Monday, July 27, 2009

California Dreamin': Now a Nightmare

Democrats have controlled California for over two decades. Their policies have transformed a beautiful, industrious state into a monumental catastrophe.

Open Borders and Easy Access to Welfare: as the stack graph shows, California accounts for 12% of the nation's population but 32% of welfare recipients. Only California and Texas registered high enough to include the state name on the Y-axis. Texas has 8% of the U.S. population and is equally burdened by border issues but has only 1/10th of California's welfare rolls.

More Open Borders, More Welfare: This pie will give you indigestion; California represents 32% of America's welfare caseload. Chuck Devore explains, "California's share of the nation's welfare recipients has been soaring since Democrat legislators severely relaxed welfare rules and eligibility while hiking benefits around 2001. The result was as predictable for welfare as California's high taxes and heavy regulations have been for jobs and business."

Even More Open Borders and More Relaxed Welfare Policies: While the Blue State of New York has its own bragging rights (highest per capita spending on welfare rolls), the distance between New York and the other states compared to California is like the distance between the Earth (other states), the Moon (New York), and the Sun (California). California is the only state that refuses to "seriously enforce the federal lifetime limit of 5 years of welfare for able-bodied adults."

California faces the biggest financial crisis in its history due in no small part to the waste, fraud, and abuse related to its outrageous entitlement programs. Devore calls them "a honey pot for many in America who find it easier to accept a taxpayer handout than to work."

This "generosity" with other peoples’ money impels Sacramento lawmakers to give such large sums of working Californians' money to non-working Californians inevitably results in less of the former and more of the latter. This is simple economics, and it's a shame that it escapes the architects of our state's governance today.

Powerful and Unaccountable Unions: San Francisco, to use a simple example, employs at least 100 unionized workers who earn over $200,000 annually (including a $350,000 a year "Special Nurse").

Los Angeles has nearly 300 retirees earning over $100,000 a year.

The website Pension Tsunami recently noted several articles of interest related to union pension funds. “Hidden Pension Fiasco May Foment Another $1 Trillion Bailout” summarizes how public employee pension funds have cooked their books for years. This has gotten worse in recent years, as public sector employee unions have, "consolidated their power in state and local governments by controlling elections [and] demanded unsustainable increases to the benefit packages of their members – often retroactively – from politicians whose survival depended on their obedience."

Gee, by all means, let's pass card-check (also known as "The Employee No Choice Act")!

The facts are indisputable: Blue States are melting down.

California is an ominous preview into America's future. Perhaps an enterprising progressive (or is that an oxymoron?) could explain why we should follow the Obama-Pelosi-Reid brain-trust into certain oblivion.

Hat tips: Chuck DeVore will be a candidate for Senate in 2010, challenging the egregious Barbara "Call Me Senator" Boxer, No Oil For Pacifists. Linked by: Maggie's Farm and Ed Driscoll. Thanks!

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