Monday, November 02, 2009

It Ain't Working......

Great article in the Sunday LA Times By William Voegeli. He compares the different approaches to managing state functions using Texas and California as the focus. California does not fare to well.


In America's federal system, some states, such as California, offer residents a "package deal" that bundles numerous and ambitious public benefits with the high taxes needed to pay for them. Other states, such as Texas, offer packages combining modest benefits and low taxes. These alternatives, of course, define the basic argument between liberals and conservatives over what it means to get the size and scope of government right.

Roger Simon chimes in …. “All our best intentions have gone to mush in a welter of competing, greedy interest groups.”

Today's public benefits fail that test, as urban scholar Joel Kotkin of and Chapman University told the Los Angeles Times in March: "Twenty years ago, you could go to Texas, where they had very low taxes, and you would see the difference between there and California. Today, you go to Texas, the roads are no worse, the public schools are not great but are better than or equal to ours, and their universities are good. The bargain between California's government and the middle class is constantly being renegotiated to the disadvantage of the middle class."

The article caught the eye of John over at POWERLINE

But those higher taxes in California must be going somewhere. Why aren't they benefiting those many thousands of citizens who are leaving the state for greener pastures?

In what respects, then, does California "excel"? California's state and local government employees were the best compensated in America, according to the Census Bureau data for 2006. And the latest posting on the website of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility shows 9,223 former civil servants and educators receiving pensions worth more than $100,000 a year from California's public retirement funds. The "dues" paid by taxpayers in order to belong to Club California purchase benefits that, increasingly, are enjoyed by the staff instead of the members.

No doubt similar studies in other high tax states, like my home state of Minnesota, would show the same thing: taxpayers aren't getting anything in particular for their money, likely less than citizens in other states, but public employees are doing very well indeed. This explains why public employees' unions have become the Democratic Party's most loyal supporters, while those who are not on the public employee gravy train increasingly are packing up their belongings and moving to lower-tax states like Texas.

The debate, really, is over. High-tax states don't deliver a better lifestyle--not for taxpayers, anyway. One of these days, voters will figure out that the same thing holds true at the national level. Higher taxes may be OK if you're a public employee; otherwise, they're a dead loss.

Callyfornia…leading the way as an example of what not to be. I wonder if the Libtards will listen? I doubt it.

No comments: