California is officially known as the Golden State. After years of being under the control of Democrats pushing a very liberal agenda, however, the Golden State has become decidedly “Blue” – and in more ways than one.
William Baldwin, writing in Forbes magazine, identified what he labeled the “death spiral states.” California was among 11 states where government dependents outnumber private sector workers. He used the term “takers vs. makers” and in California there are 139 “takers” for every 100 “makers.”
This unsustainable burden has led to record levels of taxation on the “makers” – both individuals and businesses. According to the Tax Foundation’s March 2013 report, California’s state sales tax, gasoline tax, and personal income tax are the highest in the nation. We also have one of the highest unemployment rates and one of the lowest home ownership rates in the country.
Unfortunately, the economic environment is no better for businesses. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported: “Forbes’ 2012 Best States for Business and Careers report ranks California 41st out of the 50 states when it comes to business climate. The report’s criteria is based on six factors – business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. With a population of more than 37.8 million, California ranked low in all areas except for growth prospects, in which it topped the list. But it ranked 43rd among the 50 states in business costs, 40th in regulatory environment, 37th in economic climate, 30th in labor supply and 25th in quality of life.”
Former California State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore contrasts his former home state (run by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown) with his newly adopted state of Texas (managed by Republican Governor Rick Perry): “California and Texas, alike in many ways, have diametrically opposed public policies. California’s state and local tax burden ranks as America’s 4th-highest compared to Texas at 45th. California taxes a 42 percent larger share of state income than does Texas… [and] its industrial electrical rates are 88 percent higher than in Texas.” DeVore also notes: “Between 2006 and 2012, California had a net loss of 359,000 jobs while Texas, even with a recession, had a net gain of more than 1,000,000 jobs, a testament to the state’s low-tax, small government, pro-business environment.”
So how do we turn our sad, blue state back into the Golden State? By turning it Red!