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Room with a View: Give the money back, get out of the way, get a job

Governor Newsom’s so-called May revise* updates legislators and residents about new budget projections and recommends changes. This year’s May revise is (or should be) an embarrassment of riches.

The State government is rolling in dough.

California begged for federal dollars, and got them under the new Administration. New taxes and fees were imposed for coffers filled with only the lingering scent of mothballs. Hands were wrung. Pockets were turned out. Governor Newsom started appearing for photo ops in jeans, tieless and with sleeves rolled up.

With the May revise, his first thought is how to put expensive new programs in place to sop up all that sloshy money and ensure higher spending on into the future.

California Budget & Policy Center, a left-leaning independent think tank, applauds the Governor’s recommendations. Here is an excerpt from a statement by Chris Hoene, the Center’s executive director:

“California is experiencing strong revenue growth driven largely by high-income Californians and corporations thriving in our communities, and federal and state efforts to provide relief to people who have been economically harmed by the pandemic. Investing the state’s vast resources to create an equitable state and healthy local communities where all undocumented Californians have access to health care, renters can keep their homes, child care providers can maintain their businesses, and low-wage workers and parents can safely return to work is what policymakers should be doing now.

Read the entire statement. It contains not a whisper about returning revenue that the State took in lean times, leaving local jurisdictions scrambling to fund necessary services while balancing budgets. No mention is made of laws and regulations that hobble businesses.

My recommendations to Governor Newsom and the State Legislature:

  • Lower tax rates.
  • Quit smothering businesses in red tape and regulations. (I am squinting with malice at AB 5, but there are many more.)

    Make it easy for businesses to offer employment, and for workers to work, under circumstances that meet the needs of both parties without the State sticking its knobby nose into the transaction.

  • Most importantly, pandemic-related emergency powers should be either yielded by Governor Newsom, or yanked by State Legislators. Governor Newsom has repeatedly abused these powers. The State Legislature is content to allow him to attract the anger and frustration of California residents while its super-majority-party members (Democrats) ignore their power to end the state of emergency and remove Newsom’s emergency powers. Governor Newsom has amply earned recall. Incumbent Democratic State Legislators should be punished for their laxity in the 2022 elections.

To those still waiting on the California Employment Development Department (EDD): give up and go look for a job. They’re out there. The job you find may not be in your field. It may not be the one you really want. You may not really like it. But if you do your best at it while looking for a better situation, you will be helping yourself, those who depend on you, and the general community. Further, you will not be a dependent of the State of California.

* Included in this treasure chest is funding for universal transitional kindergarten in public schools. Will this be mandatory? My personal belief is that very young children especially should be cared for at home. Forcing attendance in transitional kindergarten for four-year-olds frees mothers of young children to work outside the home — but what if they don’t want to work outside the home? What if they want to keep their child(ren) at home? How painful will it be not to conform?