Entries by David Kersten

“Unsustainable” Pension Costs Are The Driving Force Behind Local Tax Increases

It is no secret that there are a record number of local tax increases on the November 2016 ballot, but the dirty little secret is that the strongest driving force behind these measures is “unsustainable” skyrocketing pension costs. The specifics of each case need to be evaluated on a case by case basis, which I […]

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A Need for Public Sector Collective Bargaining Reform

California business leaders are unanimous in their desire for the California Legislature to proactively improve the state’s business climate, as opposed to only enacting policies that will further hinder economic growth. But it is far less understood how to actually get to a place where the Legislature both acknowledges that there are major issues with […]

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Commentators Question Value, Motivations of California Legislature’s Far Left Political Agenda

The 2015-16 Legislative Session is in the books but some high-profile commentators are questioning what appears to be a far leftward drift in the policy agenda of the liberal California Democrat Legislature that has forgotten about the state’s middle class and the need to grow our economy. The dust has not even settled on the end of session battles, and there is […]

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California Business Community Should Not Enable High Cost Government

The business community is in a very tough position in California.  The California Legislature is completely controlled by the Democratic Party and its pro-labor base. The California Republican Party and Republicans candidates are their most natural allies but Republicans are only viable in a relatively small minority of legislative races. The result is that the […]

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Ballot Box Budgeting Wreaks Havoc on California Budget, Beware of Props. 51, 55, and 56

As a professor of public budgeting and someone who has worked their entire career analyzing public budgets, I can say that ballot box budgeting wreaks havoc on the California budget process and taxpayer interests. Yet it is something that voters are so accustomed to doing that most average voters don’t even know what “ballot box […]

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CalPERS Sinks Further into Fiscal Insolvency

Orange County Register reporter Teri Sforza quietly released a story  that blows the whistle on another fiscal bombshell of bad news at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). The story states that according to unofficial preliminary numbers from CalPERS the fund lost about 2% of its market value in the 2015-16 fiscal year that just […] […]

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Labor Backed Prop. 30 Extension Represents CA Taxpayer-Funded Bailout

Perhaps the best decision California voters can make at the polls this November is to vote “NO” on the initiative extending the Prop. 30 temporary tax increases that expire in 2018. Why?  The short answer is that extending the Prop. 30 tax extensions effectively bails out California State Democrat politicians for their inability to take […]

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Logic and Evidence is Not a Reason for CA Legislature to Curb Deficit Spending

Governor Jerry Brown put just about everything he could in the May Revise, except for the “kitchen sink,” to try to convince the Democrat-controlled Legislature to “hold the line” on new deficit spending. The Governor cited economic risks as the most important reason to spend less and build up the state’s reserves. As illustrated by […]

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CA Democrats are Not Standing Up for “Working Families”

It’s election season, so every California Democrat politician is out there on the campaign trail, precinct walking with their “friends” in labor, and speaking to labor organizations and anyone else who will listen.  They are speaking with one voice–that ” we are proud to stand up for working families.” This may sound like a great […]

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Union Backed Legislative Bills May Kill “Gig Economy” Through Regulation

Sacramento politicians cannot resist the urge to “regulate” the “gig economy” to impose arduous work rules, regulations, and a whole host of bureaucratic red tape on one of the most successful economic enterprises to surface in the past few years. People here in the Bay Area love Lyft and Uber, not the heavily regulated taxi […]

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BART ‘Tentative Deal’ Solidifies Unsustainable Public Employee Compensation

It was with great surprise that I learned yesterday that Bay Area Rapid Transit management had reached a “tentative deal” with the BART unions that would increase worker wages by 10.8% over four years starting in mid-2017, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report. The “tentative deal” comes more than one year before the end […]

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