The Best Is Yet To Come


Here’s a sensible election postmortem from the always sensible Mark Steyn in an interview with Hugh Hewitt:

…[Hewitt] But it brings us, the last thing I want to ask you about, eight out of ten millennials, 18-29 year olds who are not white, so you’ve got Asian-American, Latinos, black, eight out of ten voted for Barack Obama. That is a terrible demographic, Mark Steyn.

[Steyn]: Yeah, and I would say what Barack Obama did was quite brilliant. I’ve lived in places where politics is tribal. I’ve lived in Belfast, and in the province of Quebec, you know, in both places you basically have secessionists and loyalists, and people vote tribally. The present Democratic coalition is one based on tribal identity. You vote because you’re a woman, you vote your lady parts as Obama advised them. If you’re black, you vote based on your ethnicity. If you’re lesbian, you vote based on your orientation. The Republican Party asked people to vote as citizens, to say that that is your most important identity. You might be lesbian, you might be Hispanic or whatever, but you’re a citizen, and you vote as a citizen. And I’m very wary of just going down the route of identity group pandering, because I think it’s ultimately destructive of cohesive, it’s the biggest argument in favor of big government, because you say well, we’ve got all these competing identity groups, we’ve got a bunch of Muslims on one side of the street, and then a bunch of gay guys on the other side of the street, and only big government can mediate the competing interest of the fire breathing mullahs and the hedonist gays. And I think you damage the polity going down that path…

And I’ve been wondering how California does it; that is, how do they keep the lights on (at least most of the time) and pay their bills despite being totally broke? I know how the federal government does it – by borrowing from China and printing money, but California, unlike Washington which hasn’t had a budget in years, must “balance” its budget.

Today’s lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal explains how and lists some of bills coming due:

…Lawmakers have been borrowing and deferring debts for the past decade merely to close their annual deficits, and those bills will soon come due. The legislature has raided $4.3 billion from special funds and deferred $10 billion in constitutionally required payments to schools.

The state has also borrowed $10 billion from Uncle Sam to pay for jobless benefits and $313 million this year from the state disability insurance trust fund for debt service on those federal loans. Democrats have proposed replenishing the state’s barren unemployment insurance trust fund by raising payroll taxes on employers. Expect that to happen now.

Then there’s the more than $200 billion in unfunded liabilities the state has accrued for worker retirement benefits, which this year cost taxpayers $6.5 billion. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System says it needs an additional $3.5 billion and $10 billion annually for the next 30 years to amortize its debt.

The state has $73 billion in outstanding bonds for capital projects and $33 billion in voter-authorized bonds that the state hasn’t sold in part because it can’t afford higher debt payments. Unissued bonds include $9.5 billion for a bullet train, which will require $50 billion to $90 billion more to complete. Sacramento will also need more money to support an $11 billion bond to retrofit the state’s water system, which is planned for the 2014 ballot.

So Californians are now the highest taxed people in the country (at least those who pay or can’t avoid taxes), and as Obama said Tuesday night, “The best [read: worst] is yet to come,” now that the Democrats have a legislative “super majority.”

Enjoy.

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