ALPERN AT LARGE--As mentioned in my last CityWatch piece, California and its cities have grabbed a lot of money from its taxpayers, thrown away laws that it finds inconvenient, and ranks last in a few metrics as a state that has a nice quality of life.
California is a land of winners and losers--if you have a guaranteed pension from the public sector (paid for by the taxpayers), or you are a tech-connected billionaire, or a millionaire actor/celebrity, then you are a winner. If you are middle-class, and paying your own way, you are a loser.
The winners are wondering what all the screaming is about, and shrugging off the exodus and/or death of the generation and population that built California's infrastructure, educational system, etc.
The losers are moving out and on to other states (ditto, by the way, for other high-tax states like New York and New Jersey).
Rightfully or wrongfully, the GOP-led Congress, led by input from both Red States and low-tax states, stopped subsidizing state tax increases by limiting the deductions of state and local taxes from federal tax returns to $10,000 per year as per last year's Tax Reform Bill.
Tax deductions of interest payments for home loans were also capped.
The counter question of whether or not California is a net federal tax donor versus a recipient is a VERY good one, but it's safe to say that there are a lot of Californians of all socioeconomic backgrounds who are concerned about the unstoppable rise of state and local taxes, as well as home prices and related housing costs, and are either leaving the state...
... or bemoaning the votes of those leaving the state, in that they used to establish California as a Purple State, or even a Red State, and creating a deeply Blue State that has the tax rule of "Pay or Leave, and You Will Pay Ever More...Forever".
It's not certain when "liberal" or "progressive" meant ignoring the law, and ignoring the budget, and ignoring spending priorities in our public sector, but education and transportation and planning appears to have been turned from a left-brained scientific/engineering endeavor to an artsy, public-relations endeavor divorced from the laws of math and science.
And these policies are NOT sustainable.
So, YES, Governor Brown, President Trump is waging war against California, but did you and Mr. De Leon and Mr. Becerra, and a host of other Californian state and federal (and even city/county) politicians start it?
And if the President IS waging war against California, Governor Brown, hasn't Sacramento been waging war against its own citizens for years, now?
It's not that there are no good Democrats--but if our Assembly leaders and Senate leaders are any indication of what's to come (including gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa), California is in trouble NOT because of Democrats but because it lacks good Democrats.
And as for the "howdy-doody white boy" goobers we have fronting the Republican Party? Not enough contrast there, either! Who needs an alternative like that?
My own "Hail Mary" pass would be a write-in gubernatorial vote for Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, but she loves her family and her sanity too much to encourage that. However, I have no problem suggesting that both Republicans and Democrats would do well to emulate someone of her character.
So President Trump is going to visit California for his quiet, keep-your-head-down base, and to visit the new border wall; Not certain what kind of viewership it'll get, but I'll bet good odds it'll be higher than the recent Oscars Awards fiasco.
Now a verbal showdown, or a slapfight, between President Trump and Jimmy Kimmel, the former "Man Show" host who now wishes he was a woman would REALLY be excellent entertainment!
But as we now have Oakland's mayor and other risking jail for fighting federal authority, and fighting the legal efforts of ICE to enforce federal law...
...and as we now have California's entitled public sector unions in big trouble with a conservative-majority Supreme Court...
...and as the future of Silicon Valley is in peril, in that it relocate to cheaper pastures...the question of the economic and political future of California becomes inevitably more insecure and nebulous, particularly after the departure of Jerry Brown.
The defense and aeronautics industry...virtually gone.
Silicon Valley...potentially gone if things don't dramatically change.
And ...like the nation of Greece, we shall see if our good weather alone can hold things together.
So, YES, Governor Brown, President Trump and much of Washington IS waging war against California and its Sacramento elites.
And if Governor Brown and the Sacramento elites are to "Resist" President Trump and the GOP-led Congress, the critical question must also be raised:
Who will be allowed to resist those doing the "Resisting", and who are much if not more responsible to our rocky future than anyone ever could from Washington, D.C.?
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)
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