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Guest Contributor
Devin Jones

Where the Blame Lies
Look beyond the Governor
[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.

Unless Californians 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 leaving.

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.

copyright 2003 Devin Jones



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