Thomas Del Beccaro
You have heard it before: “As California goes, so goes the nation.” If that is the case, the national economy will be harmed for decades to come because of California’s misplaced priorities today. Indeed, by emphasizing high-speed rail over water and failing to deal with its debt crisis, California poses a long-term threat to our national economy and is on an economic collision course of increased immigration and lack of water.
California has more than 38 million residents. Despite net losses of millions of residents to other states, California continues to grow through immigration. Latinos now equal the number of non-Hispanic whites in California. With projections that show California’s population reaching 45 to 50 million within 20 years, you would think job creation would be job one for Jerry Brown.
Sadly, that is not the case today. Despite a much-heralded recovery in the media and by Governor Jerry Brown, California still has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates. Also, more than 30% of the nation’s welfare recipients are Californians – even though California has just 12% of the nation’s population. It is not surprising, therefore, that California is ranked number one in poverty.
The cause for those bad statistics is bad government policy. California is the most regulated, highest-taxed, most in-debt state in America. According to government data, from the municipal to the state level, California governments have more than $1.1 trillion in debt – much of that tied to pensions.