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Steven Greenhut | Progressive Failure Is On Full Display in California





California’s modern-day progressive Democrats keep crowing about the huge success they’ve had in taming the state’s budget deficit thanks to Prop. 30’s tax increases and other “reforms,” and now are championing the Jerry Brown model as a blueprint for the nation. Be very afraid.

It’s bad enough that other states have to deal with our residents, who are fleeing our success-punishing tax and regulatory regimen, but now, apparently, they are going to have to deal with our bad ideas, promoted through smug lectures from California’s liberal politicians.

Not surprisingly, the national media have been quick to tout California’s Democratic-led “renaissance.” For instance, The New Republic this week published a feature, “Back from the Brink,” about California progressives having “achieved the impossible” of a balanced budget.

“Progressive Democratic activists identified the straitjacket of rules that had the state tied up in knots, and devised a systematic plan to change them,” the magazine’s David Dayen argued. “Through massive organizing, they transformed the electorate and sidelined Republican obstructionists. Now, with surplus money on hand, they’re getting ready to fight a new battle over the next few years: whether to focus on budget balancing and debt reduction, or to continue to boldly invest in California’s future.”

I chuckled at the “debt reduction” reference. Have you ever known progressive Democrats to keep a lid on spending or to care about paring back the size of pension debt? They will indeed“invest” in California—and you know what investing means. They will throw money at programs and at government employees without improving accountability or insisting on reform.

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