CA Dems Hold Looters' Convention

CA Dems Hold Looters' Convention

MAY 2, 2011


H.L. Mencken called elections “advanced auctions of stolen goods.” That certainly was true of last November’s election, in which Gov. Jerry Brown and other Democrats auctioned off California taxpayers’ money to the public-employee unions.

Over the weekend, California Democrats held a Looters’ Convention in Sacramento to rally their members to make sure the looting continues.

Republicans do similar things in other states. But in California, the GOP has become nearly as irrelevant as the Prohibition Party. Republicans still have one slight power, which is to deny Democrats an outright tax increase passed by the Legislature. Even that power will evanesce in 2013 or 2014, as GOP voter numbers dwindle further and even their one-third portion of each house of the Legislature is reduced.

For now, the Democratic looters need to twist the arms of a couple of Republicans in the Legislature to increase taxes. As Assembly Speaker John Perez said at the convention, “We need to create a mountain of pressure on Republicans by going into their districts and engaging their voters.” But he understands the future, “It’s absolutely clear the only permanent solution for California’s problems is to elect a two-thirds majority of Democrats in each house of the Legislature. That work must begin today.”

The joke is on him, actually. There is no “permanent solution to California’s problems” that involves massive tax hikes, such as the $12 billion Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed be bled from taxpayers. That money will just be spent on existing government-worker pay, perks and pensions. Then more tax increases will be needed for future programs, policies and … as always … pensions.

When Democrats finally do get two-thirds majorities in the Legislature, they finally will face the reality that, as the Rolling Stones put it, You can’t always get what you want.

As even old-time mob bosses understood, if you twist arms too hard to extract “protection” money from the common people, eventually the common people move somewhere where there’s no mob.

Michigan, Here We Come

That’s already happening in large numbers in California, as reported by Joseph Vranich, the Business Relocation Coach. He records almost daily departures of major businesses from the tarnished Golden State. Here’s his latest report, from April 28:

Blackford Capital LLC
Out-of-State Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
California Community HQ or Facility: Irvine
California County: Orange
Information: The private equity firm, which was launched in Chicago in 2000 and relocated to Irvine, Calif., shortly after, has moved to Michigan.

Michigan? Don’t they have, like, really cold weather there? Yes, and they also have a rapidly improving business climate under new Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. He’s cutting taxes and streamlining business rules.

Michigan for a decade suffered the country’s highest unemployment rate. No more. Its unemployment rate is diving sharply, and now is well below California’s. Here’s a graph showing the dramatic change in unemployment in the two states, from 2002-2011:

The chart comes from Professor Mark J. Perry of the University of Michigan-Flint. He writes:

How interesting that Michigan, the “basket-case” state with the highest jobless rate in the country during most of the last recession, now has a jobless rate almost two points below the “unionacracy” of California.

And who would have thought we’d ever see this happening — some companies are now relocating from California to Michigan!  According to this report from Joe Vranich, 70 companies left California from January 1 through April 15 of this year, and the #3 destination behind Texas (14) and Arizona (6) was Michigan, with four relocations (tied with Nevada)….

Here’s something else: According to current U-Haul rates, it’s 35% more expensive to rent a one-way truck from Los Angeles to Grand Rapids ($2,673), than from Grand Rapids to Los Angeles ($1,980), implying a higher relative demand for trucks from California to Michigan than vice-versa, i.e., a net out-migration of people moving from California to Michigan.

Meanwhile, Back in Taxifornia

What’s going on in the real world is was not of concern to the Goodfellas at their Democratic convention, where the looting drumbeat continued. Reported the Los Angeles Times:

“Personalizing what an all-cuts budget means is the thing that has to be done at some point, and he may have to call out individual Republicans and ask their constituents to ask them why they won’t cooperate on a solution,” said one Democratic operative who asked to remain anonymous to avoid openly criticizing the administration’s tactics.

“Personalizing” — as in twisting arms, applying thumb screws and knee-capping.

Reported CalBuzz:

“I don’t know about you but I’m tired of playing defense,” said Attorney General Kamala Harris in the best speech we heard all weekend. “I say it’s time to play offense….

As Treasurer Bill Lockyer put it, ridiculing Republicans for refusing to lift a finger to help close state’s remaining $15.4 billion deficit: “It’s time you did your job and help the poorest in your own communities . . . If your district is 60 percent Latino and you represent white business elites and tea party activists, we’re coming after you!”

As I noted in a blog, that class-warfare rhetoric is nothing new from Lockyer — who has grown fat and wealthy from his almost 40 years of public “service,” and stands to chow down on a massive pension should he ever leave government. In 1995, Lockyer threatened at an Orange County Forum:

I don’t understand the new sort of greed, [the] I’m-gonna-take- care-of-myself-and-to-hell-with-everybody-else-in-the-world attitude that I increasingly hear from people that you [Orange County] send to Sacramento, and people I bump into in this county. It is shortsighted, self-destructive and let me tell you, eventually those people [poor people from other areas] are going to come down and burn down your gated communities.

Spoken just like a government version of Al Capone. Although at least Al gave people something they wanted: beer during Prohibition.

Whereas most Californians don’t want what’s such mob bosses as Brown, Lockyer, Perrez and Harris seek to force on them: higher taxes to pay for fatter paychecks and pensions for already pampered government Goodfellas.











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