The Problem: California state government struggles from a spending addiction and is intentionally misrepresenting its finances to the public and bond holders.
When factoring in the debt service on nearly $1 trillion in unfunded pension debt, the state’s budget is already in the red. Any economic slowdown around the corner will result in a massive budget shortfall of tens-of-billions. Local governments are also in bad shape with their budgets and pension liabilities.
Strategy 1: Pension Reform Initiative
The single biggest driver of the financial crisis facing California state and local government are the unsustainable pension benefits they offer to government workers. The government pension crisis is not just a financial crisis, it is also unfair to increase the cost-of-living on working families just so funds can be diverted to make outrageous pension payouts for government workers.
We will reform government compensation plans so state and local government workers are paid no more, but also no less than the local labor market requires for those jobs to be done. In addition we propose to switch to a simple 401k defined contribution retirement system for all new hires.
Strategy 2: Performance Audits of Government Agencies
We deserve better results and improved service from all state and local government programs. Performance audits should be conducted at least every three to five years on each government program and managers should be held strictly accountable for implementing efficiency and effectiveness reforms.