California, the Wanna-be Nation
California’s leaders, in a fit of envy, have mistaken our state’s ranking as the sixth-largest world economy and lop-sided preference for the losing presidential candidate as a status typifying a nation-state, not one of a state bound within the union with its 49 equal peers.
Governor Jerry Brown uses non-existent state largesse from the public’s purse to joust at world carbon levels, build ill-conceived and inappropriate infrastructure projects at multiples larger than any other national projects and conducts a war with Washington over administration policy while holding out his hand for federal favors.
California Senate President Pro-tempore Kevin De Leon would enact AB 49, giving California the same powers under law as the federal government with respect to extending the state’s control over its already notoriously inconsistent and excessive environmental powers.
Governor wanna-be Gavin Newsom, upon election, would establish at taxpayer expense universal healthcare for the state’s citizens and non-citizen resident aliens, at a cost estimated to be hundreds of billions of dollars, numbers that dwarf the entire state’s current budget. Newsom would also finish Gov. Brown’s High-speed rail boondoggle, a misnamed slow walk project with a 25-year construction timeline that employs technology already half a century behind the state of the art.
Enough, already. California’s would-be nation-state dreams are dangerous pie-in-the-sky fantasies. With 5o percent of us living perilously close to the federal poverty level, with a trend towards every-more insecure and rapidly disappearing middle-class jobs and with unparalleled and skyrocketing costs of living and housing, these agendas are not just whimsical fantasies, but true hazards to California and Californians alike.
The outcome of even this handful of initiatives would be tax rates of 60% of State Gross Domestic Product or higher, on par with Sweden’s socialist paradise now revealing its flaws to the world. What employer would elect to participate when greener pastures may be found just a few miles away across the state’s borders?
California is already the only state with its own Environmental Protection Agency. Incursions into private property rights are destroying the incentives to build wealth even as punishing mandates rain down on ordinary citizens trying simply to live their lives.
The revolving door of what was euphemistically called “prison reform” have put dangerous and hardened criminals back on the street to commit new crimes and claim new victims.
Our transportation, water and electric-grid infrastructure are shot, obsolete and dangerous from decades of grave-robbing fund transfers that stole their safety and maintenance funds to fuel government growth, social-program spending and public-worker pension funds.
Consider: Between 2000 and 2014, California voters passed eight water bond measures; not a single surface water storage facility was constructed with their funds. Barely half was used to shore up dangerous flood-control levees that, if they collapsed, would dry up the water supply of the Bay Area and Southern California.
Instead of improving roads, power-transmission lines, dams and aqueducts, all we hear from our leaders are calls for “new taxes,” “new fees, “new investment” and new regulations and laws. They beg money from the feds to repair Oroville Dam, a structure with spillways that finally crumbled from neglect 48 years after they were built.
Our legislature passes thousands of bills each year and our governor signs them into law. From nail-salon safety to transgender bathroom signage and from repeal of daylight-savings time to gut-and-amend budget trailer bills lacking necessary appropriations to qualify their existence, these laws exact a pound of flesh from the public to feed the egos of individual legislators.
Here’s a reality check: The public is mad as hell and they won’t take it much longer. Our leaders no longer march at the front of a supportive crowd of followers; they got way too far out in front, they lost their way. While they marched ever forward, the crowd behind them thinned and chose a different path.
Continuing these go-it-alone policies our leaders currently covet is a folly destined to bring California’s house of cards falling down.
Our state needs leaders that understand our world-class economic model is stumbling because of the sand they are throwing into its gears characterized by:
- A rapidly expanding and under-educated class of poor made dependent on taxpayer-funded social justice programs,
- An economic base that is hogtied from competing with the world by state regulations and unworkable assumptions about the critical real-world relationships that exist between labor, pay and productivity,
- An elite that lives alongside but seldom interacts with the majority of Californians, yet feels qualified to prescribe policies and programs for them, and
- An unrealistic understanding of our state’s fit within our nation as a whole and with a wish to resist rather than cooperate, compromise and work together with our country for our common good.
These structural defects will bring out state down to its knees. Those knees are already buckling from decades of mistaken public policy and wishful but misguided thinking.
We don’t need more of what you have been serving, Sacramento. We need less…much less.