Perhaps in keeping with its good government traditions, the brokest state in the Union the governors of which do not routinely go to jail issues monthly statements recording its fiscal ineptitude. This week’s summary release from Controller Chiang’s office, covering December, is a doozy. First it presents a macro view that raises questions about the economic rebound (all bolded phrases are my edits):
State Controller John Chiang today released his monthly report covering California’s cash balance, receipts and disbursements in December, showing monthly revenues came in $165.2 million below the latest projections contained in the Governor’s proposed 2012-13 Budget. When compared against the 2011 Budget Act, December revenues were $1.4 billion below estimates.
“While we saw positive numbers in November, December’s totals failed to meet even the latest revenue projections,” said Chiang.
Chiang then continued in a vein that we Greece-watchers find familiar:
“Coupled with higher spending tied to unrealized cost savings, these latest revenue figures create growing concern that legislative action may be needed in the near future to ensure that the State can meet its payment obligations.”…
Compared to the 2011 Budget Act estimates, disbursements exceeded projections by $2.65 billion. This deficit was eliminated in the 2012-13 Governor’s budget estimates when the Department of Finance revised projections in consideration of spending assumptions that now appear unlikely.
Oh well, it’s just so hard even for a Governor known for ascetism to keep from letting the spending dogs out.
You may wish to know how big is California’s fiscal hole. It is waaaaay big:
The State ended last fiscal year with a cash deficit of $8.2 billion. The combined current year cash deficit stands at $21 billion. Those deficits are being covered with $15.6 billion of internal borrowing (temporary loans from special funds) and $5.4 billion of external borrowing.
Just to remind you that this sounds like an upscale version of Greece, here’s today’s scandal du jour courtesy of ekathimerini in Bailout for Greece to grow? (is the question mark in the headline really necessary?):
The size of the next bailout for Greece appears to be in doubt after International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde was reported as telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel that loans for Athens would have to be increased by “tens of millions of euros.”…
Politicians were left embarrassed Wednesday by figures which showed that parties were receiving greater funding at a time when voters are being asked for greater sacrifices.
According to figures released by the Interior Ministry in response to a question from Democratic Alliance MP Lefteris Avgenakis, state funding for political parties increased by 5.2 million euros last year. The parties received 54 million euros last year compared to 48.8 million in 2010.
It never ends.