Dems claim GOP is cause of California’s economic demise

Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters Undesignated 8 Comments


Periodically liberals desperately try to share the blame for the California disaster with Republicans – or even stick GOP politicians with most of the “credit.” They have two stock explanations for the Golden State’s downward slide.

1. Democrats don’t have ENOUGH control of California. Even with 60% or more majorities in both state houses, that’s not enough for the Democrats to properly establish the Western European socialism model they aspire to.

As liberals see it, the state simply can’t raise taxes fast enough. And higher taxes somehow cure everything.

Trust me, my progressive friends – aside from the lack of a Euro, California is already European Union’s west coast!

I don’t think anyone takes this first lame excuse seriously.

2. Since California elects Republican governors more often than Democrats – and since governors “run the state” – it’s really primarily the GOP’s fault we are in the mess we are in.

This latter argument popped up again in a recent WALL ST JOURNAL letter to the editor (at the bottom of this piece). It inspired me to write the following letter to the editor – which may or may not be published, in whole or in part. We can only hope.

Dear Editor:

John Lindsay’s cutesy letter [see below] blames most of California’s fiscal nightmare on the past CA GOP governors who often “ran the state” from 1967 to the present. He needs to take a remedial high school civics course. It’s the LEGISLATURE that makes the laws and passes the budgets.

And which party has controlled the CA state legislature during modern times? From Wikipedia: “Except for the period from 1995 to 1996, the [California State] Assembly has been in Democratic hands since the 1970 election (even while the governor’s office has gone back and forth between Republicans and Democrats). The [State] Senate has been in Democratic hands continuously since 1970.”

Not to absolve our Republican governors for some responsibility in our state’s downslide. In a true blue state such as CA (and Massachusetts), elected GOP governors are pretty much RINO’s on fiscal issues.

Even Ronald Reagan was not a consistent fiscally conservative during his tenure. All our GOP governors since (and including) Reagan have at some point supported raising state tax rates during their time in office – passively or actively backing the Democrats’ tax proposals in the legislature. Sadly, both Democrat and Republican CA governors since 1970 have seldom used their budget line item veto, typically “red lining” only about 0.25% of a state budget.

Richard Rider, Chairman
San Diego Tax Fighters





We’re Used to Taking Blame—However . . .

The Dec. 21 letter “Californians Have Themselves to Blame,” about our high-speed train fiasco, puts the blame on all Californians (especially liberals) for the demise of our once-glorious state because we have voted for “Democratic control of their state time after time.”

Californians are by now quite used to being criticized for all manner of aberrant behavior, especially of the liberal variety. But, all you California-bashers please keep this list of California governors in mind before you take a swing at the California piñata again:

Republican Ronald Reagan (1967-1975); Democrat Jerry Brown (1975-1983); Republican George Deukmejian 1983-1991); Republican Pete Wilson (1991-1999); Democrat Gray Davis (1999- Recalled in 2003); Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger (2003-2010); Democrat Jerry Brown (2010 onward).

So, to summarize: Republicans (including the storied Mr. Reagan) ran the state for twice as long as Democrats over the past four and a half decades.

Darn those liberals.

John Lindsay

Pacific Palisades, Calif.


Comments 8

  1. When involved in a traffic accident, there is the doctrine of “last clear chance” that determines who is most responsible. Likewise, the person who has a line-item veto over the budget is the one that is most responsible for the budget.

    Can I emulate Jim now and close comments for this post?

  2. Post

    Actually the line item veto is not too effective if the budget has the support of a 2/3 majority (as was the case until this year). After all, the veto can be overturned with the same 2/3 vote.

    That being said, the GOP govs have been disappointing. But not from YOUR standpoint, Alger. They did what the Democrats wanted them to do. Think of it as having all Democrats for governors!

    Therein lies the irony. Democrats blame the GOP governors for not vetoing the Democrats’ legislation and budgets! Of course, when the GOP gov DOES veto a bill or line out some budget item, the Democrats go wild with feigned indignation. Go figure.

  3. I guess we will never know if any veto would have been overridden since the vetoes were never even proffered, not even by the Governor named Reagan.

  4. Post

    Actually line items vetoes occur with EVERY budget — I suspect that EVERY governor (at least since Reagan, and probably before) has used the line item veto to SOME degree.

    Most such vetoes are for small amounts, but vetoes nevertheless. They usually total about one quarter of one percent of the budget. They can be overridden with a 2/3 majority of the two legislative bodies. Frankly I don’t know how many are sustained, and how many are overridden.

  5. A simple search offers some details on the overall numbers and percentages of vetoes offered by various governors as compared to bills that became law, but only for each bill as a whole. There seems to be little in the arena of line item vetoes, meaning how governors compare in the area of vetoing parts of bills. But, that was a simple search. Maybe a reader can offer some more info or someone wants to search the state’s online records. Have at it…

  6. I have been waiting for an opportunity to say this all year and was beginning to think it wouldn’t happen:

    Richard, you are correct.

  7. Agree and didn’t mean to imply otherwise. A simple search still doesn’t come up with any real data about line item vetoes on budget bills.

    This may be as close as we get as far as a Beer Summit between Richard and Alger, by the way.

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