11.20.2012 10

California: Golden in all the wrong ways

By Rebekah Rast — California is once again at the top.

Under the federal government’s new measurement of poverty, California is in last place — or at the top of the state rankings with a 23.5 percent poverty rate.

Meaning almost a fourth of its residents are living in poverty, according to the new “supplemental poverty measure” (SPM) developed by the Census Bureau.

This new system weighs the cost of housing, goods and services into its metrics more heavily than in the past.  Whether this method of measuring poverty is an improvement upon the last system or not, it sure doesn’t bode well for California.

This state, now under a super-majority of Democratic leadership so Republicans cannot stop any new schemes, is excelling in all the wrong areas and continues to sink in areas of growth and prosperity.

Unfortunately, poverty isn’t the only area where the Golden State reigns supreme.  California has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation at 10.2 percent.  The state faces an unfunded liability of $100 billion in its Public Employees’ Retirement System and $65 billion in its State Teachers’ Retirement System.  Furthermore, the state has a roughly $16 billion budget deficit.

The icing on the cake:  On Nov. 6 Californians approved of Proposition 30, a massive tax hike on the state’s wealthiest residents.  For single taxpayers with taxable income of $300,000, it will mean an extra $500 in taxes, reports the San Luis Obispo Tribune.  For a married couple filing jointly who pull in $600,000, it’s an extra $1,000 in state income taxes.  The article goes on to state that for the richest living in the Golden State making more than $1 million, their new tax rate hits 13.3 percent — almost a 30 percent rate hike above their current rate.

And, of course, the cherry on top:  California recently had its first cap-and-trade auction Nov. 14.  The California Air Resources Board said 23.1 million permits, which allow for one ton carbon, sold for $10.09 each at the auction.

California is paving the way for a cap-and-trade program envied by many other elected politicians — including the president.  This program stems from the state’s 2006 global warming regulations attempting to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.  Businesses in the state are now required to cut emissions to desired levels or buy pollution allowances from other companies.  Many California industries, including petroleum refiners, have been outspoken opponents of this program.

The Sacramento Bee explains, “Many affected businesses call it a cleverly disguised tax that will cost them upwards of $1 billion in the first year. The expense will balloon in 2015, when refineries will have to buy more credits to cover greenhouse gases spewed by cars and trucks.”

The paper goes on to quote Bill Klesse, the chief executive of Valero Energy Corp., owner of two California refineries, who ripped the upcoming auction during a call with investors. “They’re coming up with regulations that are totally not workable,” he said.

If this program is affecting the state’s refineries, you can bet it will affect their customers as well.  California has some of the most stringent fuel regulations in the nation already making the necessary product comparatively more expensive.  The state’s refineries and manufacturing businesses aren’t going to eat the cost of this cap-and-trade program on their own — it will be shared with the people of California.

With this new program going into effect, coupled with recently enacted higher taxes, it is not unreasonable to assume that many businesses are looking to make a move.

Neighboring Phoenix is offering free airfare and a hotel stay to CEOs of California businesses who are interested in Arizona’s much friendlier business environment.  Other companies have sought refuge in states like Texas, where burdening regulations that squeeze out any and all incentives from owning a business or hiring employees don’t exist.

California couldn’t be more upside down.  Instead of taking the road to prosperity it is on the one to poverty.  Instead of creating a business-friendly environment, it enacts strangling environmental and tax regulations that choke companies out.

If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, then perhaps at the end of the road sits Hotel California.

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) and NetRightDaily.com.  You can follow her on twitter at @RebekahRast.

  • Plus 3 protons

    Is this like reverse alchemy?

  • California is known as the state of IDIOTS, they have no concept of what the hel_ is really happening in this world. They all live in a FANTANSY world, SEX, DRUGS and ALCOHOL is their only achievement. Waiting for the day when that state falls off into the ocean.

  • Lotsa Democrats = lotsa poverty.

  • Rod

    Regulations upon regulations, raising taxes on items people have to have to survive. Middle class pays, and the entitlement ones get a free ride. Retirees are leaving CA for the right reasons. I’m looking right now in Texas, Arizona, and maybe Nevada. You should do the same thing!

  • BobM001

    YEAH! The “Golden State” is giving its residents a “GOLDEN SHOWER”!

  • No one can lay the blame on Latino’s for this, it is only part of it. The biggest problem in California (I have lived here all my life) is the public unions with absolutely unsustainable deals for the state and local workers. The Unions get the politicians elected and the politicians make laws that are “Union Friendly” on the taxpayers dime without the taxpayer having anything to say about it. And when we (the Taxpayer ) do say something, we are attacked as Hating children, teachers and firefighters and police which could not be further from the truth. I have raised 3 sons in this state and while taxes are totally out of control all our politicians do is say well this tax hike is for the children and teachers and then put the money in a general fund to give back to the unions, teachers never see a nickel. This has been repeated over and over all my life here in So Cal. The schools are actually horrible now, no woodshop, no metal shop, no auto shop, no sewing, no cooking classes and there are lots more that have been cut while the cost has gone Up up up. Some don’t have the money for sports team uniforms and have to beg the private secter. WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO? There aren’t even any lockers to keep books in, what is up with that? The difference? Big Unions.They were not part of the schoool system when I went to school here and California led the nation in grades, now we pay 10 times more and rank at the bottom and all the things here have been cut, Why? I think everyone knows why. GET INFORMED PEOPLE before it is truly too late.

  • How appropiate, a RED STAR adorn’s their RED state flag! The communist “domino theory” is not just for countries; now the head Muslim-Marxist has micro managed it down to states in the States! Like countries, the states will fall like dominos, one by one until their is no wealth or middle class left for the Left! Believe me, this is their strategy and the trgedy is that it is working because the “Re-PUNK-licans” and the so-called conservative “Punkits” haven’t the balls to tell it as it should be told as I just did!

  • spin43

    I swipe my EBT.

  • fatman45

    How’re those term limits workin’ out for ya over there?

  • chris

    and i thought california was called the land of fruits and nuts.

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