Friday, November 05, 2010

Why Republicans can't win in California

The WSJ tries to explain why the GOP is unable to make much headway in either California and New York. They reach a conclusion that should be very depressing to anyone who wishes those states well.
At some level, this Democratic immunity can be blamed on unforced errors like the dysfunctional Empire State GOP establishment, or on the fact that California's Democratic voters outnumbered Republicans by 13 points over the national average, according to exit polls. But the larger warning concerns the power that lies at the iron triangle of public employee unions, high taxes and social budgets that are larger than the economies in other states.

The fiscs in both Albany and Sacramento are perched atop a shrinking base of taxpayers, many so wealthy that they don't care what tax rates are. The highest-earning 1% funds nearly half of the New York budget. The liberal political class then feeds these dollars to its union constituents—not least in the form of gold-plated benefits and pensions—who in turn spend mightily to protect their patrons, even as the state budgets lurch ever closer to Grecian territory.

One of the most powerful forces in Golden State politics is the militant California Nurses Association, which might as well be a government workers union given the size of MediCal, the state Medicaid program. The nurses call Ms. Fiorina "Princess Carly." In New York, there's the Working Families Party, which is an adjunct of the public-sector labor movement and spent heavily to elect the Cuomo-DiNapoli-Schneiderman triumvirate.

As this agenda squeezes the middle class and drives jobs out of state, it leaves politics to a coalition of well-off knowledge professionals, public employees and lower-income workers who depend on the state for transfer payments. The well-paid elites in finance, fashion, media, tech or Hollywood tend to view environmental issues like cap and tax as enlightened social statements unrelated to economic growth.
The only hope is that Jerry Brown faces up to the reality of his state's catastrophic situation and does a Nixon-goes-to-China about-face on what has to be done to cut back on state spending, trim government pensions, and lower taxes. If not, everyone who is able will try to pull up and leave the state. They'll be left with just those paid by the government to funnel money to groups receiving aid from the government.


lorraine_lanning said...

Then the states of CA and NY deserve to go under, as long as the rest of us aren't called on (again!) to bail them out.

It seems that some people always have to learn the hard way.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

new york and california both recieved significantly less back from the federal government than they contributed in federal tax payments

if you check the chart, you will see that many "red" states were net beneficiaries. therefore, ny and ca are bailing out many "red" states, rather than the other way around, as you imagine

tfhr said...


So your research indicates to you that federal dollars fund state budgets? The dispersal of federal pork does not have anything to do with the fiscal responsibility of state governments.

How about this: Less tax and less spending - let the people keep more of the money they earn.

pumping-irony said...

The federal budget is not merely for the purpose of distributing the money taken in back to the states in equal measure. What would be the point of that? Theoretically, the federal budget is to provide for goods the country as a whole requires; national defense, for example. Some states are more hospitable and accepting of defense industries than others, so it's not unreasonable that defense dollars would be spent there. Highways are another example; it makes sense that such spending be higher in congested states than in sparsely populated ones.

So, the idea that federal outlays for each state should or even could be equal is nonsensical. But this imagined "imbalance" can be corrected in other ways. Assuming that NY and Cal contribute higher amounts to the federal budget because of the higher tax base in those states (i.e. the residents EARN more and thus pay more taxes) NY and Cal are in the process of remedying this anomaly by driving as many high earners as they can out of their respective states. If this process contnues unabated, they will soon likely be receiving much MORE from the feds than the few remaining taxpayers supply. Problem solved.

equitus said...

It's occurred to me that Brown might have that Nixon/China moment. But with all the other Dem clowns elected to Lt. Gov, Treasurer, Schools, and AG, and most of the state assembly returning, I don't expect any change even if Brown tried it.

We're dooooomed.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

In about 10 years you can add NV to the list? Why? Uber Powerful unions and the fact that the ninnies from CA moved here and are doing exactly the same thing to NV that they did to CA. That's why I left back in 93. I swear it's like an inoperable cancer that just continues to spread.

Sigh... and I like it here too...