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Ray Haynes

Our Socialist Worker’s Paradise

I’m going to go way out on a limb here. Proposition 30 is not going to raise the $6 billion it promised to raise, and within a year, the leftists who are now in total control of Sacramento will move to raise your taxes. This will happen in June, and it will be for the schools.

How do I know this? 1991. Pete Wilson comes charging into the Governor’s office, finds a deficit, claims to find a budget fix that is half tax increases (estimated to raise $7 billion by the same Legislative Analyst’s Office that estimated Proposition 30 to generate $6 billion) and half cuts. The cuts never occurred, and the taxes, which were supposed to be on the rich, only generated $4 billion. California actually never made up that loss until it cut the car tax in 1998.

That is the way it is in a socialist worker’s paradise. The talented and the rich are expected to pick up the slack when the government can’t do it, and, of course, those same talented and/or rich people flee for a more hospitable economic environment, even if the weather is not as good as it is here. In the 1990’s, that more hospitable environment was Florida and Texas. I know at least 5 high income earners personally who left the state when those taxes were raised in 1991, and if I know 5, there have to be a lot more, since I don’t know a lot of high income earners.

In this week’s election, California voters chose the socialist worker’s paradise. They put the Democrats in complete charge of the political branches of government (they already control the judiciary, since even Republican governors don’t know how to appoint strict constructionist judges) without any restraint.

It has happened before, in my lifetime, in 1974. That was Jerry Brown 1.0. The Democrats got a two thirds majority in both houses of the Legislature. At the time they took over, California had the best schools, the best freeways, and the cheapest housing in the country (the average price of a house was $24,000, no joke, $24,000, and 78% of the people could afford a median priced home). Heck, even Neil Diamond sang about it (remember the line about LA being fine…”palm trees grow and rents are low”). By 1976, housing prices started to climb, our schools started to collapse, and the state stopped building freeways. We built 90% of our freeway miles in the 20 years between 1954 and 1974. Today it takes 23 years to build one mile.

We did get government unions then, though, and the most generous welfare benefits in the country. We also got out of control environmental regulations (which stopped freeway construction, raised housing prices, and prevented the construction of any new oil refineries, so gas, which was 32 cents a gallon in 1974 skyrocketed to over a $1 dollar a gallon in that eight year period). Taxes exploded as well and the left essentially killed the death penalty, or any serious crime legislation during that period. Crime rose 500 per cent.

Taxes and crime revived a dead Republican Party, ultimately leading to the election of Ronald Reagan as President and George Deukmejian as Governor (although Deukmejian won by less than 100,000 votes). Republicans never received a majority of the Legislature (though they did get one house in 1994, when they stood tough on taxes, crime, and immigration), but at least they had enough votes to stop the Dems from overriding a Governor’s veto, and stop them from raising taxes. They couldn’t repeal the socialist worker’s paradise legislation of the 1970’s, but they did stop it from getting worse.

Until now. Unfortunately, the voters did a lot of the damage to themselves in this election. They raised taxes on the rich, in the hopes that it would avoid school “cuts.” It won’t. They weakened three strikes on the hopes that it will protect the public better. It won’t. They elected what appears to be supermajorities in both houses for some reason I still can’t figure out.

Will Republicans recover? They did before. They can this time if they understand what needs to be done. It will not help to become more like Democrats, to waffle on crime, taxes, immigration, or even abortion. If they are not a clear alternative to the Democrats, they will deserve the obscurity they now enjoy. Their strength will come from outside the capitol building, that is, getting out of the safe haven of their districts, and getting the Republican message out to the neighborhoods around the state. It is not easy, but it is necessary.

Otherwise, California will be a socialist worker’s paradise for the foreseeable future, and I will live in Texas.