Just four years ago, political commentators claimed that the Republican Party was in imminent decline. But, in response to Democratic overreaching after their 2008 victory, the GOP seized the House in 2010 — and is now poised to take back the White House, if not the Senate.
Pundits also talked about the GOP’s demise after the 1976 post-Watergate election — when Democrats took the presidency and resounding majority control of both houses of Congress. But, you may recall, California Republicans helped propel a national realignment just four years later — when Ronald Reagan won the presidency and the GOP took the Senate, for the first time in 26 years.
Today, California is suffering through that same Democrat overreaching since Democrat Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. returned as governor in 2010. If history is a guide, the Golden State will—as in that 2010 House overhaul — likely see the pendulum swinging toward a GOP revival over the next three election cycles.
If you think the economy is bad nationally, it is truly bad here in California. Unemployment is more than 8 percent nationally, but it’s a ghastly 10.7 percent in California— with underemployment at 21 percent. California has eight of the top 10 “worst” unemployment and foreclosure areas in the U. S. Three of our cities have or will declare bankruptcy.
The reason for this is simple: California has the nation’s highest combined tax-regulatory-debt burden. Add to that unfunded mandates burdening both the state and its communities — and you have the prescription for disaster.
While states like North Dakota have policies beneficial to a full employment economy, California is chasing jobs over state lines. This has led not only to higher unemployment, but to perennial state budget deficits. California has one million fewer residents working than just five years ago. State revenues are down nearly $30 billion annually.
In response, Democrats in the state legislature first opted for putting a tax increase on ballot — which would give Californians the highest state income tax rate in the country. Then they voted for a high-speed rail project that taxpayers can’t afford. Democrats in Sacramento also spend their time on wasteful bills, like one that would have unionized babysitters. Such is the arrogance of power borne of near-one party rule.
Fortunately, the tide is turning. Help is on the way to beleaguered California taxpayers.
At the start of this year— in the face of both redistricting and the new “Top Two” voting system— House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.) boldly declared that California would be a “congressional battleground state.” Pelosi forecast Democrats picking up eight house seats now held by Republicans en route to her party’s recovering the House.
Similar overoptimistic predictions were made about California State Assembly and Senate races. Now, seasoned analysts — including Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee — acknowledge that Pelosi’s hopes have been dashed.
California Republicans have already picked up one targeted House seat in 2012, and we’re confident in holding our remaining seats. At the state level, independent analysts predict Republicans gaining Assembly seats while holding in the Senate.
Why is this occurring?
First, Democrats have had control of the governorship for almost two years, and they continue to dominate the state House. So there’s no one else to blame for their failed policies and ridiculous spending. California voters, already overstretched, are beginning to hold the party in charge accountable.
Second, the California public pension crisis is the worst in the U.S. Unfunded mandates—employee pensions, salaries and benefits—represent a shortfall that could total $500 billion. While Californians struggle to keep their homes, Democrats in Sacramento are refusing to address the issue and, in effect, are blaming struggling voters by demanding a tax increase.
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