California Among Top Ten in Nation for Government Spending Growth

Tax Foundation
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California has made a top ten list, but it may not be one the state wants to be on. A new national survey on state government spending growth ranks California 10th in the country.

The list looks at the direct government spending growth of all 50 states between 2001 and 2011. California comes in at number 10, with a more than 35 percent spending increase.

Joe Henchman is with the non-partisan, non-profit Tax Foundation, which conducted the survey. He says, on average, California’s spending increased about 3.5 percent each year during that period. And he says the steady climb is notable given the economic highs and lows California experienced during that time.

“You got remember the year’s we’re comparing here,” he said. “2001 may be the peak year of the bubble also, compared to 2011, which was a year of recovery.”

And what does Henchman make of politicians who say the state has gone through years of budget cuts?

“When politicians talk about spending cuts, they’re usually not actually talking about cutting the way most people think you mean when you say cutting,” he said. “What they’re talking about is, we’re going to grow spending less in future years.”

Louisiana ranked first on the list with nearly 64 percent spending growth. But Henchman says much of that can be attributed to costs related to Hurricane Katrina.

The survey figures were adjusted for inflation.

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Click map for additional mapping from the Tax Foundation.




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