November 23, 2011 |
The most durable message from the Occupy Wall Street encampments across the nation is also the simplest: "We are the 99%. " But are the implications of that message fair? Is there a widening gap between rich and poor? Are those doing well just a fraction of the populace? In the nation, and particularly in California, the answer is yes. We are living in an era of widening inequality, with income gains concentrated at the top, and most families in the state are falling behind. New research from the California Budget Project examined data from the Franchise Tax Board and found that income gains during the last two decades were overwhelmingly concentrated among California's wealthy.
March 28, 2013 |
The federal healthcare law will help cause insurance premiums to rise 30% on average for many middle-income Californians next year, but lower-income consumers could save up to 84%, a new government report says. Covered California, the state agency that commissioned the report issued Thursday, said federal subsidies and decreases in out-of-pocket medical expenses should offset most of the higher premiums for people buying their own health coverage. Officials said about 570,000 Californians who have annual incomes between 250% and 400% of the federal poverty line and have individual policies now will pay 47% less, on average, due to federal subsidies.
August 4, 2012
Re "There's no excuse for hoarded cash," Column, Aug. 2 George Skelton blames the governor and his predecessors for the "hoarded cash" in the state's various special funds. The blame, rather, lies with California voters, who were persuaded by interest groups (highway contractors, crime victims, casinos and many others) to set up many of these special funds (there are more than 500 total) dedicated to fund these special activities. In other words, California's vaunted initiative process has destroyed any semblance of rational budgeting.
February 9, 2012 |
Californians are more optimistic about the state economy and their own finances, although Bay Area residents are decidedly more upbeat than people in and around Los Angeles, according to a new survey. Almost two-thirds of Californians say their personal finances are improving, 52% think the state's economy is on the mend and 51% believe the jobs picture is brightening, according to the Citibank survey. Overall, according to the survey, nearly half of California residents say 2012 will be a better year than 2011.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- For eight years, a San Francisco-based nonprofit called Next 10 has created an online simulation where users can try to balance California's budget. This year's version may be the easiest one yet. “This is the first year in many years where we're not starting out with a huge deficit," said F. Noel Perry, the venture capitalist who founded Next 10. The organization, entering its 10th year, examines financial, economic and environmental issues in California. Gov. Jerry Brown says the state's deficit has been wiped out and the state will see surpluses in the coming years.
September 7, 2012
Re "On the road to sanity in licensing," Column, Sept. 5 Anyone from Britain, France or elsewhere in Europe who visits this country can obtain an international driving permit from his country and drive in this country for as long as his visa permits. Is there not some way to grant this courtesy to those who come here, do so much for us and who are so willing to work? Mexicans doubtless remember that California was part of Mexico and was taken from their ancestors by methods that cannot bear the light of day. They as well as we are a proud people and deserve to be a part of California, as they were and have been for hundreds of years.