What is a surplus?

October 28, 2015

Watch out when government officials tell you they have a surplus. The term surplus means something totally different to them than to us.


Many elected officials claim they have a surplus because one of the government's funds has a bigger balance at the end of the year than the beginning of the year. This has nothing to due with the fact that the debt went up and that they may owe millions or billions of dollars to their retirees for pensions. 

For example, Governor Jerry Brown claimed California has a $2.2 billion surplus. A review of the state audited financial report and pension plans' reports indicate the state is deep in debt.  California financial hole is $234.5 billion amounting to $20,900 per taxpayer.

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