How Soon Does ‘Why Not California?’ Become ‘Why not the U.S.?’

From Gino DiCaro of California Manufacturers and Technology Association, “Why Not California # 9 – Gregg Industries?: “Last week a single phrase shrewdly captured the state’s job woes: ‘California is catering to so many special interests, it has lost its focus on the common interest.'”

DiCaro has been writing on “Why Not California?” for some time now, and the latest entry is about business recruitment: Nevada woos manufacturers, California drives them out. His recurring theme is the anti-business tax and regulatory climate created by the state’s lawmakers and other elected officials. Consider all the “green jobs” going to other states, DeCaro noted in an earlier entry:

Could one of the main answers be that business costs are so high in California that we will never see significant green investments; that workers in other states will be the chief beneficiaries of California’s environmental mandates and that California’s brightest and best are fleeing to states that put a high priority on economic growth?  The latest cost of doing business survey by the Milken Institute finds that operating costs for California manufacturers are 38 percent higher than for their competitors in Tennessee.  Is it any wonder that investments in industries that create high-wage jobs routinely bypass California?

The state is suffering yet another budget crisis, and elected leaders in Sacramento have put multibillion dollar tax increases before the state’s voters on May 19. California-based talk show host Hugh Hewitt looks at the latest poll numbers and concludes that voters are going to reject the tax increases by large margins.

Hugh’s a partisan and he often offers advice to California and national Republicans, but partisan politics notwithstanding, he’s right on with this analysis. Washington is taking America down California’s path, and it’s a doomed direction economically and politically:

The important lesson in the California melt-down and the voters reaction top it and rejection of a tax-hike solution set is that President Obama and the Congressional Democrats are following strategies very similar to those adopted by Sacramento.  People like the president just as they liked Arnold when he was elected and then re-elected.

But they hate high taxes and lousy services, complicated government schemes to regulate their businesses and their lives, and especially deceitful, self-serving posturing by elected officials. Arnold is now about as highly esteemed as Gray Davis before him.  Like Arnold, President Obama has started his time in office with high popularity, but that popularity won’t protect his electability when the public absorbs the fact that the taxes he is planning are even more staggering than those imposed in the Golden State, and the government growth he is engineering even more vast than that which has occured on the west coast.

It’s important to include the Californian-run U.S. House in this analysis. It’s almost as if there’s a strategy to make the rest of the United States as uncompetitive as California. Higher taxes, expensive energy, rigid labor markets and crushing regulations nationwide could marginally improve the Golden State’s position within the country but are a disaster in the global economy.

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