If you are not a Democrat in charge of California, you might have noticed the sad decline of the once-great state. Most of the decline can be tied to Democrat policies. If you don’t want your state to look like California, don’t vote Democrats into office.
That’s right. The state of Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein and Maxine Waters is an unmitigated disaster.
Newsom, Brown and the Democrats
If you listen to Governor Gavin Newsom or former Governor Jerry Brown, you might think that California is the best state in the country.
Brown and Newsom and many Democrats like to crow about all that California is doing to stop climate change. They have taxed gasoline more, established cap and trade, and set goals to make California “carbon-neutral” by 2040. They have pushed for electric cars, wanting 5 million of them on the road by 2030.
But here’s a dirty little secret. The electricity used to charge the cars is still being largely produced using fossil fuels. In 2018, Governor Brown signed a bill mandating that 100% of California’s electricity grid would be powered by “green” sources by 2045. And of course, while the state is transitioning to greener sources of energy, the cost of electricity is much higher in most of California than in other states.
High energy costs
Meanwhile, the people in California are bearing the brunt of the pet policies of the Democrat leadership. The governor is a Democrat, and both the Assembly and the Senate are majority Democrat, so these policies are passed even though they hurt the state’s economy.
If you don’t qualify for home energy subsidies, you are spending a lot of money on electricity. Californians that rely on PGE for their power can spend $400-$500 a month if they are heating or cooling their homes. Price per kWh can be almost $0.40. Gas prices range from $3-$4 throughout the year.
Devastating wildfires and climate change
For all the talk about the dangers of climate change, Gov. Brown and Gov. Schwarzenegger (a Republican and an environmentalist) before him really didn’t prepare California for the devastating wildfires that have burned throughout the state the last five years. and it’s not like they hadn’t been warned.
In 2006, the Western Governors Association proposed that the overgrowth in western forests could be used to produce electricity cheaply at about 8 cents per KWH, and reduce not only carbon emissions but also the undergrowth that could fuel devastating wildfires.
As the vast forests of the Western United States have become overgrown over the past century, dramatic wildfires have become more common, putting vital habitats, watersheds, and communities at risk. The biomass energy industry offers a low environmental impact, productive use for dead wood that would otherwise require open burning or – more likely – serve as fuel for a future wildfire. Use of woody biomass for energy production provides an important economic incentive for fuel treatment.
If only Schwarzenegger and Brown had acted back then.
But, instead of cleaning up the forests, both state and federal, they spent a lot of time getting legislation into place to change our energy production grid. (After the devastating Camp Fire in 2018, Brown, just before leaving office, did sign two bills that address forest management.) The fires have cost hundreds of billions of dollars. It makes one wonder if the Democrats really believed what they were saying about the urgency of climate change.
These recent wildfires have hurt people in the rural areas of California as insurance companies refuse to renew policies and people have to pay thousands more for the California Fair plan to insure their homes. Home values are starting to decline, too, which, for most folks, is their biggest asset.
PGE, the state-sponsored utility monopoly, has been responsible for starting many of the recent wildfires. They have chosen to try to avoid sparking more fires by improving their infrastructure, but while they are doing that, they are also shutting off the power if there is an impending wind event in an area.
This policy has led to many rolling blackouts in the fall of 2019, which has led to many businesses, schools, and households to go without the electricity needed to run pretty much everything. PGE plans on using this policy for several more years.
A laundry list of problems making the state less livable
Many Californians moved into the rural/wildland interface to escape the urban areas of the state which have become intolerably crowded, and more lately, crime-ridden, dirty, dangerous and depressing. The state population continues to grow, but water storage, and housing remain inadequate for the new residents.
California’s sanctuary state law SB54, income taxes (top at 13%), energy taxes, gas taxes (47.3 cents/gallon), building restrictions (low growth, no growth policies), criminal justice reform laws, and the homelessness epidemic have combined to make living in the state intolerable for many now.
Small businesses and farms struggling
Small businesses struggle to remain open as new minimum wage laws make labor too expensive. Income taxes take a large chunk of everyone’s earnings. Healthcare costs are high.
Farmers in the big valley, the country’s most productive farmland, have been struggling over water rights for years, now, as it seems our leaders value wild and free rivers and fish over our agricultural economic engine and the families that farm.
Many farmers have sold their farms and moved to other states or quit farming altogether. A decline in California’s agricultural output will affect the whole country as a large majority of the nation’s fruit and vegetables are grown there.
Visiting our once beautiful and desirable cities has become a health hazard as the streets in San Francisco and Los Angeles are littered with human excrement, drug paraphernalia, and mentally unstable and often drunk or high homeless people. Many other cities in the state have the same problems, as California has the highest homeless population in the country.
Big budget small results
California has a huge state budget, nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars, but our infrastructure continues to crumble, and the state agencies seem powerless and moneyless to fix anything. Californians drive on roads that are so bad that their cars fall apart faster.
California spends hundreds of millions of dollars on the homeless problem, but it continues to grow worse. The press will only run stories lauding the homeless, but first-hand accounts from first responders tell a different story.
Hospitals and first responders are spending a lot of time and resources on the homeless, and they are even putting their lives in danger to aid the homeless, frequently being attacked as they render services.
Don’t let your state look like California
Though some people, like Democrat candidate Michael Bloomberg, want the rest of the country to look like California, many Californians have read the writing on the wall, so to speak, and are voting with their feet to find states that don’t.