Monday, May 04, 2009

Cause and Effect

George Will has a good column out on California's economic crisis and its cause: the high regulatory and taxation costs levied by the state coupled with an exploding government bureaucracy.
California’s business costs are more than 20 percent higher than the average state’s. If, since 1990, state spending increases had been held to the inflation rate plus population growth, the state would have a $15 billion surplus instead of a $42 billion budget deficit, which is larger than the full budgets of all but 10 states.

Since 1990, the number of state employees has increased by more than a third. In Schwarzenegger’s less than six years as governor, per capita government spending, adjusted for inflation, has increased nearly 20 percent.

Liberal orthodoxy has made the state dependent on a volatile source of revenues — high income tax rates on the wealthy. California’s income and sales taxes are among the nation’s highest, its business conditions among the worst, as measured by 16 variables directly influenced by the Legislature. Unemployment, the nation’s fourth highest, is 11.2 percent.
HT Instapundit


Blogger Burgess Laughlin said...

George Will's column is helpful in providing information about the approaching catastrophe in California. Like some other conservatives (and some leftists, from a different perspective), his contribution is to document and publicize problems.

Unfortunately he (and his leftist equivalents) offer no long-term solutions. He indicates no disagreement with the political and ethical principles which support the legislature of California: statism in politics and altruism in ethics. George Will's main complaint is "too much" (taxation, for example) or "too little" (fiscal responsibility, for example). These are mere questions of degree, not of principle.

For those who do advocate one natural world, reason as an exclusive guide, rational egoism, and laissez-faire capitalism, George Will leaves a vacuum to be filled. That is an opportunity.

5:27 AM  

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