Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

California, Socialists, and the Debt Bombs; Iím pretty sure I know how California will fail.
Townhall ^ | 07/11/2018 | Patrick Bobko

Posted on 07/11/2018 8:19:42 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

I’m pretty sure I know how California will fail.

I don’t know exactly when it will happen, but after the result in the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District two weeks ago, the Golden State’s rendezvous with fiscal perdition is going to happen sooner than we think.

Let’s talk about the “how.”

California’s foundering won’t be precipitated by a single catastrophic event. Apart from the threatened CalExit, voter initiatives to partition the state, or the Big One shaking us into the Pacific, it won’t be the equivalent of a sudden, unexpected stroke on a random Tuesday that brings the state down.

Instead, California will fail in the way an elderly person with pneumonia fails. It will be a systemic, protracted, and spiraling demise; a sniffle becomes a fever that leads to a cough that turns into a chronic wheeze that results in - The End.

A couple of facts make me certain of this.

First, California’s Democratic Party rulers, already in an apoplectic lather about the Trump administration, are going to boil the statistics and demographics and distill exactly the wrong lessons from the young “Democratic Socialist’s” victory in Brooklyn.

They will conclude that the big “S” socialism Uncle Bernie dragged out of history’s root cellar is a more broadly sellable political commodity if properly packaged. Like a political Rorschach test, those who want to see it will view the results and determine voters energized by the wild-haired Vermonter are still out there and will turn out on Election Day to support an openly socialist candidate, particularly if that candidate is a new, young, Latina face.

Break out your Mao suits and red-starred Che berets because for the American political Left, Socialism is suddenly cool.

And like someone who loves chocolate suddenly learning that eating more of it might be good for them, California’s uber-liberal Democratic vanguard will infer that universal healthcare, guaranteed government jobs, and an open border are winning issues. They will perceive a liberal riptide running just beneath the political surface and will be encouraged to do more of what they’ve already long-aspired to do.

For example, nothing that transpired in Brooklyn is likely to convince the odds-on favorite to be California’s next Governor that his plan for universal, state-run healthcare isn’t a political winner. On the contrary, the lesson will be that moderation isn’t the path forward. California’s liberal elite will see it’s finally time for the Socialist full monty.

But these promises, like universal healthcare and its $400 billion price-tag, will accelerate California’s demise because to paraphrase Prime Minister Thatcher’s famous quip, California’s aspiring new Socialists have already run out of other people’s money.

Which brings us to the debt bombs.

The cities, counties, school districts, and myriad other local government agencies across the state have unfunded pension liabilities that by some estimates now total nearly $1 trillion. This sum represents money that has been promised to public employees in pensions and benefits that local governments simply do not have, and but for taxes, cannot get. The deals elected officials made with the public sector employee unions for labor peace or political advantage have compounded over time and now represent a liability of more than $60,000 for each household in the state.

The problem is that these obligations continue to compound and grow, and money needed to service them are consuming ever-increasing portions of local municipalities’ budgets.

It’s a debt bomb, and cities up and down the state have them.

These bombs will explode when the money needed to pay pension and other legacy obligations exceed revenue.

Maybe you’ve already seen the effects where you live.

Like passengers on a sinking ship, cities are throwing the non-essentials overboard first. Maybe programs for seniors and after-school activities for kids in the town where you live have been cut. The problem is these things represent only a tiny fraction of most city budgets and will never be enough to stop the inevitable detonation.

Maintenance and capital will go overboard next. Service lives for police cruisers, city vehicles, and equipment will be extended. Ever wonder why the computer systems at City Hall are somewhere between ancient and East German surplus?

What about capital projects? Road maintenance, for example.

Forget about them.

If you’re reading this in California, how is the pavement of the streets in your neighborhood?

Your city may be closer to The End than you know.

Unlike the state, California’s cities are effectively cash businesses. They can’t borrow like the politicians in Sacramento can, so there’s a straight-line correlation between money spent on pensions and benefits and a city’s ability to pave streets and repair sewers.

Cities aren’t learning how to do more with less, they’re learning how to do less with less.

Which brings us full circle to the Golden State’s newly-emboldened Socialists.

Cash-strapped cities and local governments are already being forced to raise local taxes to maintain services while supporting their growing pension obligations. Voters are being asked to support parcel taxes to raise money to pay for new teachers because school district budgets have been overwhelmed by the pension obligations to the retired ones. Add another $400 billion program for universal health care and California’s sky-high taxes will become stratospheric. Other currently popular ideas like guaranteed government jobs and free college education will only add to that burden.

Economist Herbert Stein once said: “If something can’t go on forever, it won’t.” California, on its current trajectory and with its new Socialist-inspired leadership, cannot go on forever. There simply isn’t enough money. The state will ultimately fail because the math says it has to.

Unfortunately, the city where you live is going to fail first.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; chrishughes; debt; debtbombs; socialists; stockton; ubi; universalbasicincome
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-60 next last

1 posted on 07/11/2018 8:19:42 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

When venture capital funds leave the Bay Area, it is over.

2 posted on 07/11/2018 8:22:05 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vince Ferrer

they are already leaving

3 posted on 07/11/2018 8:36:15 PM PDT by realcleanguy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Like all socialist governments, they will end up with the rich elite and those with connections to the leaders who all live in special economic zones, and a mass of people trying to make toilet paper out of the kelp that washes ashore and food out of the garbage of the elite.

4 posted on 07/11/2018 8:37:57 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("...that all the donkeys were dead. I know nothing as to the fate of the less valuable animals.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

gimme my free stuff!

5 posted on 07/11/2018 8:39:24 PM PDT by 1956tbyrd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

You can’t have much of a discussion about the
impending California meltdown without including
the liberal high tech gurus and the Hollywood
Kingpins who are so proud of their handiwork.

6 posted on 07/11/2018 8:43:04 PM PDT by Sivad (Demo M/O = infiltrate, overtake, politicize, weaponize)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Unfortunately, the city where you live is going to fail first.

The richer cities will hang on for a while yet but cities like San Bernardino have already disbanded their police dept. and contracted out with the Riverside County Sheriff dept.

7 posted on 07/11/2018 8:43:26 PM PDT by broken_clock (Go Trump!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

This author may be right, but it’s a LONG way from now to failure.

CA is running a SURPLUS of over $10bil this year, even after all the extra spending. That’s on a budget of over $200bil. All debt payments are current and new borrowing is minimal.

State GDP is on fire. You have to hire trucks to haul all the money away.

That said, if they go after tech, ag and aerospace for more...this will go sideways FAST. Tech and aerospace can move.

They wouldn’t be dumb enough to kill agriculture, would they? This state is #1 in the nation in AG. By far.

Sadly, AG is usually the first casualty of communism.

8 posted on 07/11/2018 8:47:41 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

And when it does, it will be capitalism to blame.

9 posted on 07/11/2018 8:53:27 PM PDT by deadrock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mariner

You actually haven’t driven the 5 and noticed the signs on the dried up fields that say ‘Congress Created Dust Bowl’? Or maybe they aren’t there anymore.....I haven’t driven that route in 9 years.

10 posted on 07/11/2018 8:54:34 PM PDT by originalbuckeye ('In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act'- George Orwell.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: deadrock

By the left I meant.

11 posted on 07/11/2018 8:55:24 PM PDT by deadrock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: VanShuyten

California will find some pretext to close its own borders so that people cannot leave the state.

12 posted on 07/11/2018 8:56:20 PM PDT by arthurus (shmk g hcccccccchzrterdff)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I guess, but it’s been 15 years since I read articles about California being on the precipice of an imminent financial failure. Didn’t happen. Some of the same arguments were made back then.

Some things can’t be predicted timing-wise even though you are sure they will happen eventually. When will the Yellowstone caldera erupt?

13 posted on 07/11/2018 8:56:41 PM PDT by steve86 (Prophecies of Maelmhaedhoc O'Morgair (Latin form: Malachy))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Got my wife and kids out of Cali twelve years ago. We’re now firmly rooted and flourishing in Texas.

It’s like a whole ‘nother country.

14 posted on 07/11/2018 9:04:43 PM PDT by Windflier (Pitchforks and torches ripen on the vine. Left too long, they become black rifles.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: originalbuckeye

Not there.

Drought is over. All fields in production. Many of the dead almond trees have been replaced with olives...the right crop in comparison. In the Sacramento valley it’s green for 200 miles north of SAC, and 75 miles wide. Same with the San Joaquin to Bakersfield. That’s another 300 miles and 75 miles wide.

There’s nothing else like it anywhere in the world.

This Big Valley is still the most productive farmland in the world, by HUGE margins.

15 posted on 07/11/2018 9:09:26 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Mariner

It is not at all a long way to the city pension collapse.

Fort Worth in Texas isn’t looking too good either.

16 posted on 07/11/2018 9:10:17 PM PDT by MrEdd (Caveat Emptorp)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: MrEdd

All municipalities in CA subscribe to the state pension system...CalPers.

That system is in trouble, but it’s not severe due to the flood of money here. One day...maybe.

But as with all pension systems, one day the working and living just refuse to pay. They say NO MORE.

17 posted on 07/11/2018 9:13:25 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

In my city we have 7.25% sales tax. The city just voted in a 1% increase. I’ll be this becomes common.

18 posted on 07/11/2018 9:14:05 PM PDT by umgud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Fire, water&power, cops etc., retiring at with 70k, 80k 125k 185k, 200k+ for life?

WTF could possibly go wrong?

CA tax payers have been looted and economically gang raped by these cities, counties and the state.

19 posted on 07/11/2018 9:14:53 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

California’s debt is nearly $428 billion at the time of this comment. California’s spending is more than $576 billion.

20 posted on 07/11/2018 9:38:41 PM PDT by familyop ("Welcome to Costco. I love you." - -Costco greeter in the movie, "Idiocracy")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-60 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson