CA’s Underfed Kids, Overinsured Retirees

The Governor’s Budget projects deficits down the road but that’s no reason not to enact worthy programs with savings from eliminating unworthy programs, and especially those contributing to the structural deficit to which Governor Newsom refers in his budget message.

For example, Senator Nancy Skinner has introduced a spot bill to establish Universal School Meal and Out of School Nutrition programs, both of which seem awfully worthy to us. Cost estimates haven’t yet been provided, but even with deficits on the horizon such services surely could be funded with savings from eliminating redundant programs or crony subsidies such as health insurance for retired prison guards, police and other public employees costing the state $4.9 billion per year. Enactment of the Affordable Care Act and California State Subsidy rendered much of that spending unnecessary, and the state even provides subsidies to retirees with other jobs or with Medicare and imposes higher health insurance costs for active employees via an implicit subsidy for retirees. All of that can be fixed by the Legislature and in so doing it would also address a large component of the structural deficit. Legislators should also stop accepting political contributions from enterprises that do business with the state, including those representing recipients of all those billions in unnecessary spending.

Govern For California supports lawmakers who serve the general interest.

Originally published at https://mailchi.mp.

Lecturer at Stanford University and president of Govern For California

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