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The California Crisis: Divide And Prosper?
We have been warned so often about disaster that it can be difficult to believe that the axe may be close at hand. A year ago I wrote Mexifornian Pols, Schwarzenegger, Bankrupt California. The only thing that has changed is how many more billions of dollars we are in the hole.
Even with the worsening budget crisis
throughout 2008, however,
A law correcting punctuation on bottled water labels.
A law requiring rodents slated to be food for pet shop animals be slaughtered humanely.
To underline the busy-work quality
of legislation this year: the Governor vetoed a record
high 35 percent of bills passed. [Schwarzenegger
vetoed bills at record rate in 2008, by Steve
Californians have tried long and hard
Of course, the best known effort to
fix state politics was the
2003 recall of Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat, and
subsequent election of
According to calculations by State Senator Tom McClintock, spending under Gov. Davis had grown by seven percent annually. But, since then, Schwarzenegger has increased that rate to 10 percent.
Professor John G. Matsusaka of USC wrote in the LA Times
"So why does it seem like the quality and quantity of government is not all that different from 2004? How many of us feel like we are getting 40% more public services, 40% better schools, roads, parks and so on? "
Prof Matsusaka helpfully explained "what we got from the last $41 billion."
"Some of it went to cover increases in the cost of
state spending naturally grows with the size of the
population. But even adjusting for inflation and
population growth, state spending is up almost 20%
compared with four years ago, a big enough bump that
ordinary Californians should be able to notice it. The
state's financial statements describe where the money
went—the big gainers were education ($13 billion),
transportation ($10 billion) and health ($10
billion)—but not why these billions don't create even a
blip on our day-to-day radar. " [Where
does all that state money go?,
At least one of those money magnets,
hugely impacted by the entry of millions of
immigrants and illegal aliens. A FAIR report,
Breaking the Piggy Bank, figured the $7.7
billion spent on educating the children of illegal
aliens was 13 percent of the 2004-5 education budget. In
addition, the 2007 Legislative Analysts Office report on
English learners noted that 25 percent (1.6 million)
It is likewise significant that SacraMexico pols won't even take action against the low-hanging fruit for spending cuts, e.g. the taxpayer tuition subsidy (AB 540) for illegal alien college students (many of whom are Asian, interestingly). That issue has had to be dragged through the courts over years at great expense for the participants because the legislature is too Mexifornicated to mind the people's business properly. It was recently announced that the case would advanced to the highest state level, California Supreme Court to take on state law granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants [LA Times, Jan 5, 2009]. Assembly Member Chuck Devore introduced legislation last November to repeal AB 540, estimated to cost taxpayers $117 million annually. He introduced a similar measure in January of 2008 to no avail.
The tuition debacle has gone on for so
long (since 2001) that there are now hundreds of illegal
alien college graduates who benefited by the program of
taxpayer subsidy but who are unable to work legally.
After years of
unearned entitlement, the young foreign adults are
miffed that they cannot obtain employment in
Voters are demoralized by the stubborn
"Why bother with all that trouble to get another useless suit?" seems to be the general attitude.
Thirty-eight million people spread
163,707 square miles can be hard to wrangle,
28 percent were foreign born as of 2005, more than
double the national proportion (12 percent).
In addition, immigration-caused diversity is a force multiplier of societal stresses. As sociologist Robert Putnam has determined, diversity decreases trust. It doesn't help that immigrants are never satisfied, never done with demanding more that what citizens receive, like tuition breaks and totally free medical care.
Excessive diversity has been piled upon an unfortunate level of profligate population growth. California's population in 1950 was 10.6 million. If state growth had mirrored the national rate, that is, doubling from 1950 to 2000 (i.e. from 150 million to 300 million), then California at the end of the 20th century would have numbered a little over 21 million. Instead, the population reached nearly 34 million at that time, with no end in sight—and no political leadership that supports limits to growth.
In fact, the idea of dividing
One of the more recent partition proposals was in the early 1990s, when then-Assemblyman Stan Statham of Redding came up with a three-state plan that was passed by the Assembly as a item to be placed before the voters for a non-binding referendum to determine the public interest. But the bill did not make it through the Senate.
The Three Californias blog has helpful background information about the issue of divvying up the state. The author presents a division of three in which he has attempted to combine natural political and environmental demarcations, in a way that is sensible and agreeable. That blog's basic map:
It is an axiom in the patriotic immigration reform movement that good fences make good neighbors. By limiting the opportunity for cross-communal plundering through the tax system, good fences could make fiscally-responsible neighbors too.