Saturday, August 01, 2009

California's Morality Play in Three Acts

California 4th District Libertarian/Republican Tom McClintock gave a speech to the Competitive Enterprise Institute on July 10. In it, he chronicles how the once great state of California came to be in its present sorry condition and what lessons we should learn from it. Instead of learning though, he is watching as the Democrat controlled US House of Representatives (led by the odious California liberal Nancy Pelosi) making all the same mistakes.

I should also warn you of the strange sense of déjà-vu that I have every day on the House floor as I watch the same folly and blunders that wrecked California now being passed with reckless abandon in this Congress.

We passed a “Cash-for-Clunkers” bill the other day – we did that years ago in California.

Doubling the entire debt every five years? Been there.

Increasing spending at unsustainable rates? Done that.

Save-the-Planet-Carbon-Dioxide restrictions? Got the T-Shirt.

To understand how these policies can utterly destroy an economy and bankrupt a government, you have to remember the Golden State in its Golden Age.

A generation ago, California spent about half what it does today AFTER adjusting for both inflation and population growth.

And yet, we had the finest highway system in the world and the finest public school system in the country. California offered a FREE university education to every Californian who wanted one. We produced water and electricity so cheaply that many communities didn’t bother to measure the stuff. Our unemployment rate consistently ran well below the national rate and its diversified economy was nearly recession-proof.

One thing – and one thing only – has changed in those years: public policy. The political Left gradually gained dominance over California’s government and has imposed a disastrous agenda of radical and retrograde policies that have destroyed the quality of life that Californians once took for granted.

It's a lengthy speech, but well worth your time to read.

(Hat tip to Bob)
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1 comment:

Eric Dondero said...

Jonathan, Howdy!

I'm linking to this post over at Libertarian Republican.

Keep up the good work.