The Orange County Register says the desperate government of the state of California is borrowing $313 million from the state’s disability insurance trust fund to make an annual interest payment on a federal loan for unemployment benefits.
The move highlights the importance of owning adequate private group and individual disability insurance — and the risks involved with letting government agencies build up trust funds for worthy causes.
Despite the naysayers, I think government agencies can be effective operations that get imporant tasks done well and efficiently.
Maybe General Electric could have won World War II or gotten to the Moon more cost-effectively on its own, but the U.S. military and NASA ended up achieving their goals pretty well, all things considered.
But government agencies also may face changing conditions, hard times and some of the kinds of tough choices individuals and employers might face in their own lives.
The difference is that individuals and employers can make smart, dumb or necessary but wretched decisions on their own, for their own reasons, with their own money.
Government officials may make those kinds of choices with money they compelled taxpayers to pay, even though the government never mentioned that possibility when the program was created or the tax money was paid.
As I write this, we still don’t know if the U.S. Supreme Court thinks Congress can make Americans buy and/or eat broccoli, but it clearly thinks that state governments can make workers pay payroll taxes.
California is in a terrible situation, and people who’ve been unemployed for months are in a terrible situation.