Gerald Parsky, Chairman of the “Commission on the 21st Century Economy” was Tuesday morning´s Newsmaker of the Day:
“Hello, this is Gerald Parsky, filling in for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with another California Report.
A few months ago the Governor joined Speaker Karen Bass and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, to create a bipartisan Commission on the 21st Century Economy.
They appointed 12 outstanding individuals, from across the political spectrum and asked them to focus on removing the volatility from California´s tax system.
I am honored to serve as the Commission´s Chair.
On Thursday, we held our first meeting in San Diego and discussed the magnitude of the problem.
As the Governor says, California´s economy is one of the strongest and most diverse in the world.
But our revenue system is another matter.
It is the epitome of boom or bust.
Our system depends on just 1 percent of taxpayers to provide more than 50 percent of our personal income taxes.
And that 1 percent relies on Wall Street for much of its income.
That means our tax revenues reflect Wall Street´s economy more than California´s economy.
In 1999, when the stock market surged, our income tax revenues jumped 28 percent.
But in 2001, when the dot-com bubble burst, those revenues plunged 26 percent.
As the Governor says, this rollercoaster ride, up one year and down the next, is no way to fund schools, healthcare and other vital state services.
We need stability and certainty in our revenues.
Over the next few months, our Commission will continue to meet up and down the state.
I am confident we will make recommendations that our state legislature can support.
Our work will not solve the state´s immediate budget problems.
But it will lead to a more manageable future, and help California finally realize important fiscal stability.
On behalf of the Governor, this is Gerald Parsky.
Thank you very much for listening.
The Newsmaker of the Day can be heard each weekday morning at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47 on AM-1450 KVML.
Written by Mark Truppner