Victor Davis Hansen, historian, writing at National Review Online:
I think the wretched state of California, now looking at a fiscal disaster of roughly a $20-30 billion annual shortfall, should be a wake-up call for the Obama administration. Whatever California is doing — please don’t follow suit!
With proposed increases, we will have the highest sales taxes (ca. 9%) in the nation, the highest state income taxes (10+%), and probably the lowest thresholds to get into those top brackets — and yet only about 380,000 Californians pay 40% of the aggregate income tax revenue.
In exchange, our schools, roads, airports, hospitals, and police are, to use a euphemism, not competitive. The CSU campuses make up the largest university system in the world, with the largest unionized faculty, and yet nearly 50% of entering freshman must take mandatory remedial math and English courses. We don’t utilize our ample energy, mineral, and timber resources, but instead depend on other states who do. Such an odd mix — we have sermons on our own greenness, but stealthy dependence on other less liberal producers to satisfy our insatiable appetites.
California remains a great manufacturing state — but not as great as in the past. Its terrible, costly policies and regulations on taxes, energy, chemical use, litigation, building codes, on and on, render it a model unfit to follow if America wants to regain economic vitality.
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