No matter how you look at it, paying off California’s $340 billion of debt wouldn’t be easy. You’d have to spend the state’s entire general fund budget for three and a half years. Or you’d need 75 years of the current projected state budget surplus. Or, you’d have to charge every Californian $8,500.
“It can sound like a very wonky accounting sort of thing,” says Ryan Miller of the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, with the understatement of the week. His report says Governor Jerry Brown and state lawmakers should quit procrastinating now that the economy has improved – and start paying that money back.
“These liabilities have a real effect on the amount of funds that are available for other programs in the budget, like Medi-Cal and like other health and human services programs. So it’s in the state’s interest to begin paying these down in a cost-effective manner,” Miller says - starting with the California State Teachers Retirement System, which could cost an extra $5 billion a year.
CapRadio provides a trusted source of news because of you. As a nonprofit organization, donations from people like you sustain the journalism that allows us to discover stories that are important to our audience. If you believe in what we do and support our mission, please donate today.