George Skelton catches a few, ahem, tall tales in some of Meg Whitman’s radio spots.
“Did you know,” Whitman asks radio listeners, “that in the last 10 years, state spending has gone up 80%?”
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It doesn’t take much digging to learn that general fund spending “in the last 10 years” has risen just 27%, according to finance department data. Adjusted for inflation and population growth, spending actually has decreased by 16.6%.
(LA Times 10/29/09)
They have some fun with numbers excuse for the 80% number by finishing with the 2007-2008 closed book numbers, but, of course, even that excludes inflation and population growth.
But Meg Whitman has a story for the people of California. A story that bears no resemblance to the more complicated reality, but it’s simple: California’s state government spends too much. That somehow California is just tossing around money because the numbers are big.
Yet, despite the numbers that Whitman would like to show you, here are the real numbers. California is 26th in per capita state spending with about $5,000 per capita. And that’s from FY 2007, the high water mark where eMeg’s ads were proclaiming out of control spending. (Data from Kaiser Foundation). Since that time, we’ve slashed and burned through our budget. We’re spending substantially less money, and providing a lot fewer services. But, we can’t all keep up with those spend happy states like Oklahoma (#18), Louisiana (#9), Alabama (#7) and Alaska (#1).
So, it’s going to be more of the same crap. Lies, deceptions, and half-truths. Yup, a real change candidate, that Meg Whitman.