Steven Greenhut –
Not long ago, I penned a case for staying in California, arguing that there’s nothing wrong here that isn’t fixable. California, blessed by magnificent and varied geography, mild weather, and an “anything’s possible” culture, suffers mainly from a political process controlled by union advocates hell-bent on protecting their power and privilege, no matter what that means for the state’s public finances and public services.
While still standing by this “we should stand our ground” point of view, I’ve found little to be hopeful about in the current political season, with polls showing Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax-increase plan (Prop. 30) holding a solid lead, an initiative that would chip away at union power (Prop. 32) failing, and President Obama holding a 24-point lead in the presidential race. Polling results on all three above-mentioned matters are not surprising, but they do suggest how far we are from the paradigm shift needed to get California back on a better track.
The most troubling thing I’ve seen is the delusion embraced by the state’s dominant Democrats, who really believe that California is only one massive tax increase away from being fixed.
“Maybe I know too much about this stuff, but we’re in a recovery, a slow recovery, and it’ll keep recovering with any luck,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in early September. “And if the Republicans would get out of the way and let, you know, the stimulus and the investment go forward, such as the Democrats have proposed, we’ll be better off.”