California: We’re the best worst state! Yay? Updated.

Posted by: Phineas on November 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm

**Posted by Phineas

The new flag of California?

Now here’s something to be proud of. Thanks to nearly 50 years of  Democratic control of the legislature and the legislators’ kowtowing to public unions in return for donations and  support, the state of California –the Golden State, the land that inspired untold millions of dreams and created unheard of prosperity for its people– is officially the worst-run state in the nation:

50. California

Debt per capita: $4,008 (18th highest)
Budget deficit: 20.7% (17th largest)
Unemployment: 11.7% (2nd highest)
Median household income: $57,287 (10th highest)
Pct. below poverty line: 16.6% (18th highest)

California is 24/7 Wall St.’s “Worst Run State” for the second year in a row. Due to high levels of debt, the state’s S&P credit rating is the worst of all states, while its Moody’s credit rating is the second-worst. Much of California’s fiscal woes involve the economic downturn. Home prices plunged by 33.6% between 2006 and 2011, worse than all states except for three. The state’s foreclosure rate and unemployment rate were the third- and second-highest in the country, respectively. But efforts to get finances on track are moving forward. State voters passed a ballot initiative to raise sales taxes as well as income taxes for people who make at least $250,000 a year. While median income is the 10th-highest in the country, the state also has one of the highest tax burdens on income. According to the Tax Foundation, the state also has the third-worst business tax climate in the country.

The best run state? North Dakota. In fact, the top five are run by fiscally conservative Republican governments, while the three worst of the bottom five are dominated by liberal Democrats.  I detect a pattern here, and it has much more to do with governing philosophy than with the letter after the politician’s name.

The analysis given after the data is horse feathers, though. Yes, California did suffer heavily from the economic crisis that hit in 2008 and the resulting recession. But that does not explain the slowness of our recovery. That, instead, is explained by the poor policies followed by the government in Sacramento, which has done everything right — if the objective was to choke of economic growth and job creation. Borrowing too much money, then spending it on on padded public pensions and useless projects like high-speed rail; raising already-high taxes on the very people who create the jobs we desperately need, thus leaving no money for reinvestment and driving those people out of the state or out of business; and a regulatory environment that can only be described as miserable. Our “leaders” have taken us straight into the pit and they show no sign of changing course.

Well done, California. Well done!

via Legal Insurrection

RELATED: Other measures of our success: California now leads the nation in poverty, or, as my friend Teach puts it, we’re “Brokefornia.”

UPDATE: Walter Russell Mead explains far better than I did why California’s recovery is so weak:

The problem with California has never been that bad policies put the state in a permanent recession. Rather, bad policies have meant that the state and its residents suffer more than average when recessions come, and that they benefit less than they should when the good times return. Some of the world’s most dynamic people and industries are found in California, but poor governance means that the state as a whole keeps losing ground when compared with the country as a whole. That is California’s real problem, and the Times would serve its readers better by analyzing the forces holding California back from achieving its magnificent potential instead of hailing a modest and cyclical economic recovery as some kind of proof that the state’s model ‘works’.

Left unspoken: We keep electing those responsible for the poor governance.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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7 Responses to “California: We’re the best worst state! Yay? Updated.”


  1. Drew the Infidel says:

    California and New York were pointed out yesterday as being the states supplying an inordinate number of commiecrats to the US Congress and today Forbes points them out as two of what are termed “death spiral” states where investing money can be disproportionately risky when comparing all 50 (or is it 57?) states. Three of the criteria used to win such a designation are high debt, uncompetitive business climate, and a ratio of takers to makers higher than 1. Translation: you cannot spend yourself rich.

  2. Ryan says:

    As a resident of California, is it me or do we seem to be voting on a “save the schools” proposition every two years. This state sucks.

  3. Carlos says:

    Yes, but Drew, all Mr. Brown (and President Obhammud, as far as that goes) wants to do is spend his way out of debt.

    I only wish such unicorn thinking worked, ’cause I can think of lots I could go into debt for if it would get me out of debt!

  4. Phineas says:

    As a resident of California, is it me or do we seem to be voting on a “save the schools” proposition every two years.

    You’re not imagining it, Ryan. They trot that “Don’t hate the children!” blackmail out whenever they want to raise taxes.

  5. Sefton says:

    2011 Texas legislature cut $4 billion from education and the belly-aching from (Austin) liberals drones on. To hear them, you’d think we just subjected all the kids to coal mining indentured servitude.

  6. b. says:

    @Phineas They will trot out “don’t hate the children!” when it comes time for the Feds (that is to say, the rest of us) to bailout California.


  7. Lorica says:

    California, Illinois, all of these states run by the bb brained left are in trouble. The geniuses in Springfield have proposed to borrow another 4,000,000,000.00 to pay back some of the 16,000,000,000.00 in debt we already have. They say they can get a more favorable rate on the new debt. How?? Especially when the state’s credit rating was recently downgraded??? LOL Their logic is laughable at the least – Lorica