California is about to enter wild fire season. We have already had some small fires even before the hot summer weather hits. So far these fires have been small. But they are a warning of what is to come. But the real wild fires in California this summer will be political.
Governor Newsom has arrogantly sowed the wind and is about to reap the whirlwind. His heavy handed approach to COVID 19 has done incredible damage to the California economy. What makes this more devastating is that Newsome did this state-wide, including areas where there is virtually no COVID-19. He is still arrogantly trying to micromanage reopening California, with catastrophic results. We are getting new cases in California, but so far they are coming from areas which are and have been shut down.
California was already in serious financial trouble because of severely underfunded pension programs. A lot of people realized the state budget looked like a Ponzi scheme. Well now the Ponzi scheme has run out of new income in part because of unforced errors. Like every other Ponzi type scheme, once new income stops the scheme collapses almost immediately.
This all could have been prevented. All Governor Newsome needed to do was let counties make their own decisions. They would have reopened large portions of the state weeks ago. But instead he arrogantly chose to be “the man” and “the man” botched this big time.
In March Newsom was predicting that 56% of Californians (25.5 million people) would get COVID-19 over an eight week period. That eight week period is now over and this is beyond absurd. He even hinted that martial law could be used, if necessary. He did activate the National Guard, but only on humanitarian assignments.
Newsom: “If we’re to be criticized at this moment, let us be criticized for taking this moment seriously. Let us be criticized for going full force and meeting the virus head on.”
Governor Newsom, you got. You deserve all the blame for over-reacting to a virus that has a mortality rate of less than 1% and which has impacted 80,430 people. That is just slightly less than your estimate of 25.2 million people.
Everyone in California is paying a steep price for this major miscalculation. Newsom remains oblivious. When Jake Tapper asked: “how much of the state’s financial crisis is the result of pre-existing financial obligations?” Newsom responded by saying: “None.” Even Tapper did not buy that. Note to liberals: “When you’ve lost people like Jake Tapper, you’ve lost the country!”
Newsom estimates there is already a $54.3 billion deficit. Ironically, Newsom admitted there was a serious pension liability problem, but pretended it was under control.
That $54.3 billion is a direct result of COVID-19. Just a few months ago, I introduced my January budget but, with, again, a projected surplus. We paid off 100 percent of our debt we had inherited over seven or eight years ago. We were using $9.13 billion of the surplus last year to pay down long-term pension obligations,”
Newsome has already announced cutting state funding for education and other programs. He has cut the wages of California State employees by 10%. He is hinting at cutting first responders. Yet, at the same time, California has miraculously found the money to pay benefits to illegal aliens. He has found the money to pay hotels to house the homeless. This won’t fly in Peoria or anywhere else.
Newsom needs to submit a balanced budget by July 1. He is out of time. Every week, every day, every hour there is a delay in getting the state re-opened makes the problem worse. It may take years for California to recover. Newsom has to cut spending NOW! No one is going to loan California enough money. The federal government is not about to bail out California, regardless of what Nancy Pelosi thinks.
Democrats will predictably try to solve the problem by cutting the things that matter most to people. They always do that. They will also respond by trying to increase taxes. There already appears to be another stealth attempt to overturn Prop 13. They will also try to blame Republicans, but Democrats dominate California and every statewide office is held by a Democrat. This time the blame game won’t work. None of this will work. California already has extremely high taxes. People are fed up.
California recalled a governor once before, unless far less troubling circumstances. But that will take months and will result in a free-for-all similar to when Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor. In the meantime people are getting more frustrated and angrier. The liberals who have been trying desperately to convince themselves that COVID-19 was the worst risk to mankind in world history will find themselves shrieking to a rapidly shrinking audience. COVID-19 deaths are down, COVID-19 hospitalizations are down, but the deaths from other causes did not miraculously go away.
As COVID 19 fades quickly into the background, the economic destruction including the inevitable deaths will become increasingly impossible to ignore. There is a political wild fire, already burning, that will soon envelope this state. This will be hotter than you can imagine. It will be more destructive than anyone thought possible. It cannot be stopped; nothing can even slow it down. Soon the question will be who will survive and then the focus will be on how to prevent this from ever happening again.