Dear Readers: To continue the theme of yesterday, the decrepitude of the State of California, I now turn to inspiration to one of my favorite films: Raiders of the Lost Ark.I must admit, the state’s tax-hungry environment is really getting to me — I got a bit peeved at having to give the state $1 for the simple act of buying paper towels and a box of tissue at the local Vons. I think one of the Tea Party acts I am going to encourage is for citizens to look at their receipts, and really review how much sales tax they are paying — on top of federal and state income taxes, as well as assorted fees.
One of the Shrine’s friends, Roger Cohen, sent me a link to this gem today, which ties into “Raiders” nicely: California Fleeing – Governors across the country adopt a new economic strategy: Raid California for its businesses; by Stephen Moore (WSJ). I provide a snippet here; please click the link to read this key piece.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse on the left coast, along comes more bad news for the Golden State. Across the country, Republican state legislatures and governors are adopting a new economic development strategy: Raid California for its jobs and businesses.
At least three Republican governors have said as much in interviews. The idea is to offer lower taxes, a more business-friendly atmosphere and the right to be left alone from overzealous regulators. “We just keep inviting California businesses to look at the economic climate in Texas, where we treat businesses like assets not villains,” said Texas Governor Rick Perry.
California has some of the highest tax rates in the country, the worst bond rating and a multitude of nettlesome regulations. Chief Executive magazine just ranked California as the most antibusiness state in the nation. A new study by Joseph Vranich, a California-based business consultant, found that 144 major companies relocated plants, research facilities, headquarters or their entire operations out of California in 2010. That was more than triple the pace of job-creating firms leaving in 2009. Mr. Vranich said that the outmigration could become “a stampede” in 2011. “Business owners tell me every day that this is just not a hospitable place to do business anymore,” he said.
Other Republican governors with their sights on California include John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Scott of Florida. Mr. Scott told me in an interview that “we are going to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in Florida over the next eight years, and we will advertise our pro-growth policies to businesses in places like California that don’t share our pro-business policy orientation.” He added: “Not having an income tax is a huge advantage over a high-cost state like California.”
Mr. Kasich told Reuters earlier this month that he will try to persuade California venture capitalists to relocate high-tech firms to his state. “More of the same is not acceptable to the business community in California,” he said.
Unemployment in California is currently 12.4%, and over the past two years the state’s jobless rate has ranked among the five-highest in the country. Businesses complain that the extraordinary power of unions, regulators and environmentalists has been an incentive to leave or not come in the first place.
A couple of items that will show you why these governors will find California easy pickings:
1) An article by site friend Kimbery Dvorak detailing something that is really going to fuel the New Exodus: California Democrats seek approval from voters to grant amnesty
2) An essay from a long-time Californian, which I think ties nicely into the WSJ article. It comes from another Shrine friend, Scott Watson. I think it offers insights into how the California system became so toxic to businesses and the average, hard-working citizen. It also shows why it is becoming so easy for the other states to raid our wealth producing enterprises.
IF CALIFORNIA ISN’T BROKEN, THEN WHAT THE HELL IS IT?
I would like to take exception to the Op Ed piece that ran on December 20th by Bill Lockyer and Stephen Levy.
In that opinion Mr. Lockyer tried to explain that California is not broken based upon some selective statistics. I understand Mr. Lockyer has good reason to rebut the opinion that California might default on its bond obligations. California never has and I hope that they never will.
What Mr. Lockyer is missing is a larger point. Whatever adjective one chooses to explain the difficult situation California is in, it is merely a question of degree. “The criticism is long on inflammatory rhetoric, but it lacks any evidentiary foundation.” Mr Lockyer has claimed.
Rather than turn this into a statistics lesson on how we can all choose our statistics to support a position if we grind them long enough, I would rather try to make the larger point that Mr. Lockyer and apparently most in Sacramento are failing to understand.
We have a problem. That we agree upon. The problem is that the state seems hell-bent on being a pioneer in all things as if we have an unlimited funding stream. We don’t. In my lifetime in California I have seen the cost of everything going up and it seems to me that the state spends like a drunken sailor. We need to balance our budget and find a model that can sustain itself in the future. For example….here are some statistics that I put together:
Year Population Annual Budget $/Person
1970 19,953,13 6,300,000,000 $315.74
1980 23,667,902 21,500,000,000 $908.40
1990 29,760,021 48,600,000,000 $1,633.06
2000 33,871,648 81,300,000,000 $2,400.24
2009 36,961,654 144,500,000,000 $3,909.46
2009 185% 2,294% 1,238%
This shows that the population of California since 1970 has increased 185%. The annual budget has increase since 1970 2,294%. The cost per person based upon that population has gone from $315.74 up 1,238% to $3,909.46 per person in 2009. Doesn’t that suggest that something is amiss? And frankly I don’t care about the other states at this point. I care about what is happening in California and why the public does not wake up to the relentless pursuit of the state and agencies to expand government. Let’s look at welfare spending in the state as well:
CA Welfare Spending
2012 (Projection) – $59,000,000,000
2014 (Projection)- $69,000,000,000
1970 v 2010 – 278%
1970 v 2014 – 383%
Welfare spending in California has gone up 278% since 2000. That’s only 10 years. And the population between 2000 and 2009 went up only 9%. Doesn’t that suggest something is amiss?
I will speak for myself and myself only. There have been several alarming watermarks along my life that have told me that I have a duty to vote against any additional expanse of spending for whatever the reason.
Proposition 37 – the creation of the California lottery. I like many others that voted for the lottery were duped into thinking it was going to be a windfall for school funding. Of course it has not been much in the grand scheme of the school budget over the years. In fact, it was my recollection that this was the first time I found the voters passing a proposition and having it blow up in our face because the politicians in Sacramento simply decided to offset the amount of lottery money by reducing the other sources of funding to the California Department of Education (DOE) dollar for dollar.
I then found myself for the first time thinking that legislation isn’t enough….if we allow the bureaucrats an inch they will take a mile.
When I graduated High School in 1977, the budget for the DOE stood at 3.397 Billion dollars. In 2000, the same budget had ballooned up to 36.8 billion dollars. Presently it is projected to be 44.5 billion dollars. And what do we have to show for this? California ranks low on test scores, and one in four High School graduates flunks the entrance exam into the military.
Something is definitely wrong if not “broken” with the Education system here in California.
Forward now to 1990 and Proposition 197 – that bans mountain lion hunting and creates a $30 million-per-year Habitat Conservation Fund. I thought that this was a ridiculous proposal $30 million dollars per year to preserve the Mountain Lion? I was certain that this proposition would be defeated…and I was wrong yet again. But that does not end the story. I am still trying to figure out where the money the foundation gets from the state is spent. It would appear that we have created yet another state department that the taxpayers fund to employee people in the glorious concept of protecting the Mountain Lion. But wait, its not just Mountain Lions, they on their own web site list their accomplishments (http://www.mountainlion.org/history.asp). It appears that they are involved in many other animal campaigns too numerous to list. However, let us say that the California public has been lulled to sleep once again by visions of these beautiful carnivores….yes carnivores….romping and playing and living a wonderful peaceful life because of the work of these environmentalists. And let us not forget their self-proclaimed wonderful campaign… “-Coal Canyon is acquired by State Parks and protected for all time, providing a key link for the safe passage of mountain lions and other wildlife between Chino Hills State Park and the Santa Ana Mountains.” Now I have to ask…..do we really want mountain lions to have safe passage around populated areas? I thought that the problem was that people were being attacked by Mountain Lions as housing needs gobbled up more land. So we now have a group of people selling the population of California on the Disney version of the Mountain Lion. This works for me because if one of them comes onto my land and endangers life or livestock, I won’t hesitate a moment to shoot it – as allowed by law of course. And I won’t shed a tear as the citizens in “Bezerkly” did when the Police decided that a Mountain Lion in a populated area was not a good thing. (http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2010/09/08/berkeley-shrine-honors-slain-mountain-lion/)
Let’s fast forward now to 2011: California bucked the national trend, sweeping Democrats into power. I am concerned about more taxes, more environmental regulations, and more rules. At this point, I am really worried that this state is truly broken beyond the ability to repair. In the meantime, I hope my fellow citizens have learned the following lesson —
Never ever give a politician a dime because they will be back before you know it…DEMANDING a quarter.
Mut’s News and Views:
* California’s Nancy Pelosi makes the most astonishing statement — noting that the corrupt 111th Congress was all about deficit reduction.
* Michelle Malkin writes about corruption on the National Level – Chicago on the Potomac.
* The Anchoress has a roundup of great headlines and heart-grabbers.
* Both Beers with Demo and Gateway Pundit note that the elite media is undermining the Tea Party congress — even before they are sworn in. BwD also details an inane Appeals Court case that insults the intelligence and intent of average California citizens (I think Texas’ ability to deal with whiny atheists would be appealing to many Californians).
* Lorraine Yapps Cohen brings today’s topic into a national perspective: Corporate tax rate kills U.S. business
* B-Daddy reports on his interaction with his San Diego City Council representative, and his desire not to have San Diego spend money on a new city hall while the city and state are reeling with budget woes.
* Finally, W.C. Varones gives of visual proof of Nanny State California: