Fri, 27 Mar 2009 05:00:22 +0000 – By Jon KrausharCommunications Consultant
Some of President Obama's critics say he wants to turn America toward European-style socialism but maybe he'll settle for imitating California.
California, once known for its robust capitalism, growth and sunny optimism (after all, it's the state that brought us Ronald Reagan), has become a pitiful giant, pinned down by the same kind of big government that Obama envisions for the country.
California is virtually bankrupt after years of out-of-control state government spending (it leads the country in spending on government employees) and is begging for a federal bailout. Its extreme "green" environmentalism and health care costs (it keeps flirting with universal health care) are among the reasons that its economy is crippled. It has the nation's fourth highest unemployment rate, ranks 48 out of 50 states in K-12 education (even though it spends twice the national average on education), and is swamped by illegal immigrant families overwhelming its social services and welfare system.
Fortune magazine points out that in California...
"In the past year more people have lost jobs . . . than in any other state. More homes have gone into foreclosure. More banks have failed . . . businesses are moving out at an alarming rate, most often citing excessive regulation and intolerable taxes. For top earners, California's taxes are the highest in the U.S. And to what end? California's credit rating is the lowest in the nation."
"California here we come" has become "California here we go." Last year, 144,000 more people decamped from California than entered it. -- That's the worst out-migration in the nation! A few reasons:
- According to The Milken Institute, California is the costliest place in America to do business
- It has the second highest tax rates in the country
- It is a trial lawyer's paradise where there may be more nuisance suits than bathing suits.
For public employee unions, California is truly the Golden State. Its teachers and prison guards are the highest paid in the nation. According to Investor's Business Daily, California long ago "granted recognition to unions on a card-check basis, without a requirement for secret-ballot elections. Not surprisingly, California's public-sector work force is now much more unionized than the nation's as a whole."
For even more background on the California crack-up click here.
Democrats hold sway in California government. The state's Republican governor--Arnold Schwarzenegger--keeps flexing his political muscles further and further to the left while his government balloons into a grotesque, intrusive bully on steroids, kicking sand in the faces of taxpayers.
In short, California is over-taxing, over-spending, over-regulating and over-suing its good citizens--and its unsustainable debt, soaring deficit, Democratic Party domination and dependency on big government--make it a model for the sequel to Barack Obama's best-selling book "Dreams From My Father."
Obama has struck a deal with Crown Publishing Group to write a book after his term ends. If he succeeds in making America resemble California, perhaps Obama will title it "Dreams From California."
Communications consultant Jon Kraushar is at www.jonkraushar.net.