“Hope and Change” in California’s Tanking Economy

Roger Hedgecock, former Mayor of San Diego, writes the following:

I live in California. If you were wondering what living in Obama’s second term would be like, wonder no longer. We in California are living there now.

California is a one-party state dominated by a virulent Democrat Left enabled by a complicit media where every agency of local, county, and state government is run by and for the public employee unions. The unemployment rate is 12%.

Echoing the Occupy movement, the governor [Jerry Brown] proclaimed the rich must pay their fair share. Fair share? The top 1% of California income earners currently pays 50% of the state’s income tax.

Yes, but — socialist liberals like Jerry Brown and Barack Obama do not care. All they care about is acquiring power. I can prove it.

If Jerry Brown cared about liberty, he would not enslave the wealthier part of the population for the sake of the government. He would not punish the successful for their success, by taxing them disproportionately. The only liberty Jerry Brown and other politicians care about is the liberty to acquire more power. 

Why don’t politicians like Jerry Brown force the wealthiest 1% to pay ALL tax, rather than only 50 percent of it? Because he knows full well there would be a revolt. There would be court cases, there would be trouble. Some of this 1% would hide their money, perhaps give it away or simply stop working.

Politicians know there’s a limit. They know full well that even if we slapped a 100% tax rate on the top earners in society, that Medicare and Social Security alone – to say nothing of all the other federal and state programs/agencies — still could not sustain themselves over the long-run.

But they don’t care about the inevitable and ultimate demise of these programs, regardless of how much they claim to care. If they did, they would — in Jimmy Carter-like fashion — get out there and start creating programs of their own, in the private and voluntary sector. They would leave the private economy alone, get out of politics, and spend their days trying to persuade people to give to programs that they believe in.

If it’s truly charity you care about, this would be a much more effective way to go. It’s certainly more effective than using the force of government to steal more and more money from those who have the most, alienating them in the process, and STILL eventually running out.

If it’s power you care about, then you keep the game going. You know full well that your days are numbered, that no matter how much you raise taxes you’re still busting the budget with the unlimited demand for more government programs created by these programs themselves. Even a vibrant private economy in California cannot ever hope to fund the literally infinite demand for more government, incited by people like Jerry Brown and Barack Obama who keep telling people, “You’re entitled to all this — and more!!”

Of course, there is no vibrant economy to fund it. A 12% unemployment rate is not vibrant.

California has more citizens on food stamps than any other state, has added so many benefits and higher rates to Medicaid that Californians call it “Medi-Cal.” That’s not vibrancy.

California K-12 schools have more administrators than teachers, with smaller classes but lower test scores and higher dropout rates with twice the per-student budget of 15 years ago. That’s not indicative of fiscal solvency and economic vibrancy.

Granted, most Californians are Democrats. Most of them blame everything on “Bush” — who’s no longer a person, but a mantra with near mystical status. They think they’re blaming it on capitalism, but Bush was a Big Government Republican, meaning no different in principle from Obama (just a smaller price tag). Plus, California’s situation has worsened during Obama’s term — all the while implementing Obama’s very own policies in their state!

Whatever all these liberals, socialists and Democrats are angry about is somewhat hard to fathom. They have nearly all of what they want, politically, nationwide. In California they have absolutely everything they want — with no prospect of any change in policy in that state, ever. One more term for Obama, one more liberal vote on the Supreme Court, and the United States will  be transformed into a Western European socialist state, perhaps permanently. Why the glum look, why the dour and sour resentment for which liberals and Democrats are so well known?

Those of us who are something other than liberal and Democrat — be it conservative, Republican, libertarian, Objectivist, Independent, whatever it is — don’t get it. This leftist angst? It’s something unnamed. It’s part resentment, it’s part anger, it’s definitely hatred of something … maybe a kind of bitterness, over one’s own life or of existence itself. It’s something subjectively real, to the person who’s feeling it, but it seems to have no connection to objective reality. That’s why there’s no name for it.

I guess it’s the same kind of elusive, stomping-at-reality wish that Jerry Brown is counting on when he hopes to keep pulling unlimited funds out of an empty bank account. You might call it a metaphysical and psychological vacuum.

Hope and change are really something, aren’t they?