I put “trust fund” in quotes because it is currently about $1.6 billion in debt to the feds. Today the Republican Senate Caucus put a pretty nice little briefing report about the situation into email boxes around the state. You might think I’m kidding, but it’s actually a pretty fair review of the facts. The analysis brings the partisanship into the mix, but what can you do, it’s the Legislative Republicans we’re talking about here.
There are three proposals out there right now. The first comes from the Governor. It would increase the maximum taxable wages from $7,000 to $10,500, increase the maximum tax rate from 6.2% to 8.1%, and decrease benefits a smidge. AB 1298 (Coto) raises those tax levels a bit, and SB 222 (Ducheny) opens up unemployment to some part time workers.
Unfortunately, if we do nothing, someday the feds will tell us we need to get our house in order. And with unemployment levels rising to as high as 14% in some models, that is going to be a big hole to fill. The Republicans want to spin this as a problem that can be evaded without increasing taxes, but that seems unlikely.
Just one more reason why 2010 must be the year we get 2/3 majorities.