Posts tagged ‘budget deficit’

California the Golden State Turning Brown


ToastCalifornia is facing a significant cash crunch as the state attempts the narrowing of its $24 billion budget deficit. The crisis will come to a head now that the fiscal year, June 2009, budget deadline has passed. Without a budget resolution and in order to fill the budget gap, the California government will need to start issuing billions of government IOUs to contractors and vendors, local agencies handling health programs, as well as some receiving state aid.

Moodys rates the Golden State as the lowest rated state of all 50 at A2. The average rating for all states is AA2 and only two other states besides California are rated below AA. At the beginning of 2009 the state bought some breathing room by delaying cash tax refunds, but that cushion has rapidly deteriorated as the economy and employment outlook have deteriorated. Making things worse for the state, relative to other states, is the state constitutional inflexibility requiring voter approval for deficit borrowing.

Time will tell if Governor Schwarzenegger can gather the votes necessary to prevent bond defaults. President Obama and other states are watching closely as the actions (or inactions) will have a ripple through effect for everyone. At 13% of the nation’s GDP, California’s economy impacts the overall country in a significant manner.

Let’s hope the state maintains its “golden” status and does not get burnt.

July 2, 2009 at 4:00 am Leave a comment

The Governator: Terminate the Deficit or the Pooches?

Picture Source: Clusterstock

Picture Source: Clusterstock

The only way you get to save dollars is by saving nickels and dimes, so if saving overpaid bureaucrat wages requires Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger sending pooches to doggy heaven a little early, then so be it. California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office seems to believe $23 million can be saved by accelerating the pet euthanizing process for sheltered pets by three days.

Click Here for Article

Riding the California housing train was an enjoyable ride in California as home prices more than tripled from the late 1990s until the beginning of 2007. However, after rolling in piles of house tax collection receipts from exploding prices, the bubble based binge of tax revenue has now come to a screeching halt as home prices have declined by more than 50% from peak levels a few years ago (see chart below). Facing an 11.5% unemployment rate, the state is being kicked while it’s down on the ground – income tax collections are declining and businesses dealing with the relatively high cost of operations forcing businesses to run for the hills and leave the state.

Things obviously appear gloomy in California, but the Governator is showing his resolve to get the job done – as evidenced by his contemplation of the pet destruction option. My dog is sleeping inside tonight.

Prices Down Dramatically from Peak

Home Prices Down Dramatically from Peak

Wade W. Slome, CFA, CFP    

June 25, 2009 at 5:30 am Leave a comment

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