How many times have we heard the phrase from (mostly) Democratic run government, "if we only had more money the problems would be solved." But, government is a perpetually hungry machine, it never has enough - never.
In the last 25 years or so California seems to have reached and surpassed a tipping point, where the only way to go is what is traditionally called downward - there just aren't enough people left to outvote the takers i.e. those in charge of the Democratic party who are working feverishly to change the State to something unrecognizable today. So, absent some huge awakening and a change of heart on the part of the press - which will not happen, there is nowhere to go in California but down, or rather toward a society that more closely resembles the third world than anything else - lots of poor, a few rich, and a well paid (for the moment, but always in comparison to the poor) bureaucracy.
And, as I've said before, the Democrats, who are now in firm control wouldn't have it any other way. The know that confiscatory taxation and senseless regulation drives away Republicans, which furthers their hold on power. To Democrats, irrational, burdensome tax and regulatory policy, is something to be encouraged, since it forces out those who disagree. Lost population can be made up through immigration, legal and illegal, the poorer and more unskilled the better. If people are poorer, if people don't work, if government workers make unreasonably high salaries, and all of the other hallmarks of a blue state - then, according to Democrats, this is GOOD NOT bad. And when business leaves, that is a positive for Democrats.
Understand this: To apply the old rules to these people is to make the fundamental mistake that Democrats have the same view of what's good and what's bad as the rest of us. They don't.
In short, California Democrats - well, Democrats in general, have a different agenda, and encouraging people to be self sufficient and prosperous is NOT considered "good", it is something to be discouraged.
As I've said before - and reiterate since it shows where this is all going; to understand how this works, simply examine what Democrats have done in the African American community in the last 50 years. It goes like this: adopt policies that destroy the two parent family, criminalize the community, encourage governmental dependence at all levels, use "anti-poverty" programs as a way to funnel money to favored individuals and causes, including re-election of Democrats, while at the same time carefully tailoring the programs so that they will never be successful - you think that half a century is enough time to figure out these programs don't work? - and ever wonder just how Obama was able to afford a $1.65 million dollar home as a "community organizer"? Then ensure that the children have no interest in education so they remain poor and dependent, have a compliant media change the culture so that to even discuss the problems in a serious way or not according to rules laid down by Democrats isn't "politically correct". Those who point out what's going on are dismissed as "racists" - which the same media has made an insult that can kill a political career. And Democrats, especially black Democrats use the racist label freely, in part to warn others of the consequences of talking.
Democrats do all these things - the equivalent of a national holocaust - in open view for half a century - and the result is that group gives to the people who have engineered their utter destruction, with no end in sight close to 100% of the vote.
Amazing isn't it?
And the same process is going on in California. This study is simply a way to provide Democrats with cover for more soaking of the taxpayers, so that more Republicans leave which means more power for Democrats to...and on and on and on.
And it doesn't take much looking to see that Democrats are using the very same tactics on Latinos that they used on African Americans for half a century.
And, there are all sorts of ways that Democrats conserve and consolidate power. Here in New Jersey Democrats have put huge parts of the more rural areas of the state off limits to development under the phony guise of protecting 'Pinelands, 'Highlands' etc. This, of course, ensures that the more Democratic urban areas don't lose control to the Republican areas of the state. Of course, that is just the icing on the cake - Democrats, have transformed the State from low tax, high employment, business friendly, to a overtaxed and regulated blue state nightmare that even Chris Cristie won't come close to changing.
Almost ALL such "tax reform" plans are smokescreens for putting more money in the hands of politicians.
Given that CA is already one of the highest taxed states in the country, the idea that we need to raise MORE money for politicians is beyond laughable.
"...an unlikely group of saviors." You are being far too kind. These are the boneheads who made the mess. This is like asking the foxes how to save the hen house.
Great column Steven.
Think Long danced around the issues but didn't do the important work - changing the structure.
The mark of political posturing of late is attacking symptoms and not addressing the real cure.
The structure - large districts which require huge fundraising - is the problem. Until we address that, we are not going to see Long Term solutions.