Wednesday, August 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

California’s high taxes bring minimal benefits

walters column sig

By
From page A11 | February 27, 2013 |

One of the annoying anomalies about government services in California is that while we carry one of the nation’s highest state and local tax burdens – over 10 percent of personal income – we consistently rank very low in what those many billions of tax dollars provide.

That disconnect is very evident in public education, the single biggest consumer of tax dollars as well as the most popular thing that governments support.

Despite our high taxes, California consistently ranks in the lower quadrant of per-pupil spending, and much of that money has been diverted into an almost impenetrable thicket of specialized pots.

Meanwhile, the outcomes, as measured by academic tests and high school graduation rates, range from poor to mediocre.

Gov. Jerry Brown says we’d get more bang for our school bucks by eliminating most of those special pots and simplifying how money is distributed, with more going to districts with large numbers of poor or “English learner” students.

Whether that happens, and whether it would improve outcomes, are still very much unknown.

If schools are the most obvious of California’s public services, highways are a close second. There, too, there seems to be a disconnect between what taxpayers are paying and what’s happening where the rubber meets the road.

A new statistical compilation by retired University of North Carolina professor David Hartgen for the Reason Foundation finds that while California ranks very high, vis-à-vis other states, in per-mile spending on state highways, it consistently ranks at or near the bottom in official measures of pavement condition, congestion and other indices. It ranks dead last in improving seven measures of highway adequacy between 1989 and 2008.

Meanwhile, state transportation officials plan to spend $5.6 million on a party for opening a new Bay Bridge section – but what’s to celebrate? The project took 24 years and cost several times the original estimate.

We spend more on inmate health care, proportionately, than Texas spends on its entire prison system – yet California is under federal court supervision.

Finally, there’s the string of failed projects to incorporate technology into public services.

Scarcely a month passes without some new and very expensive debacle in implementing technology projects, inevitably leading to cancellation of contracts and recriminations – and sometimes lawsuits – pitting state officials against the hardware and software vendors they chose.

It’s downright embarrassing – or should be – that the world capital of technological innovation finds it so difficult to employ the devices and programs that its technical whizzes peddle to the rest of the world.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, never has so much been spent to achieve so little.

Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Reach him at dwalters@sacbee.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • RichFebruary 22, 2013 - 4:42 pm

    California's people voted for more of the same. Texas and South Carolina laugh at you as we get your jobs, income, tax revenue, business, industries and 2 parent families. In return we will give you all of our illegal aliens and welfare underclass morons and moochers. I think its a great deal --for us, but alas not for you. There was an article in Charleston's newspaper yesterday about an illegal alien seeking admission and financial aid at the local junior college. Charlestonians weighed in on the issue and the universal consensus was ''California is that-a-way, adios Amigo!"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PatriotFebruary 27, 2013 - 5:52 am

    Yeah, California will take all of the illegal aliens and others that want to obtain the best in social welfare benefits in the nation..Businesses will leave and then they will eliminate the middle class..Hollyweird can fund this all then since they are so supported by Obama..

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PSFebruary 27, 2013 - 6:05 am

    Couldn't agree more to both of you, the sad part is why don't more Californians wake up to the reality of the situation. The more we increase taxes and drive up social welfare the closer we are to socialism. What the hell did we fight WWII for, if we are allowing the stupid Obamanites, Reed's, Poliosi's, Gov Brown, state legislature to continue this tax and spend game to hide their socialist policies.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Vacaville school board candidates sound off during forum

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Memorial flight honors beloved Gordon Valley man

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Recology goes pink to trash cancer

By Glen Faison | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Curtola park-and-ride bill goes to governor

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
City reaches milestone for train station project

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
Caltrans advises Highway 12 delays likely

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

DUI checkpoint nets arrests in Vacaville

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

 
Library’s teen board to meet next week

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
South Solano Dems schedule candidates meet, greet

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Man convicted of failing to register as sex offender

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
Geiger sworn in as Fairfield planning commissioner

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6

Faith in Action puts out call for volunteers

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6

 
 
Yippie job training program seeks applicants

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6

 
Love, a legend, come to theaters

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

Suisun City police log: Aug. 17, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 16, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 17, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 16, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

.

US / World

How can authorities restore order in Ferguson?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 18 Comments | Gallery

 
Holder brings his civil rights push to Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

Strong DOJ response to Ferguson seeks truth, calm

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
As protests rage, Obama struggles to find his role

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Ferguson pledges outreach efforts after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Prison company pays $8 million in back wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Some evacuees of Yosemite-area fire can go home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Officials say Lake Tahoe imperiled by wildfires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Committee approves higher pension calculations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Veteran rock climber killed in fall in Yosemite

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Texas Gov. Perry booked on abuse of power charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
US officials: Video shows American’s beheading

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

NY took quick precautions after in-custody death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
AP Exclusive: US changing no-fly list rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Tens of thousands march on Pakistan’s parliament

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Serve and protect? Certainly not

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 22 Comments

 
Question of the week: Does school start too soon?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
Government trying to steal rights

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 15 Comments

No getting away from corruption in state government

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
Editorial cartoons for Aug. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Our daughter says she hates her mother and refuses to talk to us

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
10 Things: 10 fresh ways to dress corn on the cob

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Think beyond the slice with refreshing watermelon

By J.M. Hirsch | From Page: B6

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson set for DC Comics film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Don Pardo, iconic TV announcer, dies at 96

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Wife to bury Kasem in Norway, cites heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

 
Rancho Solano women’s team vying for spot in nationals

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

49ers sign defensive lineman Dorsey to extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers’ Dawson eager to get back out kicking after misses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Kluwe, Vikings reach settlement to avert lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Islanders announce sale of minority stake of club

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ohio State: Injured QB Miller done for the season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Past US Open champs Djokovic, Federer seeded 1-2 in U.S. Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Joe Gibbs Racing hires Carl Edwards and Daniel Suarez

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis knows hoops, too

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Veteran NBA ref Bavetta retires after 39 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders still waiting for Hayden to get healthy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

As Durant steps back, US team is moving forward

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Competition heats up for Tesla’s gigafactory

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B7

Peanut, almond butter recalled for salmonella risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
McDonald’s to sell packaged coffee nationally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Consumer prices edge up 0.1 percent in July

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stocks rise as US home construction rebounds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

US home construction jumps 15.7 percent in July

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

Eddie Lee Staten

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
June Canaris-Heath

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A4

George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Richard Ray Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Horace James Sam

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Joseph ‘Joey’ Kenneth Meyers

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Defrances Jean Freeman-Jefferson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5