The Golden State is going to hell, and the road is paved with liberal socialist intentions, some conservatives say. The forces of high taxes, high crime, illegal immigration and homelessness are ripping California apart at the seams, and it’s chasing the residents right out of the state.
“We are going to hell very quickly, very quickly,” Democratic Governor Jerry Brown admits. “It isn’t certain we are going to avoid that awful outcome, so don’t feel too comfortable even as you drink your California wine and get a little tipsy, I hope. Never forget, we are on the road to perdition. I don’t know how they say that in Chinese, but it’s not good.”
Brown isn’t worried about the same things that conservatives are though. As left-leaning Mother Jones describes, “Chinese government officials in black suits smiled, shook hands with the Californian politicians, and pledged to work together with California to slash greenhouse gas emissions, while Brown exhorted them to treat climate change as an existential threat.”
The citizen residents and voters see a much more immediate and substantial threat. The one that comes from the redistribution of wealth through taxes and regulations to pay for China’s continued ability to choke their air with smog, through buying so-called “carbon credits.”
California gets paid by the Chinese, for the right to offset Chinese pollution with clean American air, thanks to job killing smog rules in California.
As Investopedia explains it, “Carbon credit policies place a cost on carbon emissions by creating credits valued against one ton of hydrocarbon fuel. A carbon credit is fundamentally a permit that allows the receiver to burn a specified amount of hydrocarbon fuel over a specified period.”
“The ceding of carbon credits are to companies or groups that act to reduce carbon emissions measurably. Companies or nations may trade carbon certificates to help balance total worldwide emissions.”
If citizens can find a non-polluting green job, and it pays enough to afford the taxes, and the taxes on the gas to drive to work, there’s the challenge of finding a place to live.
“Over a million more people moved out of California from 2006 to 2016 than moved in, according to a new report, due mainly to the state’s infamously high housing costs, which hit lower-income people hardest,” Marketwatch reported this past June.
In a separate study, Realtor.com noted that “outbound searches of real-estate listings in California’s 16 top markets were more than double the rate of other areas and growing.”
“The rent is too damn high,” Ben Metcalf insists. “We’ve seen an incredible increase in the cost of housing.” He should know, he is director of California’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
The director of UC San Francisco’s Center for Vulnerable Populations, Margot Kushel, agrees. “We now know that there is a very close connection between housing costs and homelessness.”
Nearly one fourth of the entire nation’s homeless reside in California. The most recent nationwide figures from Housing and Urban Development indicate “this year the number reached nearly 554,000” which is a 1 percent increase from last year. And, 114,000 of them are living rough along the coast.
According to HUD, “the vast majority are ‘unsheltered’” which the New York Times describes as “a more bureaucratic term to describe the thousands living on the streets, under freeways and tucked into grassy fields and parks in cities all around the state.”
Metcalf sees, “a real significant increase and much of the rest of the country is not.” Numbers reflecting those who are worst off, “living with low-wages and spending more than half of their income on housing,” have ballooned, he decries, while “wages have remained flat.”
Los Angeles is described as “the epicenter.” Voters last year “approved a ballot measure that expects to raise about $4.7 billion in the next decade for affordable housing and homeless services.” Right now, across California generally, there are 22 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 low-income households.”
The favored solution is throw more money at the problem. After raising taxes, the state is expected to rake in a “$6.1 billion tax revenue windfall in 2018,” and Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) wants to spend $1.5 billion of it on “matching grants to city and county homelessness programs.”
Mayors from across the state gathered together in January to beg the federal government for more money devoted to “affordable housing and homeless services.”
Once a Californian finds a home, they have to have it guarded while at work from squatters, and hope their car isn’t broken into while it’s parked in the employee lot.
“California voters’ decision to reduce penalties for drug and property crimes in 2014 contributed to a jump in car burglaries, shoplifting and other theft,” CBS Sacramento reported recently. CBS also indicates that “violent crime spiked by about 13 percent after Proposition 47 passed.”
Proposition 47, they explain, “lowered criminal sentences for drug possession, theft, shoplifting, identity theft, receiving stolen property, writing bad checks and check forgery from felonies that can bring prison terms to misdemeanors that often bring minimal jail sentences.”
Nonpartisan think-tank the Public Policy Institute of California found, “larcenies increased about 9 percent by 2016, or about 135 more thefts per 100,000 residents than if tougher penalties had remained.”
They also reported, “thefts from motor vehicles accounted for about three-quarters of the increase. San Francisco alone recorded more than 30,000 auto burglaries last year, which authorities largely blamed on gangs.”
San Francisco Chronicle reported on the “rampant looting of cars” they tied to Prop. 47. Shoplifting is stable, researchers found, “but there is no sign of a decline in thefts from vehicles.”
Liberal policies of releasing offenders have definitely contributed to a spike in burglaries. Researchers positively link the proposition to increased theft but “found it did not lead to the state’s increase in violent crime.”
The increase in violent crime is disputed by officials favoring “sanctuary.” They try to fudge the numbers because nobody wants to admit the fact that a significant number of criminals are also illegal immigrants.
“Researchers said the trend started earlier and was mainly because of unrelated changes in crime reporting by the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department.”
The Orange County Register calls California’s attempts at social engineering a “dangerous trifecta,” referring to Proposition 47, Proposition 57, and AB109. Between them, they “radically altered our state’s approach to crime and punishment,” the Register laments.
“None of these criminal justice changes caused the county’s homeless crisis or proliferation of the ‘rehab Riviera,’ but they’re certainly obstacles to solutions to these growing problems, which are overwhelmingly borne by working families in Central Orange County.”
AB109 “transfers responsibility for supervising certain kinds of felony offenders and state prison parolees from state prisons and state parole agents to county jails and probation officers.”
Prop. 57 grants early release to “non-violent” offenders, except, “the drafters of that initiative never defined which crimes were ‘non-violent’” so “sex traffickers, rapists, abusive spouses and even drive-by shooters have qualified for early release under the state’s non-violent parole process,” prosecutors note.
Instead of being the expected “common-sense reforms to California’s wayward criminal justice system,” “Prop. 57 paved the way for early release of hardened felons, AB109 amended more than 500 criminal statutes, reduced penalties for parole violations, and shifted thousands of convicted felons from state prison to county jails.”
Adding more insult to the injury, this past June, AB180 passed. It allows defendants to have all charges dropped and the collected evidence from their arrest trashed if the crime “was caused by a treatable mental disorder.”
Instead of going to jail, the offender gets treatment, “within the community.” A loophole nobody thought about allows mentally ill criminals to own firearms. “It was attached to the budget and when it passed, this bill passed without any scrutiny and it created mental health diversion,” Dan Dow, San Louis Obispo’s District Attorney recalls.
In more civilized states, those who commit crimes like child abuse or murder are stripped of the right to bear arms as they go through the system. In California, mentally ill people accused of the same crimes are taken out of the court system and treated in the community.
As Dow relates, “we have this situation where right now, someone who is mentally ill and dangerous because they’ve committed a crime, can purchase a firearm legally, more easily than somebody who has committed a crime and is not mentally ill.”
Dow is convinced even supporters of the Second Amendment can agree “If you’re mentally ill and you’ve committed a crime, we need to make sure you don’t have firearms. We can’t risk another Jacksonville, Florida, another school shooting, somewhere in our community.” Dow emphasizes, “it’s important that the legislature fix that right away.”
World Net Daily columnist Barbara Simpson likes to keep track of the silliness coming out of Sacramento. One time, she recalls, “the state required ‘micro-stamping’ of bullets for handguns so they could be linked directly to a shooter.” The state’s Supreme Court even upheld the law despite the fact, “the technology to comply with the law does not exist.”
As she wrote, “the Associated Press summed it up: ‘The California Supreme Court says state laws cannot be invalidated on the grounds that complying with them is impossible.”
She is appalled by AB1810. When it was signed into law by Gov. Brown in June, she complained, the law “will imperil the safety of our very lives.”
Not only did she voice the same objections as prosecutors, she highlighted “this means criminal proceedings are halted for up to two years, and if there is ‘substantial compliance’ by the defendant within that time, the bill would ‘require the court to dismiss the defendant’s criminal charges… and the arrest deemed never to have occurred.” It even seals it from public view.
The court would be required to restrict the record of the arrest from public access.
“There are no exceptions,” Simpson wrote, the law’s benefits apply to “murderers, rapists, robbers, child molesters and arsonists.”
Michele Hanisee, who issued a statement for the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, warns, “the law provides that only the defense is permitted to submit a psychiatric report, and prosecutors don’t even have an opportunity to rebut it.”
“In real terms, defendants such as David Berkowitz (‘Son of Sam’ who killed six people in the 1970s claiming his neighbors’ dog told him to do it)… and Jared Lee Loughner (convicted of killing six people and wounding 13 including U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords in 2011) were diagnosed with schizophrenia and could conceivably, have been diverted under AB 1810,” Hanisee asserts.
Things aren’t likely to get much better in the next administration which casts a gloom on future generations. The full effects of this nightmare experiment won’t be felt until years down the road. The Democrat running for Jerry Brown’s Governor seat, Gavin Newsom has a plan.
Ignoring escalating crime, homelessness, crumbling infrastructure, and massive unpaid bills, not to mention the failing public school system, all funded by America’s highest taxes, Newsom wants to grant free health care to illegal immigrants.
San Francisco’s former mayor showed up on a “left-wing podcast” to proclaim, “I did universal health care when I was mayor, fully implemented, regardless of pre-existing condition, ability to pay, and regardless of your immigration status. I’d like to see that extended to the rest of the state. San Francisco is the only universal health-care plan for all undocumented residents in America.”
There is a huge flaw in that logic as Fox News discovered. “It’s unclear if Newsom and his progressive allies understand that dispensing a growing list of government benefits to groups of people creates an unwanted magnet effect.”
“In 2016, Los Angeles voters approved a bond initiative throwing an extra $1.2 billion at the spiraling homeless problem, on top of existing programs. The result: more homeless people and more crime.”