Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sink or Swim

I was reading an article the other day on California's current financial crisis. Not only does the state have a massive deficit, it's credit rating is now the lowest of all 50 states. There is now talk of California requesting a federal bailout.

According to the article I linked to above, Jean Ross (the executive director of the California Budget Project) says that the state of California is "on the verge of system failure." Ross' solution? "We have to get some federal money. It would be bad for the U.S. and, arguably, bad for the world to do the shock-therapy approach.” Great idea; the federal bailouts have worked so well thus far. That's why GM is doing wonderfully now and nationwide unemployment is... oh, wait.

I'm sorry, but a federal bailout of that state (in which I spent about 15 years of my life) is a miserable idea. California is in trouble because Sacramento has yet to find a social or welfare program it doesn't like, the state's absurd environmental policies have driven away many profitable businesses, and because Californian politicians have sold the state to public employees' unions for large chunks of money and votes. Contrary to Ross' view, the worst thing the federal government could do would be to bailout California. Not only would that put an unfair burden on other, more fiscally responsible states, but it would encourage California and others (e.g., Illinois, New York) to continue their reckless, self-destructive spending. Why change your behavior when you believe your beneficent Uncle Sam will help you out in a jam? And the fact that the U.S. is fast becoming as irresponsible with a buck as California (and is likely to end up where the Golden State is in a decade or so) is even more concerning.

With apologies to my many family members and friends still in California, this naturalized Idahoan thinks that it's time to let California sink or swim. Right now, Californian's only hope is to get rid of the dead-weight politicians that they seem to like so much at the polls, find some financially responsible ones, and tighten the belt for the next couple decades.

1 comment:

  1. Good point. What a great idea to punish the states that are fiscally responsible. Sends a great message to the irresponsible ones. Why should anybody be tight with their money when the government is just going to bail them out? Hmmmmmm.



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