California has some of the highest taxes, if not the highest taxes, in the country. And they are soon set to go much higher with the poorly considered and newly imposed gas tax. What kind of state do we have and what do we get for all that tax money?

POVERTY  According to povertyusa.org, California’s overall poverty rate is 15.3% ranking us 32nd among the 50 states, however, when the California Budget & Policy Center factors in the cost of living (housing, basic expenses, childcare, etc.) also known as the federal Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), California’s poverty rate soars to No. 1:

  • 1 in 5 Californians (20.6%) struggle to afford basic necessities, up from 14.9% under the official poverty measure.
  • Nearly one-quarter of children (23.8%) live in families struggling to get by – a larger share than for adults regardless of which poverty measure is used.
  • Seniors are nearly twice as likely to lack adequate resources under this more accurate measure.

The true poverty rates among children and minorities is even higher and more alarming:

  • One-third of Latino children (33.2%) live in poverty based on the SPM, compared to 29.7% under the official measure.
  • Over one-quarter of black children (25.7%) live in poverty based on the SPM. Although this is unacceptably high, it is nearly 8 percentage points lower than the official poverty rate (33.5%) due to the impact of public supports like CalFresh food assistance and housing assistance.
  • Latino and black children are more than twice as likely as white children to live in families that are struggling to get by.

UNFUNDED LIABILITIES  California’s Public Employee Pension Debt is so immensely huge at nearly $130 billion, it now has an entire website devoted to tracking how in debt we really are per county, city, and household. In case you were wondering what your share of the debt is, here’s a break-down of the SCV area if all debt was equal:

Notice, these figures are just the unfunded liabilities that are on the books. They don’t even count the billions of unfunded liabilities that are deferred or off the books due to liberal legislative shenanigans and financial chicanery.

INFRASTRUCTURE  Liberals love to spend our tax money on so-called shovel-ready infrastructure projects, but do they really spend it on roads and bridges? Take the recent gas tax (take it, please!). Already, 30% of it has been extracted for projects other than roads and bridges like job training for felons. No one really knows where that money is going to end up, but as usual with the Left, the likelihood of all of it paying for carpool lanes or dams is slim to none. Meanwhile, our dams, roads, and bridges continue to crumble cause millions in home and automotive repairs yearly.

BUSINESS EXODUS  Chief Executive Magazine has “California anchor[ing] the bottom of the list at No. 50 for the sixth consecutive year” in its annual survey of the Best & Worst States for Business 2017. Our high tax rates and over-regulation will keep us at No. 50 for years to come.

MEDI-CAL  In 2013, when Governor Brown signed legislation to expand Medi-Cal in California, the estimate was and additional 1.4 million people would be added to the rolls. Several months later, Governor Brown put out the welcome mat for illegal aliens to come to California. Today, we Californians are paying for over 13.5 million people to be covered by Medi-Cal because in actuality, more than 5 million people were added. Coincidence? We think not.

So, to answer the question of what kind of state do we get for our tax money? We get a state crippled with high poverty, astronomically high unfunded debt, dangerously crumbling infrastructure, and businesses that can’t leave fast enough, and exploding Medi-Cal rolls. Oh, and let’s not forget, we get even higher taxes.

Are you fed up with the Left’s squandering of our tax money yet? I sure am.

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Gwendolyn Sims
Gwendolyn Sims is a Midwesterner currently existing in California while dreaming of the real America. It's out there, she remembers it. She's a lover of words, clever comedy, and writing in all its forms; fan of Constitutional freedoms; mother to 2 teen monsters, rescuer of dogs, and reluctant runner--but not in that order. Follow her on Twitter at @scvbuckeye where she tweets about politics, liberty, California, and other subjects that make her laugh.