CA Gov. Newsom Manages to Turn a Massive Budget Surplus Into a $32 Billion Deficit—in Just One Year

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

In January 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom gloated over his financial prowess in a tweet:


That tweet hasn’t aged well, to put it mildly.

On Friday, the exquisitely coiffed governor announced that not only had the surplus evaporated, but the state was actually running at a $32 billion deficit—$10 billion more than he had predicted in January. Oops.

Newsom tried to pretend that it really wasn’t that big of a deal: “We have a $31.5 billion challenge, which is well within the margin of expectation and well within our capacity to address,” he said.

However, few other states are running at a deficit, and at $306 billion California has the largest budget of them all. Some critics argue that the fault lies with the state’s progressive tax code which relies on wealthy taxpayers whose income fluctuates with the performance of the stock market. You could also argue that, like our president, Newsom loves to spend but doesn’t seem to be so good at math.

He proposed a variety of financial moves that he says will solve the problem:

In January, Newsom proposed a number of ideas to cover the deficit, including about $9.6 billion in spending cuts that hit some of the state’s ambitious climate programs and other policy areas. His latest proposal includes roughly another $1 billion in spending reductions.

Some of that comes from clawing back unspent money in various programs, including those designed to provide tax refunds and help people with their utility bills.

He’s making up the rest of the deficit by shifting expenses, taking some money from the state’s safety net reserve and borrowing.


Of course, the deficit has grown another $10 billion since he announced those plans, so their effectiveness is questionable. Actor James Woods wasn’t impressed:

Nor were GOP legislators:

Republican legislative leaders blasted Newsom’s proposal as another marker of irresponsible spending by the Democrats who control Sacramento.

“His cuts to drought programs are dangerous, his ‘fiscal gimmicks’ are shortsighted and his words about good government and efficiency are yet another empty promise. Californians deserve better,” Republican Assembly Leader James Gallagher said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the state’s Reparations Task Force recently recommended that black residents be given money to pay for past racial discrimination; some economists calculated that some could receive up to $1.2 million under the plan. That evidently was too much even for Newsom, who on May 9 appeared to punt on the idea and indicated that he did not intend to pursue such policies.

Newsom was a disaster when he was San Francisco mayor from 2004-2011, and he’s brought his brand of chaos to the state level where—despite massive spending—residents are plagued by crime, high taxes, homelessness, and the almost-impossibly high cost of living. That’s why so many are leaving for greener pastures in Texas, Florida, Utah, and other states.


He is basically a younger Biden—and therein lies the danger. His policies are a “model for the nation” only if you take that to mean they’re a model of what not to do.

It seems pretty clear that he has designs on a higher office; that’s why he regularly tries to mix it up with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott. I wish I could say there is no way he could ever win a presidential election, but I am at a loss to explain why California voters not only put him in office, they re-elected him.

He would be a disaster for the United States, just as he’s been a wrecking ball here.

See also:

Jealous Gavin Newsom Continues to Obsess Over Ron DeSantis, Says He Needs ‘a Little Humility’

Anatomy of Failure: How CA Governor Newsom Turned a Huge Budget Surplus Into a Devastating Deficit

Debate Takeaway: CA Gov. Newsom Is a Slick Used Car Salesman, but You’ll Drive Away in a Lemon


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