CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

California’s Real Budgetary Sin—We Spend Too Little, Not Too Much

Our State's Fear of Deficits Leads to Bad Management and Unforeseen Costs

A Feb. 27, 2017 image of the Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest, after heavy rainfall forced authorities to release water down a damaged spillway. The incident raised questions about California state spending on public infrastructure. Photo by KCRA/Associated Press.

We have reached the high holy days of California’s budget season, as our governor and legislative leaders decide which programs will gain new life, and which will be sacrificed. And so our state government’s ministers have begun their ritual sermons on the dangers of overspending.

They are preaching nonsense. California’s real problem is underspending.

Go ahead and dismiss my claim as blasphemy. After so many years of budget crises and big deficits, Californians have adopted a budget theology grounded in self-flagellation, even though our recent budgets contain small surpluses. You can probably …

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