Monday, October 05, 2009

Lessons for Colorado from California

Apologies to any Californians who may see this blog. I am a native Californian, but boy am I glad to only visit now not live there.

Let me just say that the bubble has burst in the Golden State. Pick your poison- wildfires, bankrupt state government, no economic growth, thousands of former homeowners, 12 percent unemployment rate, political gridlock, etc., etc. The list goes on and on.

California could become the first failed state in our nation's history. Another Obama bail-out/buy-up could be coming!

There are four lessons to be learned here in Colorado from the California implosion. Here they are:

1- The coming tax revolt. It will happen soon. Americans will rebel at some point and place and it will spread like wildfire. The Colorado lesson: Keep taxes low. Don't try and trick Coloradans by saying that new taxes are just "fairness fees."

2- The brain drain. Entrepeneurs (if any are still left) and job-creators are leaving California like rats from a sinking ship. The reason: stifling business taxes and regulations. The trickle up economic theory does not work. A poor man will never create a robust job for someone else. Colorado lesson: Create and maintain a healthy business climate with low business taxes and regulations. Remember that real jobs are created by folks who have a passion for a product and a profit motive to succeed.

3- Help the helpless and forego the clueless. I love helping the helpless and unfortunately today there are many of these folks. However, we have a growing cadre of the clueless, many of whom are well-educated but utterly dense when it comes to how life really works. Many of these folks wind up sticking to entities which advocate for issues that either don't work, are contrary to the laws of nature or are simply too expensive. Colorado lesson: The Guv and the legislature need to keep the temperature of the electorate front and center and not make public policy based on shrillness or political payoffs. Many of the clueless can be ignored.

4- Not everyone needs a handout or deserves a government solution. For years, Californians have spent public dollars creating huge entitlements and public dependencies. Now, that bill is coming due. With decreased tax revenue (see #1 and #2 above), the state government can no longer pay its bills. This is the worst conclusion-it would have been better off for families who now depend on these entitlements to have not had government support than to now cut them off. Colorado lesson: Its easy for politicians to promise goodies in exchange for votes. The problem is is that when revenue streams dry up, many families are left high and dry.

Colorado Democrats who currently rule the political roost here and many of the same proclivities of governance as their California cousins who have run that state into the ground. Let's pray that they follow a different path.

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