California on short end of federal spending

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The federal government spent $3.2 billion more in the state than it had the year before but California saw only 11.9 percent of the government’s overall procurement spending, down from 12.6 percent the year before. “For a state that used to get a quarter of defense spending, that’s a remarkable change of events,” Ransdell said. Ransdell said it is the smallest share of spending since agencies began recording the statistics in 1981. With defense spending making up the bulk of procurement, Ransdell and other officials speculated that the Pentagon’s current Iraq needs are focused more on ground support than aerospace. “We don’t make much ammunition, we don’t make the tanks. We don’t make a lot of the equipment for the ground fighting,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. “You have literally two hot wars going on, and they’re not heavy users of what we produce in California.” Long gone are the days when the U.S. government spent 18 percent of its defense funds in California. Yet while the share of money going to the state has slowly dropped for more than 20 years, Ransdell said the most recent dip is the biggest in years. “We thought we had hit the bottom of the valley,” he said, adding that he expects the decline to continue. Russell Goldsmith, CEO of City National Bank in Los Angeles, said he is concerned that the state’s needs in homeland security and transportation are not being met. “California continues to be getting an unfair share of federal spending based on the legitimate needs of a vibrant economy,” he said. Kyser also said he foresees the state continuing to give more to Washington than it gets back in federal tax dollars. He noted that replacement of the space shuttle will be done in either Florida or Texas. “It’s a fight,” he said. [email protected] (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – California’s share of federal spending has sunk to its lowest level in decades, the apparent result of war dollars shifting from air defense to ground weapons. New Census Bureau statistics for 2005, the latest figures available, show that the share of federal spending in the Golden State dipped to 10.8 percent from 11 percent. While it’s a tiny dip in percentage points, economists said it represents a significant symbolic drop. The waning numbers are being driven by a decline in the share of federal procurement funds being funneled to California, said Tim Ransdell, executive director of the California Institute for Federal Policy Research. last_img read more