If one thing was made clear as a result of last Tuesday's elections, it is that Americans in general are rejecting big, intrusive government policies at all levels. Democrats lost big not only in governorships and U.S. Senate seats, but also in state legislatures - nineteen states flipped over to the Republicans to be exact. Which state was the notable exception to succumbing to the red tide? Why, California, of course.
Californians collectively have learned nothing from their history. Yes, California bucked the national trend once more by solidifying the Democrat leadership that has turned one of the bread baskets of the U.S., the once 5th largest economy in the world, in to the basket case of United States.
Consider the following.
Californians gave Senator Boxer - a vile partisan with outright radical views from removing all limitations on late term abortions to rabid environmentalism that is literally killing her state's economy - another six years.
Californians replaced their RINO governor with, who else, former governor "It is all a lie" Jerry Brown. The same governor who, by signing the Dill Act in 1978, all but sealed California's faith. Read about California's pension fund mess here.
Just as devastatingly, Californians returned all the incumbent Democrats to their Democrat controlled Assembly and State Senate seats - even the dead ones. There were no net gains for Republicans at the state legislature.
As a former resident of California, it is saddening to see such destruction of a state blessed with abundant natural resources, fertile farmlands, and an industrious workforce that was once a role model for other states to follow. After decades of unrelenting progressive liberal rule, today, California is the poster child for a welfare state. How far has the state fallen? Consider these stark economic, fiscal, and social realities that the state is faced with:
• Unemployment rate of over 12%, translating in to nearly 2.5 million jobless Californians
• Unfunded state public pension liabilities of half a trillion dollars
• Between $10-$20 billion dollars annual illegal immigrant related costs
• Highest state sales tax and third highest income tax burden in the country
• 2010 State budget deficit of $45.5 billion out of a budget of $86 billion - the highest in the nation and state's history
• Over 15% of the population living in poverty and approximately 30% of the welfare recipients in the U.S.
• During the first decade of the new millennia, the state lost 640,000 factory jobs which translates in to loss of 34% of the state's industrial base. Every passing month adds to new businesses fleeing the state.
• Tax Foundation's 2011 "State Business Tax Climate Index" ranks California 49th in the nation
• Ronald Pollina's ranking for job creation: 50th.
• ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) 2010 study on state economic outlook ranks the state 46th.
• ALEC economic performance ranking for 1998-2008 is 38th.
• Death of agriculture in the central valley, thanks in great part to progressives in the state legislature
• Highest concentration of nations 20 million or so illegal immigrants
• Net population loss due to migration ranking of 8th.
• ALEC public education performance rank: 30th.
In almost all the above categories, California has been on a continuous decline due to unchecked environmentalism and otherwise progressivism run amuck. The environmentalist groups like Sierra Club, moochers of generous welfare recipients, and state unions effectively have full representation in the state legislature while the hard working citizens and businesses are locked out.
With one of the worst business regulatory environments in the country, just about highest taxes (both individual and corporate), fleeing businesses, declining population, and crumbling societal institutions like its failing schools, rest of the U.S. needs only to look at California to understand what a correct choice they made in last Tuesday's elections. We hope that the good people of the state will join most of the rest of Americans in waking up and kicking the bums out, before it is too late.