California's Latest Pension Hubris

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

California's own public-sector retirement system is reaching crisis levels. What can go wrong by inserting the state into the management of retirement plans for California’s private workforce even as its own government-managed plans amass hundreds of billions of dollars in public debt? State lawmakers haven’t addressed falling funding levels and growing unfunded liabilities for years, even as they vote in favor of creating a single-payer healthcare system that would cost, by the Legislature’s own conservative estimates, more than the entire state budget. More of the same.

Can California GOP Reignite a Tax Revolt?

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

The fate of Republican control of the U.S. House of Representatives might come down to this simple question: Are enough California voters angry enough about the recently passed tax increase on gas and vehicle-registration fees to come out in droves? If they do, this potential anti-tax wave will benefit a handful of Republican candidates struggling to retain GOP seats in Southern California congressional districts that are trending more Democratic.

Is California too much of a good thing?

Wesley Pruden, Washington Times

The idea of altering California is something of a pipe dream, but with a billionaire willing to throw so much money at a dream, others have to take it semi-seriously. Congress might not agree, and neither might the courts. This is all uncharted country, and who knows where the trails might lead, probably to unexpected places. We might one day have more stars on the flag than there are in either heaven or on Alabama, which would require erasing the stripes to make room. Another Civil War without all that trouble might be on the way, anyway.

Is One California Really Enough?

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

Californians have been arguing about their state boundaries since it was admitted into the union in 1850. There have been more than 200 efforts since then to rearrange its boundaries, which were the product of happenstance and greed (the desire to grab as many of the gold fields as possible). It’s fine to try it again, but the reason for any current break up has to be clear. It’s not only to create smaller, more geographically compatible portions. It’s to give the state’s more conservative regions a chance to unyoke themselves from the liberal Democrats who have complete control of the place.

California and Conservatism

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

I do not know who the next charismatic California Republican leader might be to lead a Reagan-populist revolt against the welfare state. Most likely, if it is to happen, it will probably be a Hispanic conservative who will sound a lot like the take-no-prisoners Reagan, and who will likely be just as shunned by the state’s and nation’s Republican establishment.

Why Not Celebrate the Gulags, Too?

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

Those of us accustomed to California’s wacky brand of liberal politics often roll our eyes at some of the lefties who run the state Legislature. Nevertheless, I always figured there was a limit to how far left legislators would go. That’s why recent legislation to create a new holiday was a shocker, even for me. Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, introduced a bill authorizing school districts to combine the Lincoln and Washington days into a single day, and turning May 1 into “International Workers’ Day.” Districts would then be required to “teach” kids about the glories of the labor movement.

Slow Death of the Train to Nowhere

John Fund, National Review

We would be far better off to follow the example of most industrialized countries by transferring our nation’s air-traffic-control system to a public-private partnership that could more quickly introduce new technology and reduce airport delays. A bill to do just that was endorsed last year by both airlines and the union of air-traffic-control operators, but it got bogged down in Congress. Let’s work on improving what we know makes sense — reliable inter-city air transportation — before chasing the costly delusion of high-speed rail.

When it’s finally a friendly ‘adios’ to California

Wesley Pruden, Washington Times

If California really wants to say goodbye, there’s a way close at hand, which is closing in on the land of fruits and nuts already. The government in Washington could extract all the military bases and the high technology from Silicon Valley and send it to Texas. The departing middle class is on its way there already, and California would be turned back to Mexico. Hasta la vista, amigos.

Surprise! Legislature Won’t Unionize Its Staff

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

The California Legislature constantly does the bidding of public-sector and private unions,and imposes wage rules and work laws that make it difficult to do business here. Why shouldn’t lawmakers have to deal with the same laws themselves? Nothing would accomplish that more successfully than allowing their own employees to unionize. What’s good enough for us should be good enough for them.

California’s crazy one-party liberal politics is why I had to finally leave the state -- and I’m not alone

Chuck DeVore, Fox News

In 2011, after spending my adult life in California, working in the once-thriving aerospace industry there, serving 19 years in the state’s National Guard and six years in the legislature, I picked up my family and moved to Texas. California isn’t the future, it’s what America’s 2016 election of Donald Trump saved the nation from becoming. It’s not a harbinger of things to come, but it will soon be an example of the fate we narrowly avoided.

California’s Bad ‘Cup of Joe’

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

The initiative process has created some good laws, such as 1978’s tax-limiting Proposition 13. And few of us on the more conservative side of things want to hobble the process too much, given that it’s our only remaining check on a very liberal Legislature, but there’s no denying that activist groups often pass “mom and apple pie” measures that are filled with dangerous and costly nonsense that ends up leading to decisions such as this one in Los Angeles (a judge ruled Starbucks and others could be liable for failing to put warning labels on coffee cups).

California Commits Massive Medicaid Fraud

David Catron, The American Spectator

Since the advent of Obamacare, inefficiency pays. The more ineligible enrollees they sign up, the more money they get from Washington. As to claiming “unallowable federal reimbursement,” there’s no real penalty for doing so. If a doctor claims “unallowable” Medicaid reimbursement, he goes to jail for fraud. If California does so, HHS sends a check and has the OIG study the situation. That’s how Californication works. And the taxpayers don’t even get a kiss.

Democrats Sue Over Citizenship Question In The Census

The Democrats’ eruption over the citizenship question is that states with large illegal alien populations don’t want a future Congress to eliminate illegal aliens from being counted for the purposes of congressional reapportionment and allocation of federal funds where they are currently stealing from the rest of America’s taxpayers and voters by inflating their population with illegal aliens.

Can California do what the Confederacy couldn’t?

Wesley Pruden, Washington Times

In the chance that California secessionists succeed, and there’s no Abraham Lincoln to step forward to “save the union,” someone would owe an apology to Robert E. Lee (and should restore those statues at once). If nothing recedes like success, we can look to the past to see that nothing recedes like an attempt to secede, either. It’s too soon to dig up Confederate money.

California’s Reputation for Loony Left Behavior Only Gets Worse

John Fund, National Review

On the one side, you have liberals who are thumbing their nose at legitimate law enforcement. Their allies include the mayor of Oakland and the owners of Hasta Muerta, who have contempt for the rule of law and those who enforce it. On the other side, there’s the admittedly controversial Trump administration. But it has a powerful argument that transcends partisan politics: If you don’t like the law, work to change it. But don’t prove your membership in the Loony Left by spitting on it and pretending that makes you virtuous.

California chaos -- Unchallenged liberalism leaves homelessness, drug abuse, garbage in its wake

Tammy Bruce, Washington Times

Having used needles and human waste on your sidewalks isn’t just a disgusting inconvenience, it’s a deadly biological hazard and an indicator of the breakdown of civil society. So the next time a Democrat tells you they know best, laugh and let them know your family deserves better than poo maps, hazmat homeless camps, and little girls having to avoid drug needles on the sidewalk.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wakes Up

While things are far from perfect at DOJ conservatives can take heart that the Attorney General has forcefully taken on one of the most important challenges facing the Trump presidency and constitutional government; California’s “sanctuary” for illegal aliens policies.

California Is a Modern Example of the Failure of Progressive Socialism

Allen West, CNS News

California, just like Venezuela, is a modern example of the failure of progressive socialism. It only creates two classes of individuals: the incredibly wealthy (the Soviets called it the Politburo) and the incredibly poor – folks who eat from garbage cans, defecate in the streets, and cannot afford a roof over their heads. I would offer that this is not what we want for America, but the liberal progressive media will never tell you that.

Understanding the California Mind

Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness

In California, civilization is speeding in reverse—well aside from the decrepit infrastructure, dismal public schools, and sky-high home prices. Or rather, the state travels halfway in reverse: anything involving the private sector (smartphones, Internet, new cars, TV, or getting solar panels installed) is 21st-century. Anything involving the overwhelmed government or public utilities (enforcing dumping laws, licensing dogs, hooking up solar panel meters to the grid, observing common traffic courtesies) is early 20th-century.

Christmas Lessons from California

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

Coastal California is hilly, difficult to build on, and prone to devastating earthquakes. It is semi-arid, without much of an aquifer. The life-giving watershed of the Sierra Nevada is more than 200 miles away. Remember that voting progressively in the abstract does not automatically translate into living progressively in the concrete.