California is the third-biggest state in the nation, according to federal data, but according to the American Community Survey, it spends just 0.2% of its gross domestic product on debt and is the sixth-most indebted state.
The national debt was just $4,843 billion, according the U.S. Census Bureau, but the state was only $4 billion behind in debt, a total of $5,638 billion.
“What we know is that California spends a lot of money on debt.
And that’s where it gets really interesting,” said Kevin Sullivan, a research fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, who was the author of a study on California’s debt.
The state spends more on state and local government than any other state.
But, according, the state is actually the third most indebted state, with just $5.7 trillion in total debt.
But California is a small state compared to its neighbors, which have the nation’s third-largest populations and second-largest economies, and the state’s debt load was only a paltry 0.4% of GDP in 2010.
So, it was easy to forget about the big bills.
But that could change.
The federal government announced in May that it would make the state more transparent about its debt and release a report showing how much of its budget was spent on interest payments and other types of payments.
That would help California’s government better compete for federal funds and better manage the financial consequences of the debt, Sullivan said.
The report was supposed to be released in June, but is now expected to be finished this week, according in a statement from the Department of Finance.
“The budget is not finalized yet, but we have not ruled out releasing a final version at the appropriate time,” the statement said.
“We have not made any final decisions regarding the budget and the release of the final report.”
The department also plans to release a longer-term budget plan, which will provide more detailed details on the state budget.
The final budget will include information about how much money is spent on the schools, public safety, veterans affairs, housing and other areas that are not included in the budget.
It will also include information on the growth of state government, including revenue and expenditures for pensions, salaries and other public-sector benefits.
The California State Budget, released in May, showed the state spent $9.4 billion on interest, pensions, health care and other benefits in 2010, and $8.2 billion on debt interest alone.
That was more than half of the state government’s spending on the three main categories.
That also was more money than any state, including the District of Columbia, the nation in which it is the smallest, spends on debt, according an analysis by the Center for American Progress.
California’s biggest public debt is its unfunded pension liabilities, which are about $7 trillion.
California has $1.1 trillion of unfundable debt, the report showed.
The debt is about $2.6 trillion for every resident of the nation.
And the state has about $3 trillion of debt interest on its balance sheet.
About 90% of California’s unfunding pension liabilities are from pensions, the analysis found.
It also noted that about half of California is covered by a federal law that limits how much a state can borrow.
That law, known as Section 1202, requires states to balance their budget each year by borrowing from the federal government, which then has to pay interest on the federal debt.
That is how California is able to borrow $7.4 trillion in a single year.
The Federal Reserve, in a report last year, estimated that California’s federal debt held by the public would be more than $16 trillion by the end of the decade.
The amount of money California owes to the federal Treasury is $6.3 billion, and is about 1% of the total amount of debt held in the state, according.
California is also under a $2 billion lawsuit by a California union, the American Federation of Teachers, over its mandatory retirement plan.
A union grievance against the state alleges that the state cannot pay the workers enough to cover their retirements, and that the plan is in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a written statement that he is confident that the federal courts will uphold the state law.
“Our state and our government have a responsibility to the people of California and to the entire nation to make the necessary changes to our current pension and retirement systems to keep our state competitive,” Beceras said.
He said the federal court ruling would “seriously damage” the state pension plan and its financial stability.
“It’s outrageous to suggest that any state pension is sustainable or sound when we have one of the worst pension systems in the country, which is a shame,” Becersaid.