misleading: tantamount to lying when used so by those who do know better.

  14. Tina says:

    We do not give tax cuts to companies so they will move jobs overseas. When we give tax cuts we do so to increase investment whether in America or overseas. Most companies that operate overseas also operate in America.

    Other countries offer companies better incentives. If we want companies to operate and grow in America then we need to be competitive with regard to regulation, taxes, and fees.

    I would ask why we tax and regulate at a pace that drives companies from our shores?

    Taxes on companies are just hidden taxes on consumers since the cost to produce includes the tax burden which is passed on to the consumer in higher prices. It doesn’t make sense to tax the people in this covert way.

    If we want good paying jobs we had better learn how to inspire those who create them to risk their money to make it happen.

    Redistribution policies, draconian EPA and lending laws that make borrowing, energy costs, and expansion expensive and difficult are not the way to do it.

    If individuals want good paying jobs they need to acquire appropriate skills and experience to get them. Workers should learn more about the costs their company incurs so they won’t have unreasonable expectations about compensation.

    We all need to remember that being wealthy is not a crime. We need to realize that it is possible for anyone who is willing to invest the time and money to grow their own wealth. There isn’t s static sum that has to be divided. Wealthy people get wealthy by growing their wealth and creating new wealth.

    Last but not least, lose the Marxist notions of equality and sharing wealth…those policies fail every single time with the result that everyone but the leaders live in poverty and despair.

    Learn the value of freedom and property rights. Learn how individual effort and investment is the key to personal wealth building and results in contribution to the community.

    Citizens should not be controlled by a bloated government bureaucracy; they should be free to pursue the life they desire unencumbered and supported by the rule of law. People will lift themselves out of poverty if we don’t entice them with promises of freebies. They will have the incentive to stay in school and acquire the necessary skills if they realize no one is going to take care of them when they become adults. Citizens should be supported in becoming contributing citizens rather than a drain on society and their working neighbors.

    Ronald Reagan

    The family is the most basic support system there is. For two centuries now, it’s been families pulling together that has provided the courage, willpower, and sense of security that have enabled millions of Americans to escape poverty and grab hold of the rungs on the ladder of opportunity. How often have we heard about the immigrant father laboring long into the night to give his children the advantages he never had? How many self-made men and women in America of all ethnic backgrounds owe their success to the strength of character given them by hard-working, loving parents? But for the children of child mothers and absentee fathers, there is often only a deepening cycle of futility, hopelessness, and despair.

    We’re in danger of creating a permanent culture of poverty as inescapable as any chain or bond; a second and separate America, an America of lost dreams and stunted lives. The irony is that misguided welfare programs instituted in the name of compassion have actually helped turn a shrinking problem into a national tragedy. From the 1950’s on, poverty in America was declining. American society, an opportunity society, was doing its wonders. Economic growth was providing a ladder for millions to climb up out of poverty and into prosperity. In 1964 the famous War on Poverty was declared and a funny thing happened. Poverty, as measured by dependency, stopped shrinking and then actually began to grow worse. I guess you could say, poverty won the war. Poverty won in part because instead of helping the poor, government programs ruptured the bonds holding poor families together.

    Perhaps the most insidious effect of welfare is its usurpation of the role of provider. In States where payments are highest, for instance, public assistance for a single mother can amount to much more than the usable income of a minimum wage job. In other words, it can pay for her to quit work. Many families are eligible for substantially higher benefits when the father is not present. What must it do to a man to know that his own children will be better off if he is never legally recognized as their father? Under existing welfare rules, a teenage girl who becomes pregnant can make herself eligible for welfare benefits that will set her up in an apartment of her own, provide medical care, and feed and clothe her. She only has to fulfill one condition—not marry or identify the father.

    Obviously something is desperately wrong with our welfare system. With only about half of what is now spent on welfare, we could give enough money to every impoverished man, woman, and child to lift them above the poverty line. Instead, we spend vast amounts on a system that perpetuates poverty. But the waste of money pales before the sinful waste of human potential-the squandering of so many millions of hopes and dreams.

    People are much more capable than they give themselves credit for being. Government is happy to assist the individual in reaching his lowest potential! If we don’t change the way we think we will slide into a third world reality.

  15. Tina says:

    Dewey truckers pay taxes. Roads and bridges are supposed to be built and maintained from fuel taxes and truckers certainly use a lot of fuel. Also truckers are taxed according to mileage in many states:

    States use fuel and mileage tax reporting to ensure they are getting their fair share of the tax money that the truckers are paying. Miles operated in each state are calculated and taxes paid accordingly. Truckers need to be sure this reporting is done right to avoid costly audits. Additionally, this program can help you find the best locations to purchase your fuel.

    They also have to license their vehicles and pay yearly business fees.

    Before you continue to gripe about corporate taxes remember that companies large and small hire people and grow the economy when they are not unreasonably encumbered. And high earners, and the major stake holders in those corporations, also pay individual taxes and investment taxes at high rates.

    In a collective the truly selfish want to arrange things so that those who work harder and put their own money at risk are forced to pay for those who don’t contribute.

  16. Dewey says:

    Tina the it should not be free for companies to use the roads. They need to pay a fair share of tax.

    In Texas they are grinding up the roads into gravel instead of fixing them in the rural oil areas. Most the traffic is Oil Rigs.

    . A Trucker is a trucker, a company owned truck is a company owned truck.

    The worker pays personal income tax.

    75% of corporations do not. Wells fargo pays no tax even.

    They want to destroy everything until they own them and can charge us for everything. They do not like the public owning anything. They think people should pay them for everything.

    In Arizona they want to charge you for not using electricity even.

    Bottom Line the corporations are out of control. Why should someone pay a energy company for the privilege to sell them electricity?

    Their profits are through the roof. There is no free markets, they are monopolies by the few 2%.

    Next house I will be solar, and they will have to jail me before I pay for the right not to pay them.

  17. Tina says:

    Thanks Jack you saved me the trouble. Shall we add another layer?

    When individual workers file their taxes there is a box on the form to report gross wages (their profit for that year). Then, depending on the persons situation there are deductions that the law generously gives. Unless the tax payer is very new to the working world and without deductions the taxpayer is allowed to subtract these deductions from the gross amount and pay tax on the net amount. His tax rate is effectively lowered. Is he a bad person because he has followed the law? Is he a criminal because he followed the law and pocketed his own money? If his deductions and expenses end up taking his bottom line to zero he will pay no tax. It doesn’t happen often but it can happen if someone has a lot of losses and a lot of children.

    Everyone takes advantage of tax laws to lower their tax burden. There is no reason for them not to.

    Simplified tax laws would make things more transparent and fair. Progressives and politicians generally don’t want simplified tax laws. Go figure…maybe its because they like the deductions they get…or the votes when they say don’t worry union guy, don’t worry business we have your back.

  18. Tina says:

    Dewey it is not free for companies to use the roads. that is a lie.

    Not only do truckers pay a lot in fuel taxes every year they also pay income and business or corprate taxes. Some of the state below are ten years old but they will give our readers an idea of how many gallons of fuel truckers use each year.

    The total distance driven by commercial trucks in the U.S. exceeds 150 billion miles each year. That’s equivalent to about 640 trips from the
    Earth to the Moon. Professional drivers in the United States drove 200 billion miles in 2000,
    that’s enough miles for 1,000 round trips to the sun. … The average truck in the United States travels an average of 64,200 miles per year, the equivalent of driving almost two and a half times around the world. The average trip for trucks is about 420 miles one way.


    The United States federal excise tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon (4.86 ¢/L) and 24.4 cents per gallon (6.45 ¢/L) for diesel fuel. On average, as of January 2013, state and local taxes add 30.4 cents to gasoline and 30.0 cents to diesel for a total US average fuel tax of 48.8 cents per gallon for gas (12.89 ¢/L) and 54.4 cents per gallon for diesel (14.37 ¢/L).[13]

    The state and local tax figure includes fixed per gallon taxes as well as taxes that are a percentage of the sales price.

    It is just nonsense to say that trucking companies don’t pay taxes for roads. Where do you get these outrageous ideas?

    • Post Scripts says:

      Tina it seems Dewey sure lies a lot. Thanks for point out his lie about companies not paying to drive on our roads. They pay plenty in my opinion. He could have said they don’t pay enough and he would not have been called to task on it, but he had to go the extreme and say they don’t pay period.

      Contrary to helping promote the views he holds so dear his lying is making a mockery of those views. The guy doesn’t care a wit about evidence either, he is like one of these robot spammers. He doesn’t care if we respond or if we don’t post his comments, he keeps on anyway, saying the same old lies over and over.

  19. Tina says:

    Dewey its smart to use solar on your house. It isn’t an efficient, reliable, or viable alternative for our general energy needs.

    Corporations cannot force you to buy anything and, at least for now, Americans are free to own property.

    Obama, more than any other president, is attempting to change it so that government has control of business. when it does the leaders will tell us what we can buy, how much we will pay, and even where we will work and for how much. He likes the Venezuelan and Cuban model. You live in America. I hope you will help us fight to get the government off our backs instead of wasting time worrying about companies taking something from you. They don’t take anything that you don’t willingly give them by choice. The new healthcare law has changed that in the healthcare industry. This administration is attempting the same in the energy industry. its one of the reasons we are still paying high gasoline prices.

  20. Libby says:

    “You are still using way too many resources (Your sides big complaint) and the concrete jungle heat factor (Also your sides big issue) is huge. It’s time you had to pay extra for all the damage.”

    No, Tina. I’m afraid you STILL have it wrong. People in sparsely populated areas consume WAY more energy, and produce WAY more gases, per capita, than urbanites. Lots of us walk to the store. (We’ve quit giving the techies a hard time about the busses, cause it turns out the techie bussies are taking 40,000 drivers off the road everyday.) Most of you drive to the store, to work, and everywhere else.

    And do you know, they are talking about a “Prius” tax, because the Prius drivers don’t use enough gas, and gas tax revenue is dropping.

    We are paying.

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