The Corner

Economy & Business

Congrats, You’re Paying for California’s Governor to Bribe the State’s Voters

Gavin Newsom speaks after being elected California governor during an election-night party in Los Angeles, Calif., November 6, 2018. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

I’ve spent much of the last week arguing that the federal government needs to stop: to stop undermining the miracle that is the COVID-19 vaccine; to stop sending money to people who don’t need it and preventing them from returning to work; to stop borrowing trillions of dollars during an expansion and risking utterly disastrous inflation.

Now we learn that California — which received $42.3 billion in the Democrats’  recent “relief” bill, as a “bailout” of its supposedly damaged budget — has an enormous budget surplus, thanks mostly to the stock market having boomed last year and driven up capital gains tax revenues. From Politico:

California expects a staggering $75.7 billion surplus despite a year of pandemic closures — an amount that surpasses most states’ annual spending and prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday to propose sending cash back to residents as he faces a recall election.

California’s coffers are bulging thanks to the high-flying Silicon Valley, surging stock market and a large share of professionals who were able to continue working remotely during Covid-19. The state has a progressive income tax structure that leans heavily on top earners, allowing the state to enjoy record revenues despite widespread job losses in the travel and service industries that have kept California’s unemployment rate among the nation’s highest.

I’ll say it again: Stop! California’s government is now so flush with cash that it is considering spending more than 11 billion dollars sending every single Californian a $600 check.

Or, to put it another way: The Democratic Party has used its control of the federal government to borrow billions and billions of dollars so that the Democratic governor of California can try to bribe his way out of a recall election by sending his voters cash. There are many words for that sort of behavior, but “relief” is not among them.

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