Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and Temecula.
He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to
Assembly Member Haynes
website at California Assembly]
Dragging Down Who?
California’s Real Impact
[Ray Haynes] 9/2/03
I think it
is important people know what is happening in California government.
One in seven people who live in the United States live in California.
constitutes ten per cent of the entire national economy, and it is the fifth
(or sixth or seventh or eighth) largest economy in the world (our ranking shrinks
each year Davis stays in office). When California’s economy hiccups,
it causes a national economic earthquake. A large, diverse, and powerful economic
actor is important not just to those of us who live here, but to those who
the halls of Washington power as well.
at any level can’t do much to help the economy.
The economy is driven by people’s needs and the endless
effort of private companies to meet those needs. Government,
however, can screw it up. Using tax and regulatory policy, and
government subsidies, government impacts individual preferences
by increasing the price of one product or service (or decreasing
another), and shifting limited social resources to government-preferred
activities. If these preferred activities aren’t beneficial
to the economy as a whole, government causes the economy to falter.
Jobs are lost, people are hurt, and the economy shrinks. Given
these facts, it would be important to cover any government function
that affects ten per cent of the economy. Sacramento should be
the focus of a lot of media attention.
It is not,
however. In fact, it is very difficult to find out what is
state government. So—as
a public service—I will help. Do you want to find out what
is happening in California’s economy? Go to the website for
Department of Finance, and click on their monthly finance
chronicle just what is happening in California’s economy,
and how that is affecting our state budget.
Here is what
happened during the month of July. Industry employment in California
by 21,800 jobs. The nation lost 44,000 jobs
in July. That means that half of the job losses in this country
are due directly to what is happening in California. We are ten
per cent of the economy, but we cost this country half of its
jobs. Similarly, while all 50 states had some budget problems
this year, California’s deficit accounted for about half
of the total shortfall nationwide. This is important because
many of my Democrat friends, including our current Governor,
are claiming that the problems in California are part of a “national” problem.
Well, yes, to the extent California is part of the nation, this
is a national problem. What is clear from these figures, and
the information that you can get from the Department of Finance,
California is most of the nation’s problem, and has been
for some time.
Wilson was Governor, and California’s economy
was humming right along, my Democrat friends were more than willing
to give Bill Clinton the credit for Pete Wilson’s work.
Now they want to blame George Bush for the problems they created
with the help of Gray Davis.
has an economic cold, the nation has an economic flu. If half
the jobs lost in the
nation come from California,
it is clear there is something
wrong in California, not the nation. As President Bush has cut taxes to spur
the economy, Governor Davis has raised taxes, and killed California’s
economy. As President Bush has cut regulations to make it easier for businesses
to grow, Governor Davis has hurt business with new regulations. The problem
is that ten per cent of the nation’s economy is dragging. Everybody else
is growing. We’re shrinking. As forty nine other states begin to expand,
and grow out of the economic malaise that began in December, 2000, California
remains stagnant. So just who exactly is dragging down who?