May 03 2009

California Dreamin’

Category: economy,governmentharmonicminer @ 8:38 am

Speaking of California’s budget crisis, which was created purely by state overspending, HUGE increases in spending that far outstripped population growth since 1990, George Will tells it like it is. (more at the link)

If voters pass 1A’s hypothetical restraint on government spending, their reward will be two extra years (another $16 billion) of actual income, sales and vehicle tax increases. The increases were supposed to be for just two years. Voters are being warned that if they reject the propositions, there might have to be $14 billion in spending cuts. (Note the $15 billion number four paragraphs above.) Even teachers might be laid off. California teachers — the nation’s highest paid, with salaries about 25 percent above the national average — are emblematic of the grip government employees unions have on the state, where 57 percent of government workers are unionized (the national average is 37 percent).

Flinching from serious budget cutting, and from confronting public employees unions, some Californians focus on process questions. They devise candidate-selection rules designed to diminish the role of parties, thereby supposedly making more likely the election of “moderates” amenable to even more tax increases.

But 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. The state is a slow learner and hence will remain a drag on the nation’s economy. But it will be a net benefit to the nation if the federal government and other state governments profit from California’s negative example, which Californians can make more vividly instructive by voting down the propositions on May 19.

Obama, judging from his budgetary ambitions and spending plans, has looked at California’s current condition and pronounced it desirable.  If you want to know what the whole USA could be like soon, come to California. Please. We need your income to tax.

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