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Why do we spend money we don't have on things we don't need?
As Goes California, So Goes The Nation
These days, however, we can only hope that adage isn't true. The "Golden State" is showing some wear. That golden paint is peeling off, and the rot underneath is showing.
California is a state that just doesn't seem to know when to quit. The state government is largely run by liberal Democrats ' the state legislature is dominated by leftists ' and even when we elected a Republican governor a few years back, amid wild speculation that Arnold could be the next Ronald Reagan, he just turned out to be a RINO ' a left-of-center moderate wearing the Republican title as a matter of convenience.
California's biggest problem right now is that our state is broke'but the legislature just can't seem to figure that out. It was just a few months ago that the state controller announced that California was on track to run out of money sooner than projected ' not that the state was going to run out of money unexpectedly, just that we would run out sooner than was originally thought. Meanwhile, the legislature has been contemplating such high-minded legislation as single-payer health care (which would bankrupt the state), which thankfully stalled in the state Senate earlier this year, and the so-called anti-Arizona bill, which passed the Senate, and basically seeks to make the entire state into a "sanctuary city."
One of the most recent developments in California that should have the nation's attention is our high-speed rail project. If ever there were an example of government lies, miscalculations, and inefficiency, it is California's proposed high speed rail. Since the project was first passed by California's voters, costs have risen substantially, to the point where the only logical course of action would be to cancel the project completely and wait until the state could even contemplate the concept of affording it (in other words, drop the project until the end of time). Instead, the California High Speed Rail Authority has pressed on, making changes to the project in order to bring costs down, and proposing new legislation to get more money ' including a federal grant ' for the project.
The sad part is, the US federal government has less money to spare on California's high speed rail boondoggle than the state of California does. With President Obama running deficits in the trillions, and the state of California underwater, you would think that the luxury of a high speed rail system could wait until progressivism is abolished and people actually have money to spend on such frivolities.
But that isn't the case. Instead, the California legislature voted in favor of a massive bond measure to fund the high speed rail project. This is typical of California, and is one of the reasons the Golden State is in the mess it's in. Bond measures are to California legislators what credit cards are to college freshmen. California has been out of money for years, but the Democrats will never have problems financing their pet projects as long as long as they can get financing for their bad ideas.
California doesn't need high speed rail. While the construction of a high speed rail system might temporarily help California's unemployment woes - unemployment in California has consistently been higher than the national average - the adoption of bond measures to fund those jobs will only lengthen California's woes. Those bonds must be paid back, after all.
But this is the business model of the Left: get it done right now, get the money by whatever means possible, give that handout to the voters, and maybe they can buy enough votes to stay in office.
This philosophy is what makes President Obama's attacks against Mitt Romney so ironic. The president continues to attack Romney for being a successful businessman. Meanwhile, President Obama's "investments" haven't done nearly so well. The Obama administration has sunken millions of taxpayer dollars into solar energy companies - usually in the form of loan guarantees. Solyndra was just the first of Obama's taxpayer-funded energy investments that went wrong. And even after the Obama administration acknowledged the failure of Solyndra and tried to blame it on President Bush (even though that accusation was provably false), his administration has continued to invest in failing solar companies, and has continued to lose millions of taxpayer dollars.
In a way, the saying that "as goes California, so goes the nation" holds true. California has stood as a great socialist experiment for decades, and California's woes due to the state government's lack of restraint are now being mirrored on a grand scale across America, from our nation's debt woes to our stagnating economy and the overreaching hand of our government.
We can only hope that the trend will not continue - or that California will finally get some sense and start rolling back the liberal insanity that has plagued our state for too long.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)