Lisa Benson by Lisa Benson

Lisa Benson

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  1. mikefive

    mikefive said, almost 4 years ago

    California, Illinois, et al?

  2. Robert Landers

    Robert Landers said, almost 4 years ago


    California’s economy is easily great enough to afford reasonable pensions for all of those workers that have built and maintain the infrastructure that enables that very economy to be the eight largest in the entire world (let alone by far the largest in the US).

    And that economy due to a large revival of the aerospace industry, an equally large increase in the “Green” industries (in such hot beds of entrepreneurship such as Silicon Valley), and now even a large increase in the oil drilling industry, is only going to get better, despite what the ultra conservatives on here say about it!

  3. I Play One On TV

    I Play One On TV said, almost 4 years ago

    Does any state or locality in the US have a balanced budget at this time? Anyone? I know of none.

  4. mikefive

    mikefive said, almost 4 years ago

    @Robert Landers

    I can appreciate your optimism about California, but the numbers involved in the pensions should probably temper that optimism somewhat. Of the examples you gave, the only thing I see that has the financial mass to cure California’s financial problems is it’s tar/oil sands and who knows how long the “Greenies” will use the courts to prevent those sands from being exploited. I also look for the “Greenies” to push environmental legislation that would make it economically unrealistic to exploit those sands. Additionally, I would expect the “Greenies” to push for a ballot initiative to prevent those sands’ exploitation.

    As for your other two examples (and I have absolutely no basis for the following) I expect they will have a very significant effect on their respective local economies and tax bases but will not be of such significance on the state’s because of the relative sizes of the examples as opposed to the needs of the state.

    I hope you don’t consider me an ultra-conservative. I’m far, far to pragmatic for that.

  5. ronald rini

    ronald rini said, almost 4 years ago

    thats the problem the people that make the laws and should balance the budget are the ones getting the pension money,

  6. Bruce4671

    Bruce4671 said, almost 4 years ago

    @I Play One On TV

    45 states, including Texas, have a constitutional citation concerning a balanced budget requirement, and four states that have a statutory requirement. Vermont is the only state with neither. The information comes from the legislative fiscal staff in each state.

    some perspective

    “Forty-nine states have some kind of balanced-budget amendment or statute and yet all but eight were in the red at the end of the fiscal year”

    Budget surplus for 2012? Well some say….

    compare the red/blue state maps here

    And it looks like the republican run states (mostly) are “projecting” budget surplus. Those Democrat states projecting surplus have a very high tax rate. Just an observation.

  7. Incredulous

    Incredulous said, almost 4 years ago

    @I Play One On TV

    Actually, they all do. Just check out their CAFR and you’ll find all kinds of money not reported on the official budget.

    Here’s California’s for 2011
    in pdf

    For one analysis:

  8. mickey1339

    mickey1339 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    @Robert Landers

    “California’s economy”

    Robert, now seriously. I live in Southern California. I love the place, but you must be drinking some of “Moonbeam’s” special Kool-Aid. This economy is drowning in debt and the unions sit with the legislature when they are “crafting” the budgets to make sure they are first at the feeding trough. Now that we have a liberal super majority in Sacramento it should really get interesting.

  9. mickey1339

    mickey1339 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    “Additionally, I would expect the “Greenies” to push for a ballot initiative to prevent those sands’ exploitation.”

    Yes, it’s called ruling by “propositions.” We have tax increases (2 of them) kicked in from the last election on propositions. You are correct about the oil industry, the state barely tolerates them and does all they can to tax and regulate them to death at every opportunity. The regulation and tax environment for business has become so onerous that businesses are moving in large numbers to Texas, Arizona and Nevada.

    There is a constant discussion to eliminate the property tax base established here years ago and if they succeed that will be the straw that pushed this camel out of the state.

  10. josefw

    josefw said, almost 4 years ago

    @I Play One On TV

    Yes, Wisconsin, thanks to Gov Walker.

  11. mickey1339

    mickey1339 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    CAFR report.”

    During my college days learning accounting, I had to take a class in “governmental/fund accounting.” I remember a comment my instructor made when I expressed my frustration and confusion on the fundamental structure of the process. In effect she told me to “quit thinking in normal accounting and logical terms because this was a process of exceptions and you just had to learn/memorize it and execute it by rote.”

    I’m not a rocket scientist but I aced most classes in my major (accounting, tax, law, finance). I got a C+ in that class because I just couldn’t wrap my head around such a convoluted, confusing process.

  12. mickey1339

    mickey1339 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    California had a surge in tax revenue because so many people sold investments to beat the increases in capital gains taxes kicking in in 2013. There was an unexpected windfall in tax prepayments. Their budgets are usually greater fantasy than your average Hollywood movie.

  13. DGF999

    DGF999 said, almost 4 years ago


    Greenies? We call ’em loogies here in Ohio… LOL!

  14. braindead08

    braindead08 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    @Robert Landers

    Robert, I have to chime in to support the various posts from mickey1339 here.
    And I’m hardly an ultraconservative.
    It’s not just at the state level either. There are tons of municipal govts. as well as local school, fire, and other districts that have unfunded liabilities that are unworkable.
    The fundamental problem is that unions have more power in these localities than the elected officials have courage and there is no counterbalance. So we have not only extreme pension generousity on top of generous salary and benefits, but they are worsened by allowing pension spiking and retirement at highest career pay.
    The unions, including police and fire fight like hell against any reductions.
    And, while unions are the driving force, it’s good to remember that ALL the non-union administrators in the hierarchy, like school administrators, get more than the union members. There are a ridiculous number of non-union administrators of all stripes who retire with a pension higher than their salary — with COLAs added over the years.
    The last Demo governor, Gray Davis, was an absolute disaster. Schwartzenegger kicked the can down the road and was ineffective. For now, I think Brown is the best chance Cali has.
    It’ll be interesting to see what the democrats do with their majority. It’s a real chance at governing. Although what happened in Wisconsin was egregious, IMO, because the unions made concessions, Democrats in the legislature need to take a lesson there.
    Koch money flows into Cali just as quickly and easily as Wisc.

  15. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    The point of the cartoon is they did balance the budget, but Benson thinks outstanding pension obligations are being swept under the rug. She, like most conservatives is an eternal pessimist & is sure they will bankrupt the state.

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