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.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (D-CA)
Did those stuck on stupid legislators actually believe that we would be suckered into voting for this slate of money sucking propositions? What part of “spend less” do they not understand?
The ECO GEEKS have Killed the Goose that laid the GOLDEN EGG.
They embraced the computer revolution. California has built many failed computer networks. There was a big one some years back that cost between $100 million and $200 million that was scrapped before going online because it didn't work. There are a large number of bureaucrats who order the creation of useless computer generated reports, which in turn require an army of people to maintain. There are clerks whose sole job is to check that reports run each day, and rerun them if needed. I know someone like that, probably puts in 2 hours of honest work in a week.
Different teams of people are needed for installing fiber cable, copper cable, for asbestos abatement whenever cables are run, etc. Then it's all redone. Lots of make-work "jobs".
There is no problem insignificant enough to be underserving of our tax dollars.
There are a large number of bureaucrats who order the creation of useless computer generated reports, which in turn require an army of people to maintain.
If and when job cuts come- because tax increases are unpopular, those jobs are undoubtably safe.
Any job cuts will have to come from the ranks of the police, or prison guards - or some other area which will inconvenience or endanger the public sufficiently that they will come around to accepting tax increases.
“Under Arnold Schwarzenegger, the best governor the states contiguous to California have ever had,....”
How much of the blame should go to the Governor, and how much to the legislature?
Here’s another one to think about.
Once a govt. agency or whatever is funded, Ya ever hear of it getting de-funded?
I’d say about half of the govt offices and personnel are worthless and should be let go.
Most of the businesses are good to have, but most of the Californians are not. In Nevada, we have already seen a large influx of Californians, who have gone a long way toward californicating our state, by supporting the same tax, spend, and overregulate policies which destroyed the economy in their own state.
If you use the technology stupidly, you can be even less efficient than simply doing things by hand.
Yeah, the sacred cows like the more than 10,000 child support workers (State Department & local county child support agencys) plus God knows how many Welfare workers and Social workers will remain employed and funded. They are working with the Legislative Analyst’s Office and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) to show their respective programs as “critical” and “cost-effective” and all those other ridiculous buzz-words these double-chinned, parasitic bureaucrats throw out there while panhandling at the capitol... Like economist Thomas Sowell wrote about, Self-Congratulations as a Basis for Social Policy! In spite of the evidence before us.
You are so right! They do not care at all about the state or its inhabitants. All they want are money and power. Our politicians are no different from the goons who ran the Soviet Union - as long as they have their special privileges, they don’t care if everyone else lives in misery.
San Diego, where there is a growth in population and jobs.
Largest concentration of military in the world, largest defense contractors, major bioTech, Telecommunications, etc.
“How could state employees possibly increase by 1/3 since 1990?”
Easy. Hire anybody who applies so long as you fill a quota slot.
Ain't that the truth.
Schwartzenkennedy is about to get a surprise, a resounding second defeat on a propositions ballot. This one is going to be fun, the girlie man switched sides on the props figuring a big win the second time around, but enough ignorant, selfish, Californicatians have seen the light to defeat the sucker propositions.
Ahnold will be completely powerless, and the state will tear itself apart economically. Vultures be ready, the pickings will be good.
Outta the park!
Arnold Schwarzenegger (D-CF)
Arnold is digging the grave, not us.
They target the most visible impacts, so voters will get p*ssed off and vote for an increase. Year after year people tolerate this sh*t. How do we get them to make the same reasonable compromises that the rest of us make in a down economy?
It seems like things *miraculously* improve about the time of the next election, so people vote the idiots back in. How do we get the masses of gullible a*ses to see the big picture and change things? And how do we overwhelm the growing number of leaches sucking the government te*t that will always vote for more taxes?
It is time to organize a plan that will cause change. Somehow we need to move beyond complaining.
“California/ Tumbles into the sea/ Now that’ll be the day I go back to Annandale”
“My Old School”
Everybody I know in Kali is trying to figure a way to leave.
Must suck to be you.
Do you work for the San Diego Chamber of Commerce?
If not, you should.....those are gorgeous pictures!
I've been in Texas 25 years. Most of that time my dad kept asking when I'd move back to Calif. About 3 years ago, he admitted he sure would like to "get out".
No, ret. from the legal field with the County Attys.
Many like to lump all of Calif. together. It should be
two or three seperate states.
So much is liberal but San Diego Co. over 3.2 million pop.
is the largest city in the U.S. with a Republican Mayor.
3 of our 5 congressmen are Conservative Republicans.
Yeah...well the managers of the California pension plan and the suck-up political appointees overseeing the plan need to do some major explaining for the piss-poor performance and aggressive risk exposure by CalPERS and similar state-run plans. Just my opinion, as a tax payer.
SD is very beautiful.
Yes, still a few good places in Calif.