California commits economic Seppuku

Barking Moonbat

The fallout from the election of 2012 continues. In California, the drug addled residents have voted to inflict a massive tax increase on them and give the Unions Carte blanche to loot the state treasury and the taxpayers.

The moonbats of California have also given the Democrats their greatest desire. A super majority in the state legislature. Here are a few details from an editorial in the Orange County Register:

Pending a final ballot tally, it looks like Democrats increased their majorities to two-thirds in both the California Assembly and Senate. That supermajority means they could pass tax increases without any Republican votes, and even could overturn vetoes by the governor, who, like every other statewide elected official, also is a Democrat.

I somehow doubt there will be all that many veto’s by Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown. He’s the one who managed to con the California voters, (Which isn’t that hard to do), into passing a massive tax increase.

Said Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, “This just gives us 54 people [out of 80 Assembly members] that we know are going to come together on Day 1 to focus on improving the economy.”

And in their tiny moonbat brains, the best way to improve the economy of California is to increase taxes and regulate everything imaginable.

But there’s no way more tax increases could “improve” the economy. Especially since voters just approved Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s initiative to increase taxes by $6 billion. California already had the highest sales tax of any state; Prop. 30 makes it even higher, at 8 percent in Orange County. And it pushes the top state income tax rate to 13.3 percent, jumping over Hawaii’s formerly highest U.S. state rate, 11 percent.

I see a shortage of U-Haul trailers, trucks and vans coming to California very soon now.

“Hold onto your wallet,” Jack Pitney told us; he’s a professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College. “There will be a substantial number of legislators who see this as an opportunity to pass their wish list. And the wish list comes at a price tag. The question is: How many legislators will recognize the danger of over-reacting?”

Allow me to give you my estimate. That would be ZERO. None of these idiots will see what’s coming. Most of them don’t have any idea of what real work is like. Obviously, I don’t have the numbers, but I would not be at all surprised if these clowns all came from academia, unions or government.

Even before the supermajorities apparently were achieved, the governor’s role has been seen as the “gatekeeper,” blocking the more extreme efforts by Democrats by using his veto pen. The role was taken up not just by Republican governors, but such Democrats as Gov. Brown and Gov. Gray Davis. Now, that gatekeeper role becomes more essential – and more precarious.

Davis was recalled and frankly, I don’t see that old moonbat Brown vetoing most of the idiotic legislation that will be arriving on his desk.

But for Democrats in the Legislature, there’s an old saying: Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. “Total power means total responsibility, which means total blame if something goes wrong,” Mr. Pitney warned.

What could go wrong? “To the extent that the Democrats’ agenda is for increased taxes and regulations, there could be a negative effect on the economy,” Bill Watkins told us; he’s the executive director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University. “If taxes are increased, that could decrease output, especially compared to other states. People then would know where to put the blame.”

We won’t see the hits in California until next year of course. One of the major targets for the Democrats will be Proposition 131. This was passed in 1978 due to the constant property tax hikes foisted on people. The moonbats have hated this limitation on their taxpayer looting ability since it went into effect. I will not be surprised if this is either repealed in its entirety, or so weakened that it’s rendered moot.

Another referendum that appeared on the ballot was Proposition 322. This would have prohibited Union dues from being used in political campaigns without the permission of the union member. This would have gutted the unions political power, so of course they had to shut it down quickly. Here are a few details from The Weekly Standard:

Proposition 32, that would have barred unions from using automatic payroll deductions to raise money for political campaigns. Such bans are tremendously effective in crippling the political power of public-sector unions. “In 2001 Utah passed a law requiring the contributions to be voluntary, and the rate of contributing members to union PACs plunged from 68 percent to 6.8 percent,” says Larry Sand, a retired Los Angeles middle-school teacher who heads the California Teachers Empowerment Network, an anti-union organization for educators. “Idaho passed a law [in 1997] requiring the unions to get written consent from their members, and the rate dropped 75 percent,” Sand added in a telephone interview. Unions and their Democratic party allies fought to defeat Proposition 32 even harder than they fought to pass Proposition 30, pouring more than $75 million collected from their 2.4 million members into the anti-32 campaign and enlisting hordes of volunteers to get out the vote. The $60 million raised by the proponents paled by comparison, as organized labor pounded home a class-warfare message that Proposition 32 would pave the way for the domination of politics by corporations and wealthy individuals.

One of the major reasons that California is all but bankrupt is the public sector unions. For decades they have been demanding and getting more and more goodies from the Californian Taxpayer. Now, there will be no stopping them, at least until the inevitable collapse of the California economy.

“It’s the weird opposite of a virtuous circle,” says Joel Kotkin, a political analyst and professor of urban development at Chapman University. “California used to basically have a good two-party system that forced both parties to be more centrist. So Ronald Reagan [who was governor from 1967 to 1975] was a much more conciliatory figure than you would have thought, and the Democratic base was still basically middle-class. Now, the Democratic party in California basically consists of rent-seeking capitalists [Kotkin’s sobriquet for Silicon Valley tech tycoons who thrive on tax breaks], greens, the bureaucracy, the poor, people with ethnic grievances and Hollywood. Hispanics vote the same way as rich liberals in Marin County. All of them favor policies that prevent the formation of middle-class households.” The greens push environmental regimes that strangle agriculture, construction, and entrepreneurship, while the high taxes demanded to support bulging bureaucracies and a vast and costly welfare apparatus (some 237 California localities sought voter approval of special taxes, assessments, and bond issues on November 6) drive businesses and the decently paying white- and blue-collar jobs that accompany them out of state. “It’s hard for someone who’s not wealthy to live anywhere near the coast nowadays,” Kotkin says.

The exodus of businesses began about 15 years ago. First was manufactures deciding not to upgrade or expand their plants in the “People’s Republic” and of late they are now closing them completely and moving to more hospitable areas, if not out of the United States all together.

In September the Manhattan Institute published a report, “The Great California Exodus: A Closer Look,” that used Census, IRS, and other data to detail exactly how dramatic and seemingly unstoppable the migration of Californians to other states has been. Starting in 1990, when the post-Cold War “peace dividend” shut down California’s aerospace industry, generating a recession, the flood of transplants from other states that had been California’s hallmark since the end of World War II abruptly reversed itself. Residents moved to other parts of the Sunbelt, chiefly Texas, Arizona, and Florida, where taxes were lower and where the jobs were. During the decade from 2000 through 2010, California lost nearly 1.1 million residents, with Texas alone receiving about one-fourth of them.

From what I’ve been hearing, the California moonbats have also had an annoying tendency to bring their moonbattiness with them, much to the Texans disgust. However, it looks like they are keeping them under control more or less. Politically, California has become a one party state with all the downsides that will bring. This includes the utter denial that they have a fiscal problem.

The attitude of both Brown and the California legislature toward the state’s runaway budget and forbidding economic climate seems to be “whatever.” In July Brown signed a bill authorizing $5.8 billion to begin construction, with union labor, on California’s controversial high-speed rail line, even though no one knows where the money will come from to pay off the bonds, and few Californians are likely to ride the train, which will run between Bakersfield and Fresno, two smallish cities in the rural Central Valley.

The last I heard, this boondoggle is probably going to cost something around $100 Billion dollars, and there is no way the Federal Government will pay more than a small fraction of this. That will mean more taxes and then the issuance of more bonds. Since California is basically broke, the bonds won’t be rated very well and California will have to pay higher interest rates.

Brown did make a show of fiscal sobriety during the weeks before Proposition 30 passed, when public support for his pet tax measure seemed to be waning. He dared to anger unions by vetoing bills that would have made it a crime for farmers not to provide shade and water to their agricultural employees and established a bill of rights for housekeepers that mandates mealtimes and rest periods. He likely annoyed teachers by refusing to sign a bill that would have dictated what their archenemies, charter schools, could serve in their cafeterias. In a fourth union-defying move, Brown wielded his veto pen against a bill that would have allowed families of police officers and firefighters to collect job-related death benefits worth up to a quarter of a million dollars, even if the death occurred as long as nine years after the cop or firefighter left the public payroll.

Without a doubt, those idiotic ideas and more will be making a comeback, probably next year. If Brown veto’s them, those veto’s will be overridden, unless he can peel away a couple of the more sane members of the legislature.

But now that Propositions 30 and 32 are on the books, the spending party is likely to resume. Some Californians are hoping for a charismatic and strong-willed political figure, a Giuliani for the Golden State, who can bridge the partisan divide and help them avert the fiscal ruin headed in their direction faster than the Bakersfield-to-Fresno high-speed train. That’s unlikely to happen. What is more likely to happen is a collision with reality.

And in the land of moonbats, they will simply light up another joint, snort some coke and substitute that reality with their own. “Oh the colors! The colors!” California is destined to become a failed state. There are several others that are as bad, or worse off than California, (Illinois, New York), and it will be a tossup to see which one goes under first. Some of these states have already sent out feelers to Washington about getting a bailout. Even with King Putt’s reelection, and the democrats keeping control of the Senate, that won’t happen. The House will not pass any bill that bails out the spendthrift states, and even if they did, the outrage from the states that have worked hard to balance their books would blow the roof off many state houses.

California is a classic example of what happens when Socialism, which is what the democrats practice, runs out of other people’s money. At some point, the money tap will have to be shut off and all those takers living on the backs of the taxpayers will be smacked in the head by the 2X4 of reality.

Barking Moonbat

There is no mechanism to allow a state to declare bankruptcy. Cities and towns have that ability and we have seen it used a number of times in California. We may see federal action, but anything that tries to pay for California’s stupidity will not happen. California is doomed. I expect the collapse to happen in the next 2-3 years at best.

Popcorn anyone?

Thatisall

~The Angry Webmaster~

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  1. People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation []
  2. California Prop. 32 []
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