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August 27, 2003
Guest Editorial

Devin is a good friend of mine from the tech business and, like me, a former military linguist. He's a prolific writer of letters to editors, and has a good track record of being published - usually as the sole voice of the political Right.

Stuck as he is in California, he has a right to be a little upset with the state of the State. I can't blame him. Here's his latest.

Californians have wrung their hands raw discussing the State's financial and political situation that caused the recall revolution but there has been little analysis identifying what has caused this 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 and 5 years later, our legislature and Governor not only squandered that massive surplus but is spending $38 billion a year more than we have. To salt the wound further, the state instituted a hiring freeze in the year 2000 to combat the state's financial woes but ignored their own rule by hiring 14,000 more state employees.

California's state finances are a shambles but the people and businesses that pay the lion's share of taxes are fleeing as fast as they can. It has been reported recently that 2.2 million people have left the state in the last 4 years and only 1.6 million have legally moved in. Most of the recent immigrants are largely unskilled laborers, who require expensive state services, rather than those who will fill the state coffers with cash. 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.

One may ask, "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.

Sure, Democrats will tell you that there have been Republican Governors, but the legislature writes the budgets and Democrats have largely been the majority party in both houses of the legislature for generations. Despite the overwhelming historical facts, Democrats will still insipidly cry 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.

Democrats have maintained control over California's political system by terrifying the voters. They have shrilly cried that grandma and grandpa will be forced to live in dire poverty and that little Johnny and Jane will never learn to read if the Democrat Party is not maintained as sentinel of our future. Unfortunately, the Democrat Machine's policies have driven California into financial collapse and we won't have any money to ensure grandma's and grandpa's safety or little Johnny's and Jane's education.

California is a perfect example of what kind of "utopia" Democrats can create when they are given total control. The latest Democrat fad to solve California's financial insolvency is to tax the "wealthy". Unfortunately, data shows that the ranks of the "wealthy" have been thinning as fast as California's golden dream wanes. In the year 2000 there were 44,000 people in California making $1 million dollars or more and today there are only 29,000. Fortunately, 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 their work building 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.

California's voter revolution during the recall must not 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 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" many of us won't be able to afford to be Californians much longer.

Like I said - he's a bit miffed. He has a right to be.

Posted by Russ at 06:31 PM, August 27, 2003 in Politics

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That was very informative. Part of me wants to say "Let them go down with the ship", but California is just too big. If they default, they'll drag most of the economy down with them. We'll probably see another federal bailout, and I hope the feds will strongly urge the California legislature to cut spending. There will be tough times when they cut thousands of jobs. Who can say how many former state employees will be able to find other jobs with their particular job skills?

Posted by: MarcV at August 28, 2003 02:41 PM