Skip to comments.George F. Will: California dug its own grave, and it's about to get deeper
Posted on 05/03/2009 2:07:14 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
California's increasingly severe and largely self-inflicted economic crisis will deepen on May 19 if, as is probable and desirable, voters reject most of the ballot measures that were drafted as part of a "solution" to the state's budget deficit. They would make matters worse. ...
Under Arnold Schwarzenegger, the best governor the states contiguous to California have ever had, people and businesses have been relocating in those states. For four consecutive years, more Americans have moved out of California than have moved in. California's business costs are more than 20 percent higher than the average state's. In the last decade, net out-migration of Americans has been 1.4 million. California is exporting talent while importing Mexico's poverty. The latter is not California's fault; the former is.
If, since 1990, state spending increases had been held to the inflation rate plus population growth, the state would have a $15 billion surplus instead of a $42 billion budget deficit, which is larger than the budgets of all but 10 states. Since 1990, the number of state employees has increased by more than a third. In Schwarzenegger's less than six years as governor, per capita government spending, adjusted for inflation, has increased nearly 20 percent.
Liberal orthodoxy has made the state dependent on a volatile source of revenue high income tax rates on the wealthy. In 2006, the top 1 percent of earners paid 48 percent of the income taxes. California's income and sales taxes are among the nation's highest, its business conditions among the worst. Unemployment, the nation's fourth highest, is 11.2 percent.
Required by law to balance the budget, the Legislature has "solved" the problem by, among other things, increasing the income, sales, gas and vehicle taxes.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
The ‘fix’ is in.
The Golden Goo$e is barren.
The increase in spending has actually averaged closer to about 10% a year under the Gub.. any inflation adjustment is negligible.
The overall result tho, as the state flounders under democrat rule, is like a bad B movie script unfolding before your very eyes.
Thinking hard ~ maybe the wife's cousin who was a schoolteacher ~
Naw, she spends a lot of time outside the state these days.
The comment I heard the most on the last trip was "this time let's find someplace with water".
As a Californian here is what I find utterly amazing. NO political will to cut spending. None. Zero. Every solution involves increasing taxes, in one shape or another. Spending cut alternatives are like touching the third rail.
HINT: The budget can be balanced in some measure, rather quickly if illegal immigrants are deported. GASP! Xenophobe alert!!!!
This is because the Democrats have made this official government policy. The reason is not to improve the economic condition of the state and its inhabitants, or even to provide "social justice". The reason is to ensure that Democrats remain in power in California at both the state and nation levels. Democrats do not mind that they are destroying the economy, whatever economy is left will be theirs to control and that's their aim.
"California is exporting talent while importing Mexico's poverty...What actually ails California is centrist evasions. The state's crisis has been caused by "moderation," understood as splitting the difference between extreme liberalism and hyperliberalism, a "reasonableness" that merely moderates the speed at which the ever-expanding public sector suffocates the private sector. California has become liberalism's laboratory, in which the case for fiscal conservatism is being confirmed."
Why should they? They know they can run to D.C. with their hands out and Obama will give them anything they want. The precedent has been set with the banks and automakers. Blue states are next.
How could state employees possibly increase by 1/3 since 1990?
Many of the major areas of state government- tax calculation and collection, drivers license issuance, welfare and unemployment check cutting- are all basically clerical functions which automation and computerization have really progressed during the past 20 years and actually require fewer employees and man hours to accomplish.
California must really have either left behind the whole computer revolution, added numerous new programs or both during the period in question to “achieve” such a high rate of payroll growth.
At least GM had to face the market place. Civil servants in California are paid above market rates for their talent, face no lay-offs, and have a pension plan that would make Elvis raise from the dead for the generosity they bestow on the so called working stiffs. Alice in Wonder Land.
California is merely a microcosm of the US—export industrial base, import immigrants who hate this country and who will never assimilate. So, what else is new?
I have two very wealthy brothers who live in California. Neither of them bothers to make money anymore. They have fired all their employees and are living off of their interest.
Incredibly, the public entity that I work for here in San Diego County has been sending out videos, memorandums, etc. for weeks bewailing and bemoaning about the budget crisis. We hear how dire things are and about the layoffs that are happening in increasing rapidity.
Yet, a few days ago the administration sent out a hallelujah chorus video to all employees that the dark days are seeing a glimmer of sunshine! Hussein's "economic stimulus" money is beginning to "trickle" our way!
I freakin' kid you not.
remember that employees are voters too, and a lot of those are unionized.
at both the state and federal level, who are the largest employers these days?
state and federal gubamints.
what is wrong with that picture?
Fortunately, it has handed voters some two-by-fours the initiatives. Resounding rejections of them should get Sacramento's attention.
I wouldn't count on that, George. Sacramento is a lot like Pete Puma in that famous Bugs Bunny cartoon:
After Bugs (the CA referendum process) keeps serving Pete (Sacramento) "lumps"...
..after a while Sacramento Pete just serves himself:
It's much easier for them to label those of us expecting adherence to immigration laws on the books as racists, extremists, and yes, xenophobes. Expecting those in top offices of federal, state, and city governments to obey immigration law is not tolerated by those who call themselves tolerant (they are nothing short of delusional).
Those with special interests for seeing the law broken (activist groups, attorneys, judges and politicians) see bankruptcy of states as just another means to achieve nothing less than total amnesty. It's hard times out here in the USA and about time politicians, lobbyists and activists learned first-hand what unemployment is like, just like the rest of us. If they can't perform their jobs, they should be replaced.