No Bailout For California
Mark my words. Any time now, California politicians will be coming to Washington with their hands out. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. America will be subjected to tales of woe and imminent disaster. California is too big to fail, we will be told.
We will hear about:
— How some 2.3 million Californians are without jobs, for a 12.4 percent unemployment rate — one of the highest in the country.
— How the industrial base has abandoned the state, with factory jobs plummeting from 1.87 million to 1.23 million since 2001.
— How the state has become a magnet for welfare recipients, accounting for one-third of the entire nation's welfare rolls.
— How the state's budget gap for 2009-10 was $45.5 billion, or 53 percent of total state spending — the largest in any state's history.
— How the state's sales tax is the nation's highest, and its income tax the third-highest.
— How The Tax Foundation's "State Business Tax Climate Index" ranks California as 48th.
— How the state ranks last in job creation; how the state is home to 25 percent of America's illegal immigrants — costing some $10.5 billion a year or roughly $1,200 per family.
— How unfunded pension liabilities for California's state and public employees may be as much as $500 billion — roughly 17 percent of the nation's total $3 trillion at the state and local level.
Do you know what I'm going to say to California politicians when they come to Washington wanting handouts from the rest of the country? I'm going to remind them that the people of California had an opportunity to change the policies that got the state into this mess in the 2010 midterm election.
Instead, however, the people of California, with rare exceptions, voted for more of the same fiscal and moral madness. They returned Sen.
In fact, California actually sent more Democrats to Washington in 2010 than they did in 2008. How bad was it? One state Senate race in particular kind of illustrates California's political myopia — the one in which Democratic candidate Jenny Oropeza defeated Republican John Stammreich. Oropeza died nearly two weeks before Election Day, but she still beat a live Republican.
In other words, Californians voted to keep doing the same thing over again expecting different results. I really don't have a lot of sympathy for California — and I say this as a resident of that state for nearly 25 years.
The inmates are running the asylum, and I'm not sure the state can be saved. I certainly know it can't be saved by pouring more taxpayer money down a rathole and by enabling its irresponsibility. California is like a lab experiment in what wasteful, feckless, devil-may-care, socialist, Democratic government is like. It's a disaster.
California has a lot going for it. It's got a great climate. It has nice beaches. It has great skiing. It's got natural beauty and plenty of natural resources. But the majority of people who live there are looking for a free ride. It's that simple. California may look like Shangri-la, but people still need to work, raise their kids and govern themselves appropriately.
That's a hard lesson most Californians need to learn. Obviously, they're going to need to learn it the hard way. It's time to just say no to Californians who want the rest of America to bail them out of the mess they've created.
So, when those California politicians inevitably make their way east with their hands out, we need to lovingly, but firmly, tell them they've made their own bed and now it's time to sleep in it. Yes, they will be forced to make tough choices. But we all have to make tough choices. Many of us were hoping that Californians had grown up enough to start making them on Nov. 2.
Evidently, that was not the case. Now it's time for some tough love.
To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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