If ever there was a state that needed a change of direction, it’s California. Steven Malanga’s article highlights California’s problem perfectly:

The camera focuses on an official of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), California’s largest public-employee union, sitting in a legislative chamber and speaking into a microphone. “We helped to get you into office, and we got a good memory,” she says matter-of-factly to the elected officials outside the shot. “Come November, if you don’t back our program, we’ll get you out of office.’”

The video has become a sensation among California taxpayer groups for its vivid depiction of the audacious power that public-sector unions wield in their state. The unions’ political triumphs have molded a California in which government workers thrive at the expense of a struggling private sector. The state’s public school teachers are the highest-paid in the nation. Its prison guards can easily earn six-figure salaries. State workers routinely retire at 55 with pensions higher than their base pay for most of their working life. Meanwhile, what was once the most prosperous state now suffers from an unemployment rate far steeper than the nation’s and a flood of firms and jobs escaping high taxes and stifling regulations. This toxic combination—high public-sector employee costs and sagging economic fortunes—has produced recurring budget crises in Sacramento and in virtually every municipality in the state.

California’s budget is filled with trendy niceties that the state simply can’t afford. California’s public union pensions are too burdensome, too. Tom McClintock talked about that during the recall election what seems like a century ago.

That’s why things are looking tougher than normal for California’s Democrats:

Early polls show Brown in a statistical dead heat with Republican Meg Whitman, the billionaire former eBay CEO. In the Senate race, several polls show Boxer virtually tied with Republican former South Bay Rep. Tom Campbell and ex-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in head-to-head matchups, with Assemblyman Chuck DeVore not far behind. Boxer described her challengers as the most formidable the three-term senator has ever faced.

In other words, the political mood is changing in California. Hopefully that means the new legislature will consider cutting spending next year. This is where the TEA Party movement needs to get involved. Wresting control from the crazy liberals must be a high priority.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

4 Responses to “It’s Time To Right California’s Ship of State”

  • J. Ewing says:

    Two things: First, on a percentage basis, Minnesota is in essentially the same budget bind as California is. Second, I wonder how many times Republicans are going to get sucker-punched by Democrats who create chaos, leave government only to return once Republicans clean up (or fail to clean up) the mess? The GOP needs to have a much better plan than simply having better intentions or better ideas. They have to actually have a plan that will WORK, and quickly, to set things right. That’s a tall order.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Jerry, if you have great leadership & great ideas, that will get alot accomplished.

    That’s what conservatives have going for them. They just need the chance to implement their ideas.

  • eric z says:

    Arnold S. is pushing for economic growth via alternate energy technology and jobs. Is that just press fodder, or is he within GOP ranks believed sincere? If sincere, do you disparage that?

    I would think progressive DFL and business savvy GOP individuals would not be dismissive of alternative energy, given success in Europe, especially Denmark, which is energy-independent and not sending any of its young to slaughter in oil-producing regions.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eric, Green jobs kill other jobs. That’s been proven time & again. I’m not opposed, nor is any mainstream conservative, to an all of the above energy policy. That’s what the newspapers write but that isn’t reality.

    I think Ahnold is sincere but he’s badly misguided. To fund these alternative energy initiatives, California has hiked taxes, which is driving more jobs out of the state than will be created by green energy.

    Think of it like this: it’s like taking one step forward, then two steps back…DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY ad infinitum.

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