California is broke and was broke before the coronavirus crisis.
A report from California Policy Center puts the debt in California at $1.5 trillion in 2019:
We estimate that California’s total state and local government debt as of June 30, 2017, totaled just over $1.5 trillion. That total includes all outstanding bonds, loans, and other long-term liabilities, along with the officially reported unfunded liability for other post-employment benefits (primarily retiree healthcare), as well as unfunded pension liabilities.
Their debt has been in the spotlight since the pandemic began because of the stimulus money being given out. Has California been fiscally responsible before the pandemic?
Looking at the salary for their Director of Public Health reveals part of the problem with the financial mess they’re in right now:
Barbara Ferrer makes $585k with all benefits and overtime included. What’s even more astounding is that she isn’t a medical doctor. She’s a Doctor of Social Welfare who makes a base salary of $465,411 and then gets extras in pay and benefits.
Here’s a breakdown of her pay:
Ferrer responded to criticisms of her credentials during an interview yesterday with KTLA:
Ferrer has served more than three decades in the public health field, including as Boston health commissioner. She holds a doctorate in social welfare and masters degrees in public health and education.
“This is a tough job for anybody to have to do,” she said. “The one thing I do want to note is I don’t make decisions by myself. I have an amazing team of public health practitioners… There’s no way I, by myself, would be either reviewing the massive amounts of data that’s out there or making independent decisions from the clinical team that’s really doing a stellar job.”