This is my latest e-mail to Wendy Gordon, Communications Deputy to California Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, and Robert Oakes, consultant to California Senator Carol Liu regarding the State of California’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and collective state CAFR’s from ~14,000 various government entities in the state:
Hi Wendy and Robert,
One of your constituents’ local papers, The Outlook, published a second letter on June 21 (copied below) requesting Senator Carol Liu and Assemblyperson Anthony Portantino’s public responses to CAFR data.
This is the beginning of our third week of phone and e-mail conversations (a measure of our public audience here). I have received:
- silence from Robert/Carol,
- response from Wendy/Anthony that addressed a different issue (state-owned bank) while ignoring CAFR data.
I promised that I’d help Carol and Anthony shine on this issue. I also promised I would document and publish whatever I received.
So far, you ignored my easy-to-accomplish recommendation for a public statement that affirms the CAFR data, recommends public and independent cost-benefit analyses for reconsideration of these public monies, and initiates appropriate action in the California Senate and Assembly.
As such, here’re my recommendations now:
- Have a public statement with evidence of initiating appropriate legislation as press releases (Carol here, Anthony here) by Monday, July 2nd.
- Accept my offer to share your ethical response with local newspapers, my mailing list, and national publication audience.
I’ll call you both on Monday morning, June 25 to discuss this issue. Again, I’m willing to help anyone on your staff, including Carol and Anthony, to fully understand this objective and independently verifiable data on California’s official comprehensive financial report.
I’ll keep contacting you and invite interested press and readers to also contact you if:
- the public does not have an official response by July 2nd,
- if the official response doesn’t address CAFR data accurately,
- if the official response obfuscates behind one of the usual “official” lies I’ve already communicated to both of you of “designated” funds that you then refuse to communicate options to “undesignate,” funds pensions when the data refutes that claim, and funds are needed for “rainy days” when both this is a rainy day and a state-owned bank eliminates such a need.
Finally, I respectfully remind you that any competent citizen armed with this data of $600 billion in public cash and investments should make it as public as possible, demand official ethical response, and be politely persistent until the public good is served.
If you doubt my intent, refute the data I’ve provided. If you can, I’ll publicly apologize, thank you, and correct my statements. But because I’m unaware of any refutation in the three years I’ve explored CAFR data, right now you’re sitting on $600 billion and doing nothing (and ignoring the state’s collective $8 trillion).
Here’s the published letter in The Outlook:
As promised, I contacted our state representatives regarding California’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) data showing $600 billion in our public investment fund. Assemblyperson Portantino’s press representative Wendy Gordon, and Senator Liu’s Sacramento contact Robert Oakes both confirmed they received my request for public response to the seven points in this published article you can Internet search: “Californians’ $8 trillion in tax surpluses: what to ask your state, local reps”.
The $8 trillion is a sampling estimate of the total tax surpluses in California’s ~14,000 various government CAFR data.
If this figure is accurate, and it’s probably conservative, then each California household has been overtaxed by a present-day value of over half a million dollars ($500,000). Of course, these colossal investments should be considered by multiple and independent cost-benefit analyses to discover our options; we can’t simply all cash them in.
The understandable need for “rainy day” accounts would not be needed if California had a state-owned bank like North Dakota to extend at-cost credit for temporary budget deficits (North Dakota is the only state with its own bank and the only state with increasing budget surpluses).
Our economic problems literally only exist on paper because we have workers and work to be done, game-changing technological breakthroughs, and capacity to issue debt-free currency to bring them all together. The article title above explains and documents the details.
I promise to provide updates on Anthony and Carol’s responses.