California on the Edge of…?
I’ve been talking with a friend in California… mostly about property outside of California. My friend appears to be done with living there, and is starting the plan to move out. I can’t say whether this friend will really try that, but I’d bet that this is a likely calculus going on for many people in the state right now.
Ann Coulter once described California as a petri dish for liberal policies. If you look at the election results from this week, you can see that California has elected a super-majority of Democrats to their state congress, supported by a relatively liberal administration, and has already driven a large tax increase from a ballot proposition. Essentially, anything the liberals would like to see done to the country will be done in California over the next few years. Here’s a McClatchy article from yesterday that discusses some of the consequences.
Immediately after the election, Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation, said Californians “need to take a hard look” at corporate tax breaks. Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, said passage of Brown’s tax measure was “only Step 1.”
“California public education continues to be underfunded,” Pechthalt said.
Brown moved after the election to temper Democratic expectations. Asked at a news conference if electoral victories would inspire Democrats “to push their agenda,” Brown said he had reviewed the book of Genesis in preparation for the question. He suggested the state must save in abundant years to prepare for times of famine.
“I don’t underestimate the struggle over the next couple years to keep on a very calm, clear and sustainable glide path,” he said.
I would expect that we’ll see a lot of pressure from inside and outside the state to “fix” all the problems the state has by collecting significantly more revenue and growing the government to respond to every fuzzy need, which trying to “glide” to a soft landing when the revenue stream collapses. Well, let’s talk about some pretty specific unintended consequences. If there’s an expectation that raising taxes can drive revenues up commensurate to what this group is planning to spend, then I’d suspect that we’ll see a pretty serious outflow of citizens who really don’t want to be part of the fun. I don’t think it’ll be so massive that most of the country notices (though I’d bet Texas happily will), but the chances of this optimistic plan working out are pretty low.
So pay attention to this one, folks. It’ll be interesting to see how the culture in particular dish grows. Let’s see what mold gets generated.
Updated five minutes after I finished posting…: “It’s a new world, and we’re playing defense.”
Updated again: Hot Air notes that Reuters is figuring it out, too.