Applaud Progressive Reinvestment of Budget Surplus

Target: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

Goal: Thank Mayor Lee for his plan to reinvest city surplus to support services and low-income residents

San Francisco demonstrates obvious shortcomings of deficit hawk and supply-side economists’ arguments with the recent announcement of the city’s estimated $96 million fiscal year budget surplus. As reported by Reuters and the San Francisco Chronicle, these expanded revenues provide roughly $58 million more than earlier city estimates and could close the next fiscal year’s forecast shortfall. It appears that progressive Democrats appear to have a stronger command of fiscal matters than their counterparts suggest.

Most importantly, Mayor Edwin Lee outlined a smart and equitable path for reinvesting the surplus in an outline for next year’s budget. The 2013-2014 budget calls for hiring hundreds of city workers in education, public safety, and social services. Some of the surplus is also earmarked as a supplement to the city’s push for affordable housing, adding millions to lower income housing projects currently under development across the city. This progressive and long-term plan raises several critical points often obscured in national politics. First, surpluses should not be a license to freeze status-quo spending habits, much less push for regressive tax breaks for the wealthy. Moreover, surpluses offer exceptional opportunities to invest in the economic empowerment of citizens through expanded services and programs. The scale benefits of such plans promise massive returns for the entire community, rather than a select upper echelon.

Thank Mayor Lee for his fiscally responsible and socially inclusive leadership of San Francisco and encourage continued progress on sustainable, affordable housing in the city.


Dear Mayor Lee,

With the financial crisis and global economic recession fresh in mind, your leadership of San Francisco demonstrates that fiscal and social prerogatives are mutually reinforcing rather than mutually exclusive. San Francisco’s forecast $96 million budget surplus for fiscal year 2013 is a testament to smart investment with sustainable long-term growth in mind.

Critically, your efforts to utilize the surplus for expanded services merit attention. Reinvesting the surplus in city schools, public safety resources, and your widely-heralded affordable housing plans ensure that all citizens will benefit equitably. Adding new teachers and police will strengthen the educational opportunities of lower income citizens and provide them the opportunity to excel. We want to thank you for your fiscally responsible and socioeconomically inclusive leadership and hope that your successes continue.


[Your Name Here]

Image Credit: Mai-Linh Doan via Wikimedia Commons

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