[Devin Jones] 9/22/03
Even as Californians have wrung their hands raw lamenting the
financial and political situation in the state that precipitated
the recall revolution, there has been too little assignment of
responsibility for the causes of the state's massive catastrophe.
The key facts are
that the California State budget has ballooned by 263% in 15
years, from $38 Billion in 1987-88 to $100 Billion
this year. The credit markets have expressed their lack of confidence
in California’s ability to pay its debts by dropping the
state’s credit rating from AAA to today’s BBB, just
2 steps above junk bond status.
In 1999 California’s budget had a surplus of $12 billion;
five years later, our legislature and Governor not only squandered
that massive surplus, but in addition is spending $38 billion
a year more than we have. To further salt the wound, the state
instituted a hiring freeze in the year 2000 to combat the state’s
financial woes -- and then ignored their own rule by hiring 14,000
more state employees.
As California’s state finances have become a shambles,
the people and businesses that pay the lion’s share of
taxes are fleeing as fast as they can. Recently, it has been
reported that 2.2 million people have left the state in the last
four years, while only 1.6 million have legally moved in. And
most of these recent immigrants are largely unskilled laborers,
who require expensive state services rather than those who will
fill the state coffers with cash. Likewise, businesses are leaving
the state in droves. Over 100,000 jobs have left the state since
the recent turn of the century.
The financial pundits
have reported that California’s
workers' compensation laws and high taxation rates, both personal
and corporate, are eliminating most profits, and are driving
both companies and skilled workers to more business friendly
regions such as Nevada and Texas.
Given these disasterous
facts, one is justified in asking, “Who
is responsible for such fiduciary disaster?” Well, the
California State Senate membership is composed of 62.5% Democrat
and the Assembly membership is 60% Democrat. Democrats hold every
single statewide office in this State’s government, so
their political death grip on the state is complete.
Of course, Democrats will reiterate that there have been Republican
Governors, but the legislature writes the budgets, and for the
most part, Democrats have been the majority party in both houses
of the legislature for generations. Notwithstanding these historical
facts, Democrats will still insist that Republicans are to blame
for the crisis that they created.
look beyond the deceitful rhetoric the future looks bleak for
the state. In truth, Democrats have maintained
control over California’s political system by terrifying
the voters. They have bleated that our elders will be forced
to live in dire poverty and that our children will never learn
to read without the leadership of the Democrat Party. It's ironic,
given that the Democrat machine’s policies have driven
California into financial collapse, thus depriving the state
of the resources to ensure our elders' or our children's education.
In truth, California is a perfect example of what Democrats mean
by “utopia” when they are given total control to
try to create it.
Now, the most prominent
maneuver in the Democrat playbook is the attempt to tax the “wealthy.” Unfortunately,
data shows that the ranks of the “wealthy” have been
waning as fast as California’s golden dream. In the year
2000 there were 44,000 people in California making $1 million
dollars or more; today, there are only 29,000.
Fortunately (for them),
Democrats’ define “wealthy” as
having an income in excess of $38,000 a year, so the 34% decrease
in the number of millionaires shouldn’t inhibit the politician’s
ability to continue to build a “worker’s paradise”.
Too bad for those California workers who earn near poverty wages
-- they endure the highest cost of living in the country and
are taxed as if they are “wealthy”. No wonder they’re
The revolution among
California voters that spawned the recall cannot stop at the
steps of the Governor’s mansion if the
state is to have any hope for the future. The voters must look
beyond a single man -- because, in truth, the source of our economic
woes is the systemic control that the Democrat machine has held
over the entire State’s political structures for decades.
If Californians don’t retake their state from this “political
elite”, including within the judiciary, many of us won’t
be able to afford to be Californians much longer.
2003 Devin Jones