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Walters: California Economy Faces Tough Slog

It now seems like ancient history, but only a few months ago, California’s economy was roaring. “By any standard measure, by nearly every recognizable metric, the state of California is not just thriving but, in many instances, leading the country, inventing the future, and inspiring the nation,” Gov. Gavin Newsom...

White House Seeks $850B Economic Stimulus Amid Virus Crisis

WASHINGTON — The White House was asking Congress on Tuesday to approve a sweeping emergency stimulus package to help businesses and taxpayers cope with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. It's the most far-reaching economic rescue package since the Great Recession of 2008. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin planned to...

Federal Reserve Proposes Loosening Rules on Bank Investments

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve approved a proposal Thursday to loosen a financial-crisis era rule that prevents banks from investing in venture capital funds. The proposal would affect the so-called “Volcker Rule," which was created after the 2008 financial meltdown. The rule bars banks from trading with government-insured deposits in an effort...

Walters: State Budget Depends on the Rich

The final pages of the 2020-21 budget that Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed this month contain arguably its most important factor — an utter dependence on taxing a relative handful of high-income Californians. Personal income taxes, the budget projects, will generate $102.8 billion during the fiscal year that will begin on July 1,...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump Distorts Data, Dems Cut Some Corners

WASHINGTON — Rallying in swing-state Wisconsin, President Donald Trump used misleading economic data to claim he’s created a “blue collar boom" while Democrats vying to replace him cut some corners on the facts in their latest presidential debate. Here’s a look at some statements from both stages, in Milwaukee and Des...

Walters: Bait and Switch on Pensions

Local officials, particularly those in California’s 400-plus cities, have been complaining loudly in recent years about pension costs, raising the specter of insolvency if they continue their rapid increase. Last year, the League of California Cities issued a report declaring that “pension costs will dramatically increase to unsustainable levels.” The California Public...

California’s Pension Debt Cannot Be Ignored

A decade ago, at Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s request, I supervised a graduate student team that performed a comprehensive analysis of public pensions in California. The goal was to calculate California’s pension debt, the difference between assets and liabilities. The team’s conclusions: the unfunded liability was over $500 billion—seven times the number officially...

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