The Governor’s May Revise Budget reports $8 billion in additional revenues over three years. He proposes to pay down debt, to put funds in the state’s Rainy Day fund to offset revenue losses in the next recession and to make one-time expenditures on needed infrastructure improvements.
The June 5, 2018 ballot is important for two reasons: first, the top two finishers will be on the November ballot; second, the Propositions will be decided by those who vote in June. Please vote on June 5 or before if by mail.
One step forward and two giant steps back. President Trump has made a huge mistake in withdrawing from the multi-party nuclear agreement with Iran. His motivation apparently is to please the Israeli and Saudi governments of President Netanyahu and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and possibly salve his own wounded and over-sized ego. There is no Plan B.
So far, President Trump has not yet met an agreement that he does not dislike: NATO, NAFTA, the UN, TPP, Climate Change, Iran and Cuba. He now has trusted enablers around him: Bolton, Pompeo, and Pruitt to execute his desires, and he has exorcised those such as Tillerson, McMaster (and probably soon Kelly) whom he perceives have stood in his way. Let’s see what he can do.
Sunday, I attended a fundraiser for Marshall Tuck who is running for State Superintendent of Schools. I was impressed both by his grasp of the magnitude of the challenges facing California’s education system and his clear-eyed view of what needs to change. https://marshalltuck.com/issues/ We are now the 5th largest economy in the world, yet our state ranks in the bottom 10 on public education. It did not used to be that way. In the 70’s we were in the top ten in performance and funding.
There is not a lot of doubt that President Trump has a lot of trouble telling the truth and that he does it consistently and persistently in all aspects of his life from the highly personal to the professional. The consequences are as yet unknown. I’m most disturbed about its impact on the nation’s youth.
The Brookings Institution has a fascinating report on the opportunities to improve our nation’s decaying cities in the American heartland. Economic growth has been concentrated on the coasts and in big cities. Economic decline has been occurring in smaller and mid sized cities and counties in the industrial Midwest and Northeast for the last 46 years surveyed.
I have been immersed in Ron Chernow’s biography of Ulysses Grant, the leading General of the Civil War, two term President, an extraordinary champion of civil rights and symbol of corruption. There is a lot of resonance and hard lessons for our own turbulent times.
About 4 million Americans are uninsured because the politicians in their states (18 at the moment and shrinking) refuse to implement the Medicaid expansion component of the Affordable Care Act for the working poor. Maine and Virginia are close to closing this gap.
Medi-Cal began as health coverage for children and single parents, seniors and the disabled receiving cash assistance. MediCal had become an entirely different program, one dominated by low income working families, even before the advent of the ACA. The traditional “welfare” component of the program, called CalWorks in California, is now only 400,000 low-income children and parents, of its total 13.5 million program enrollees.