Let’s summarize what we’ve documented so far about the data of California’s 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and what it means for the state’s 12 million households (22-minute television interview to explain this data here):
- Officials and corporate media never remind taxpayers, but California holds $600 billion in taxpayer cash and investments ($50,000 non-disclosed assets per household).
- California’s ~14,000 various government entities’ CAFRs have a sampled-data total estimate of $8 trillion in surplus taxpayer assets ($650,000 non-disclosed assets per household). For examples, page 63 of L.A. County’s 2011 CAFR shows $66 billion in cash and investments; City of L.A.’s CAFR page 58 shows $38 billion.
- The state’s $600 billion cash and investment fund is explained as designated for funding state pensions. The CAFR data show the opposite: $27 billion in pension cost receives only $1 billion income from $600 billion in withheld taxpayer assets, fund “managers” receive over twice the net income as California pensions receive, and a massive $68 billion increase in “fair value of investments” doesn’t translate to actual funding of pensions.
- Californians are taxed $19 billion to pay for pensions (95% of the public cost) while also losing $50,000 in assets the state withholds in cash and investments.
- The $600 billion fund in cash and investments contributed 4% of the state’s $27 billion pension costs, but since 2008 has been “managed” to cost taxpayers more than the net income it produces.
- Governor Brown is silent about the $600 billion in surplus cash and investments, claiming the $16 billion budget deficit can only be addressed by austerity – massive funding cuts to our essential infrastructure. A 2.8% divestment of the fund would cover the $16 billion deficit.
So the natural question is if the state’s withholding of $600 billion in our cash and investments does not fund pensions, address a budget deficit, or prevent devastation to infrastructure, how can we best restructure the purpose and use of OUR MONEY for optimal public benefits?
I see three obvious solutions.
I asked this of my two state representatives, Senator Carol Liu and Assemblymember Anthony Portantino. Carol and her consultant, Robert Oakes, has not yet answered this question. Anthony responded, but failed to address the question.
I’m also addressing law enforcement whether such non-disclosure of withheld taxpayer cash and assets by public officials is a crime while they tell us the only option is our austerity.
I’ll write with updated status of Senator Liu, Assemblymember Portantino, and law enforcement agencies.
Remember, this is a case study where I’m investing my time to explore and document this issue in the public interest. You are welcome to do the same 🙂