SACRAMENTO – Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) today reacted to Governor Jerry Brown’s 2018 State of the State address, which he delivered to a joint session of the Legislature and the people of California this morning.
“I’m glad that the state’s revenues are still healthy, but that will mean nothing if we don’t get our spending priorities straight and cut spending overall. Any bit of fiscal news that sounds promising for the state completely ignores the massive, looming catastrophe that is our public pension system. Our unfunded liability could be half a trillion dollars – trillion, not billion. That money we owe won’t get us anything new – not another road or dam or officer patrolling the streets. It’s for services we’ve already consumed. This debt won’t go away by ignoring it, and the Governor should develop a concrete plan to pay it down and rein in runaway pension benefits.
“High Speed Rail is the first transportation system to run entirely on taxpayer money, a miracle fuel that Governor Brown imagines never runs out. The ‘train to nowhere’ is such a colossal waste of cash that could be used to repair our crumbling roads or invest in our universities or any one of a thousand other, better uses.
“California has the highest poverty rate in the nation because the state is so expensive. Taxpayers will foot the bill for High Speed Rail, but they also pay electricity rates that are almost 50-percent higher than the national average. Our gas taxes just shot up by twelve-cents a gallon with more major increases to come. Our absurd housing costs are unaffordable to vast swaths of people. Those costs are the results of policy decisions by liberal legislators and the Governor.
“The federal government cut taxes to put money back into families’ pockets. California is proposing to double the state corporate tax and creating gimmicky tax schemes to keep personal taxes high. It never ends. Maybe it’s time the Golden State takes a lesson from the new Washington, D.C.”