California’s budget whiplash showed the pitfalls of forecasting revenue


Seventeen months ago, while unveiling a much-revised 2022-23 state budget, Gov. Gavin Newsom bragged of having a $97.5 billion surplus to expand health care, social equity and educational programs.

“No other state in American history has ever experienced a surplus as large as this,” Newsom said as he unveiled a $300-plus billion budget that the Legislature eagerly adopted with a few tweaks.

The core of the eye-popping surplus was a projected $54.8 billion increase in revenues, mostly personal income taxes, over what Newsom had estimated just five months earlier.