The $1.1 trillion federal budget deal boosts spending by 6 percent, extends about 50 expiring tax breaks, and funds an array of goodies meant to please both California Democrats and Republicans.
California’s congressional Representatives and Senators should receive lots of constituent cheer after passing a five-year, federal $325 billion highway bill in early December, and then two weeks later passing a $1.1 trillion budget deal. The combination will stimulate the national economy by about +.25 percent and California by slightly more.
The budget includes a $680 billion package of tax cuts that includes 50 tax extenders and several other provisions plus, an omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the government through September 30, 2016. Key to spending is “changes in mandatory programs’ (CHIMPs), which allow Congress to appropriate funds above the spending caps by cutting mandatory programs. But none of the apparent cuts are real, so there is a +$18.6 billion in spending.
California is a biggest beneficiary of the renewal of the 30 percent tax-credit for solar power. The Golden State dominates solar power with 1,049,000 homes installed, compared to number two — North Carolina — that has only 43,000 hooked up to solar. The extension will drive a big increase in California solar and wind power subsidies.