Red State | May 12, 2023
In January 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom gloated over his financial prowess in a tweet:
That tweet hasn’t aged well, to put it mildly.
On Friday, the exquisitely coiffed governor announced that not only had the surplus evaporated, but the state was actually running at a $32 billion deficit—$10 billion more than he had predicted in January. Oops.
Newsom tried to pretend that it really wasn’t that big of a deal: “We have a $31.5 billion challenge, which is well within the margin of expectation and well within our capacity to address,” he said.
However, few other states are running at a deficit, and at $306 billion California has the largest budget of them all. Some critics argue that the fault lies with the state’s progressive tax code which relies on wealthy taxpayers whose income fluctuates with the performance of the stock market. You could also argue that, like our president, Newsom loves to spend but doesn’t seem to be so good at math.