COGD Comes Late to the Golden State
Today, California “celebrates” the 39th latest Cost of Government Day- seven days after the national average on July 15. The Cost of Government Day measures the calendar date by which the average American pays off their share of spending and regulatory burdens on all three levels of government: federal, state and local.
Residents of the Golden State must work 204 days out of the year to pay for government spending and regulatory burdens. Looking at it from a different perspective, Californians only have 161 days to work and save for their families and themselves – less than half the year.
Since 2003, Californians have experienced a cumulative increase of $50.66 billion in taxes. In 2012 alone, residents can expect to see their taxes increased – for each man, woman and child – by $413.31. As of 2012, Californians pay the 5th largest portion of their income and combined state and local tax rates in the country – a tax rate of 11.8 percent.
California currently faces a $15.7 billion deficit. In order to address the deficit Governor Jerry Brown has proposed harsh spending cuts to the state’s welfare programs and education. The last five budgets in California have increased taxes for residents and Democratic Governor Jerry Brown plans to continue the tradition in his FY2013 budget. The budget includes three new tax rates on incomes over $500,000 for married couples and a .5 cent sales tax increase- the initiatives will be voted on this November.
Once again, California Democrats fail to recognize the Golden State suffers from an over- spending problem, not an under-taxing problem. Fortunately, included in the budget are automatic triggers of spending cuts. If the tax initiatives are rejected by the public, mid-year automatic spending cuts of $5.4 billion will take place to help balance the budget. In order for California to achieve a lower Cost of Government Day, deeper spending cuts must take place, until then - Happy Cost of Government Day to the Golden State!