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F. Andre Hollings: Liberals and job growth

Right Here, Right Now

Posted: July 9, 2009 4:09 p.m.
Updated: July 10, 2009 4:55 a.m.
There is an axiom that teaches that a borrower dies if lenders stop believing in him. The truer that saying, the more dire the economic scenario for California.  

Resulting from our state’s nearly depleted treasury and continual budget deadlock, bond ratings bellwethers Standard and Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s downgraded California’s bond rating earlier this year to the nation’s lowest, with still worsening prospects.

Among other repercussions, that means the debt of states such as Louisiana has been assessed as a more trustworthy investment than that of California’s, according to Los Angeles Times’ Jordan Rau and Patrick McGreevy.  

Those appraisals, detailing Wall Street’s escalating skepticism of California, further underscore the corroding effect that liberalism is having on the Golden State. Such corrosion has, to borrow an apt line from Kevin Starr’s “Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge, 1990-2003,” reduced California to “a reality in search of a myth that had once been believed in.”  

Burdened by a “tax structure that smoothers businesses and entrepreneurs” according to the Wall Street Journal, an expanding array of new tech jobs has been exiting California for Texas, Nevada and other states with genuinely incentive-driven, pro-business tax climates.

Consequently, handicapped by California’s capital gains, corporate income and franchise taxes, Intel, Cisco and Google — for starters — have ceased viewing the Golden State as any golden opportunity for molding bold ideas into tomorrow’s innovation.  

According to the California Taxpayers Association, the wealthiest 10 percent pay nearly 70 percent of the state’s entire income tax revenue; and, most of those are small business owners, the acknowledged backbone of America’s economic engine.  

Grasping that, the Reason Foundation’s Adam Summers justly said, “Under California’s backward tax policy, the very entrepreneurs responsible for economic growth and prosperity are being punished the most severely.”   

Even our trademark motion picture industry has been pushed to find green pastures elsewhere. New York, Texas and Louisiana have siphoned off a mass of entertainment industry jobs because, as the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce said, “The high costs of doing business in California coupled with a seeming refusal by legislators to match incentives promoted all remain factors pushing the film industry into the arms of other states.”  

Bottom line: This “liberals’ tax paradise,” as the WSJ coined it, is necessitating the exodus of the intellectual capital and innovative spirit that helped build the California dream.  

With 25 percent of its total manufacturing jobs and 35 percent of its high-tech jobs lost over the last several years, according to a study commissioned by the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, Association spokesman Gino DiCaro stated,

“Everyone says the regulatory burden in California is too much. Over time, we’re dropping off the list of states that companies are willing to consider.”  

Holed up in the pockets of unionists like so many nickels and dimes and wantonly devoted to leftist ideology, liberals enter their 39th year of uninterrupted state Senate control and overall 37th year of Assembly control. Liberals have morphed California into a quasi-socialistic entity that caters to every perceived “need” at the expense of job growth. How?  

Continuous command of the Assembly, steered from the Speaker’s chair, has given liberals carte blanche control over what legislation goes to the floor for voting, debate, committee chairmanships, committee staffs and so on. That translates into most Republican-backed legislation dying in committee.  

The President Pro Tem wields similar power in the Senate with similar results for Republican-backed legislation.

Couple those realities with the sizable majorities that liberals have maintained in the Legislature, and the how of California’s morphing becomes clear.  

Party affiliation aside, the consequences of constant application of liberal ideology have becoming painfully clear: a $26.3 billion deficit, and growing, and the eclipsing of the California dream.   

F. Andre Hollings is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Right Here, Right Now!” appears Fridays in The Signal and rotates among local Republican writers.


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