California vs Texas: A Study in the Future

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Fascinating opinion piece in Forbes this week by Joel Kotkin, a scholar on urban development who has written opinion pieces for a number of papers and magazines including the New York Times, and is a former fellow at the New America Foundation, a centrist think-tank in Washington.

Kotkin's argument is that it is surprising that California has re-elected a progressive government following half a century of mismanagement and failure, and that Texas is an interesting example of the opposite result from a conservative government. His argument is far from perfect, but it's worth a look.

California's unemployment rate is fourth in the nation at 12.4%, almost 3 points over the national average. Texas is only 8.1%, 32nd in the nation, almost two points below the national average. And yet while other traditionally-liberal states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada have been moving toward more fiscally-conservative governments, California remains steadfastly liberal.

In the new year, the once and again Gov. Jerry Brown, who has some conservative fiscal instincts, will be hard-pressed to convince Democratic legislators who get much of their funding from public-sector unions to trim spending. Perhaps more troubling, Brown’s own extremism on climate change policy–backed by rent-seeking Silicon Valley investors with big bets on renewable fuels–virtually assures a further tightening of a regulatory regime that will slow an economic recovery in every industry from manufacturing and agriculture to home-building.

But just look at the contrast with Texas:

California was recently ranked by Chief Executive magazine as having the worst business climate in the nation, while Texas’ was considered the best. Both Democrats and Republicans in the Lone State State generally embrace the gospel of economic growth and limited public sector expenditure.

And although you wouldn't know it from the regular thrashing Texas gets on this forum, it's also quite the breeding ground for jobs in the technology sector.

Even more revealing is California’s diminishing preeminence in high-tech and science-based (or STEM–Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) jobs. Over the past decade California’s supposed bulwark grew a mere 2%–less than half the national rate. In contrast, Texas’ tech-related employment surged 14%. Since 2002 the Lone Star state added 80,000 STEM jobs; California, a mere 17,000.

Gee. And it gets better, with Californian politicians in complete denial.

The newly minted Lieutenant Governor, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, insists “there’s nothing wrong with California” and claims other states “would love to have the problems of California.”

Brown also aims to force Californians, four-fifths of whom prefer single-family houses, into dense urban apartment districts. Over time, this approach will send home prices soaring and drive even more middle-class Californians to the exits.

Texas is even a leader in green jobs, with the largest wind energy production in the nation!

Which is not to say that everything is rosy in Texas. The budget has a deficit, they have too many uninsured workers, and its infrastructure is poor. But even so, people are flocking there in droves, while people are LEAVING California (according to the article, CA's flight statistic is almost double TX's influx number!). Pretty fascinating considering that BOTH states border Mexico.

What do you all think? You can check out the whole article here:

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Probably the single most important difference in Texas and most all other States, is the general attitude toward business or said differently they are business friendly. Second would be no State Income Tax and third they allow the many Counties to regulate their own affairs. All this then leading to many of your conclusion.

1- Texas Corporate Taxes are -0-, as is Washington State, SD, Nevada and Wyoming. California is near 9% and based from the first dollar of profit. Then by comparison, permits for most any project are easy to obtain, local courts cooperative and few disputes reach the National Courts, based on Texas precedence, hard for extremist groups to fight in a State already with major oil refineries or chemical plants. Additionally California is in the 9th District Court of Appeals and Texas is in the the 5th.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/state_corp_income_rates-20100325.pdf

Then Texas, is a "Right to Work State" restricting union activity, where as California is not.

http://www.nrtw.org/

2- In California, every person with a net income (pay minus deductions) pays a tax and has a millionaires tax, giving it the highest marginal tax rates in the Country, 10.55%. Texas has none.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/state-taxes-california.aspx

3- Zoning, Alcohol and other laws normally controlled by States (California) are done at the County level in Texas. Dallas for instance is partially dry in one County and wide open in their other County and Houston, has very relaxed zoning laws, non existent until recently.

Summery; Texas, has by no means always been Conservative, in fact quite Liberal until Bush beat out Ma Richards for Governor in the early 90's. However at about the same time States began increasing taxes, regulations, Lyndon Johnson's (a Texan) welfare programs were kicking in Nationwide and Texas just happened to be in the best position to attract business and the jobs. Think there going to be redistricting four House Seat next year and will probably remain Republican for some time.

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Why do conservative states perform so much better than liberal ones?

They haven't generally. Here's income in US counties in 2008:

And here's electoral college info from the 2008 Presidential election:

Kudos to Wikipedia.

Now they're couple of years old, and it's Federal election data rather than State. The problem with State governments though is that the local parties can vary in policies. By comparing State Governors, for example, you'd think that California has been a solid Republican state until recently. Anyway, there's a general correlation between voting for Obama and having rich neighbours, and you can probably stretch that to say there's a correlation between conservative states and poor economic performance. Why? It could just be a fluke. It could just be cultural differences between different states. It could be that the richer states put greater emphasis on the leftist policies like the environment because they can afford to.

Interestingly, there's also the better performance of income growth during Democrat rather than Republican Presidencies.

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Fair enough, Skye, I think that could be reasonably said to counter the question I posed (which you quoted).

But for the thread as a whole, we're not really talking about static situations, we're talking about dynamics ones. I'm not sure how 2008 income addresses the subject (and if it did, I'd want to see cost of living factored in). Same thing with the historical data on presidential administrations -- we've had that discussion in the past and I agree with that assessment in general. But Democratic (see? I said it!) Presidents have not generally been as progressive as Californian governments -- I think I can safely say that based on the general truism that California has passed so much progressive legislation that has failed to pass in the rest of the country over the years (though I harbor no illusions about California being some sort of socialist state -- I'm not saying that).

What we're looking at here is the suggestion that California has been badly mismanaged under decades of progressive control. Texas seems to be an interesting study in contrast. Where is that reasoning wrong?

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I didn't see the article refer to any stats or trends going back much more than a decade so the reasoning that it's been mismanaged for decades is unsupported.

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I assume it took them a while to build up that deficit. If not the contrast is highlighted even further.

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Are there significant differences in the natural resources of California and Texas that might explain the financial difference?

For example, Texas produces about 50% more oil but only has roughly 2/3 of the population to share that revenue among.

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Are there significant differences in the natural resources of California and Texas that might explain the financial difference?

For example, Texas produces about 50% more oil but only has roughly 2/3 of the population to share that revenue among.

And the sheer size of Texas might have something to do with it as well.

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Pangloss; It has taken years....

http://www.dof.ca.gov/budgeting/budget_faqs/documents/CHART-D1.pdf

Which by 1-1-2010 had led to outstanding Bond Debt of 85 B$...I would mention the estimate 500B$ estimated Government Employees Retirement obligations, but no one would believe me.

Are there significant differences in the natural resources of California and Texas that might explain the financial difference?

For example, Texas produces about 50% more oil but only has roughly 2/3 of the population to share that revenue among. [/Quote]

Not really John Cuthber, proven reserves are about the same and in unproven oil reserves California probably has more reserves than Texas, but in Texas you can still explore, be permitted and drill for oil, try that in California. As for sharing the revenues from oil or any natural resource, Texas collects very little from those Companies that own them, where California collects quite a lot.

"The United States had 21.8 billion barrels of proved oil reserves as of January 1, 2001, twelfth highest in the world. These reserves are concentrated overwhelmingly (over 80%) in four states -- Texas (25% including the state's reserves in the Gulf of Mexico), Alaska (24%), California (21%), and Louisiana (14% including the state's reserves in the Gulf of Mexico). US proven oil reserves have declined by around 20% since 1990, with the largest single-year decline (1.6 billion barrels) occurring in 1991"[/Quote]

http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/SohailAhmed.shtml

And the sheer size of Texas might have something to do with it as well. [/Quote]

ydoaPs; If sheer size had anything to do with it, Alaska might dominate the World in many areas. It's all in the States attitudes toward business, in addition to the natural environmental conditions (warm weather), it the business climate, which lead to jobs.

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Are there significant differences in the natural resources of California and Texas that might explain the financial difference?

For example, Texas produces about 50% more oil but only has roughly 2/3 of the population to share that revenue among.

And the sheer size of Texas might have something to do with it as well.

I'm not sure how directly personal income would relate to a budgetary shortfall. Texas is one of 7 states that does not have a personal income tax. Also, California isn't exactly Rhode Island. It's the veritable land o' plenty. Four of the top five agricultural counties in the United States are in California's central valley (source).

Per capita GDP in California is 11th in the nation, and the state has more millionaires than any other state in the union. It has the largest economy in the nation. It exported $144 billion worth of goods in 2008. It has a progressive personal income tax that rises as high as 9.3%, from which it collects a whopping$40 billion per year, and that's only forty percent of the state's total revenue! (source)

And yet it cannot balance its budget. According to the above source, it has a budget shortfall of $26.3 billion this year. According to this source it's actually$53.8 billion (58% of its budget!).

In June 2009 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said "Our wallet is empty, our bank is closed and our credit is dried up."

Texas has a shortfall too, but nothing like California's (notice Texas' absence from the ABC News article). Why can't California balance its budget, with all of those advantages? There must be a reason.

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The point I was making was not just about oil.

There are other differences between the two states apart from their political positions.

Unless you can allow for those confounding variables you will not be able to ascribe any measured differences in wealth to the effects of politics.

Incidentally, an unproven oil reserve is

1 unproven

and

2 still in the ground

so it cannot make any difference to the current finances of the state.

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Per capita GDP in California is 11th in the nation, and the state has more millionaires than any other state in the union. It has the largest economy in the nation. It exported $144 billion worth of goods in 2008. It has a progressive personal income tax that rises as high as 9.3%, from which it collects a whopping$40 billion per year, and that's only forty percent of the state's total revenue! (source)

I don't really know anything about the California government, but it sounds like "other states would love to have California's problems" isn't necessarily inaccurate, no?

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Not really John Cuthber, proven reserves are about the same and in unproven oil reserves California probably has more reserves than Texas, but in Texas you can still explore, be permitted and drill for oil, try that in California. As for sharing the revenues from oil or any natural resource, Texas collects very little from those Companies that own them, where California collects quite a lot.

Population distribution and fraction of markedly un-flat terrain might have something to do with the ability to do exploration and extraction. California has a higher population and smaller area, giving it more than twice the population density of Texas; it's also worth noting that Dallas, Houston and San Antonio all have higher population densities than LA, so rural areas will have significantly lower population densities in Texas.

California's severance tax on oil is zero, while in Texas, it is 4.6%

edit: that's $2.7 billion for Texas as of 2007, for all severance taxes, accounting for 6.9% of the state budget (Alaska ranks first, at 64.4%). http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=12674 Link to comment Share on other sites I don't really know anything about the California government, but it sounds like "other states would love to have California's problems" isn't necessarily inaccurate, no? Why is that? You mean in the sense of having a large economy and lots of resources to work with? Sure, I guess so. The problem of not being able to cut anything because of special interests is pretty unenviable, though. I think it's a subset of the national problem. There are other differences between the two states apart from their political positions. Unless you can allow for those confounding variables you will not be able to ascribe any measured differences in wealth to the effects of politics. Again, we're not discussing "wealth", we're discussing budgetary shortfalls, and whether California Democrats (and their associated special interests) have demonstrated an inability to resolve them. You raised the question earlier asking whether Texas had more resources with which to fight a deficit, but I don't see where you've made that case. California is not exactly Poorsville, USA. Let me pose the question another way: If California can't balance a budget with THAT economy, what hope does the rest of the country have, and why do people feel that Democrats should be in charge? If it's just a matter of "better than Republicans", I can understand that, but my purpose in offering Texas as an example was not to show that Republicans are a better choice, but rather that fiscal conservatism is good policy. I'm sure if we look hard enough we can find a state with Democrats in charge that have done a better job. And I suspect that when we do, we will find that those Democrats have pursued a policy of fiscal conservatism, at least with regard to influences on their state budget. Link to comment Share on other sites Why is that? You mean in the sense of having a large economy and lots of resources to work with? Sure, I guess so. The problem of not being able to cut anything because of special interests is pretty unenviable, though. I think it's a subset of the national problem. I mean that despite being supposedly so mismanaged, they've still managed to attract a lot of human capital and maintain a lot of wealth. The sorts of problems California has ("Do we have to raise the tuition slightly on the best public universities in the country?") are in many cases enviable, I would think. They're in a position where they can debate the merits of aggressive environmental laws that other states can't even afford to consider, etc. Again, we're not discussing "wealth", we're discussing budgetary shortfalls, and whether California Democrats (and their associated special interests) have demonstrated an inability to resolve them. You raised the question earlier asking whether Texas had more resources with which to fight a deficit, but I don't see where you've made that case. California is not exactly Poorsville, USA. Let me pose the question another way: If California can't balance a budget with THAT economy, what hope does the rest of the country have, and why do people feel that Democrats should be in charge? If it's just a matter of "better than Republicans", I can understand that, but my purpose in offering Texas as an example was not to show that Republicans are a better choice, but rather that fiscal conservatism is good policy. I'm sure if we look hard enough we can find a state with Democrats in charge that have done a better job. And I suspect that when we do, we will find that those Democrats have pursued a policy of fiscal conservatism, at least with regard to influences on their state budget. Ok, so it's about fiscal conservatism, not Republicans vs. Democrats. So what does it have to do with asking why Democrats should be in charge? And on what basis are we saying that Democrats are in charge in California, anyway? California has only had a Democratic governor for 12 of the last 44 years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Governors_of_California), so if we're talking about a decades long problem, then it seems pretty bipartisan. Meanwhile, for the example you're looking for, how about Vermont? Howard Dean (we can call him a liberal, right?) forced a balanced budget every year, despite Vermont being the only state that doesn't constitutionally require it. Link to comment Share on other sites Perhaps the people of California just don't care so much about the budget deficit. If they are right then you can't say that the Texans are "better"- just different. Link to comment Share on other sites California has an unusual situation regarding taxes, requiring a two-thirds majority to make changes or to pass a budget. A comparison with any legislature that uses a simple majority will be off, in terms of which party is "in charge." Link to comment Share on other sites California's severance tax on oil is zero, while in Texas, it is 4.6% [/Quote] swansont; Basically "severance taxes" are excise taxes (user tax) and generally paid by the producers of a product, taken from State owned rights to natural resources. I'm not sure of today, but many property owners of Texas Land actually have owned those rights and in my day could pass those rights on. Anyway to your point, California also places a severance tax on Gas/Oil/Timber production, though it may be de facto on oil/gas. I might add, they are currently debating a 6% severance tax on top of the land value taxes. Top all that off with the Corporate Taxes and Final Product State Excise Taxes....To the point of the thread, it was Brown as Governor, last century (play on words) and Governor Elect 2011, that first proposed a severance tax and now pushing a 6% tax. http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=12674 California oil companies say they already pay a de facto severance tax because their property taxes on oil wells include assessed values of the oil in the ground.[/Quote] http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?xid=yzifpzp2yo9e5b Population distribution and fraction of markedly un-flat terrain might have something to do with the ability to do exploration and extraction. California has a higher population and smaller area, giving it more than twice the population density of Texas; it's also worth noting that Dallas, Houston and San Antonio all have higher population densities than LA, so rural areas will have significantly lower population densities in Texas. [/Quote] Ok, word games are fine with me; New Jersey is five times the density of California and Texas about a third of California. In 2007 the density population of LA was 7,800/sqmi, Houston 4,400, Dallas 3,400 and San Antonio 2,800 (lower "population densities"), but you are correct, in that Texas Metropolitan Areas don't come close to that of LA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_population_density http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Largest_cities_in_the_United_States_by_population_by_decade I'm really not sure what population distribution or terrain has to do with Conservative/Liberal State Governments, but you really should have added Federally Owned Lands. The Federal owns very little of Texas (less than 2%), then California does not collect any TAXES on the Federally owned 15.2 Million Acres. California has an unusual situation regarding taxes, requiring a two-thirds majority to make changes or to pass a budget. [/Quote] The California Legislature can raise fee's and taxes on property, with a simple majority. What's a tax is always being questioned and fee's are being imposed on everything, especially at the local level. State law has different approval requirements regarding taxes, fees, and property charges. As Figure 1 shows, state or local governments usually can create or increase a fee or charge with a majority vote of the governing body (the Legislature, city council, county board of supervisors, etc.). In contrast, increasing tax revenues usually requires approval by two–thirds of each house of the state Legislature (for state proposals) or a vote of the people (for local proposals). [/Quote] http://www.voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/26/analysis.htm Ok, so it's about fiscal conservatism, not Republicans vs. Democrats. So what does it have to do with asking why Democrats should be in charge? And on what basis are we saying that Democrats are in charge in California, anyway? California has only had a Democratic governor for 12 of the last 44 years (http://en.wikipedia....s_of_California), so if we're talking about a decades long problem, then it seems pretty bipartisan.[/Quote] Sisyphus; Keep in mind the Lieutenant Governor is elected and the combination are not always of the same party affiliation. Bustamante (D), not only served with Gray Davis (D) but as Schwartzenegger (R] most of his term. Garamendi also (D) was elected in 2006 replaced Bustamante in January 2007. Then except for 1995 and 96, the Democratic Party has controlled the California Legislature, since 1970. In using the term conservative, including while Reagan was the Governor, I'm not sure the State has EVER had a basically Conservative (fiscal or otherwise), Governance. As for Democratic, well you be the judge.... Link to comment Share on other sites Ok, word games are fine with me; New Jersey is five times the density of California and Texas about a third of California. In 2007 the density population of LA was 7,800/sqmi, Houston 4,400, Dallas 3,400 and San Antonio 2,800 (lower "population densities"), but you are correct, in that Texas Metropolitan Areas don't come close to that of LA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_population_density http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Largest_cities_in_the_United_States_by_population_by_decade I'm really not sure what population distribution or terrain has to do with Conservative/Liberal State Governments, but you really should have added Federally Owned Lands. The Federal owns very little of Texas (less than 2%), then California does not collect any TAXES on the Federally owned 15.2 Million Acres. I see now that the number I found was for LA county, not the city. So that part is moot. But the main point is in regard to your point about the ability to drill for oil, and that point stands — California is more densely populated. If you don't see the relevance of your point to the politics, I have to wonder why you brought it up. If you don't see the relevance as a rebuttal to your point, I don't see why you would add in a red herring about tying this in to Conservative/Liberal State Governments. Link to comment Share on other sites Ok, so it's about fiscal conservatism, not Republicans vs. Democrats. So what does it have to do with asking why Democrats should be in charge? And on what basis are we saying that Democrats are in charge in California, anyway? California has only had a Democratic governor for 12 of the last 44 years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Governors_of_California), so if we're talking about a decades long problem, then it seems pretty bipartisan. Meanwhile, for the example you're looking for, how about Vermont? Howard Dean (we can call him a liberal, right?) forced a balanced budget every year, despite Vermont being the only state that doesn't constitutionally require it. It's not about Dems being bad, it's about whether they're in the tank with special interests groups and labor unions that don't care about the budget. Whether a state's managers are Democrats or Republicans, if you let them fall too much under the thumb of special interests, bad things can happen. In the case of California that has meant pandering to labor unions and the unholy special interest trifecta of entitlement, the environment, and public safety. Like all special interests, these groups need to show their contributors "progress" toward some important concern each year -- needed or not -- in order to justify their own budgets. Regarding the point about having a Republican governor much of that time, I can't really imagine anyone calling Reagan progressive, but even San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome once famously called Schwarzenegger a center-left liberal. Ahnold went along with countless expensive plans even though this situation with the budget has been going on since before he came into office (a big part of why he got elected in the first place). For example, the state's 2006 Global Warming law was cited by an independent study paid for by the state as costing almost$100 billion dollars and a per-cepital loss of income for residents of up to 1% (source). Maybe he is a fiscal conservative trapped by a progressive legislature -- I've read that he was dealing with regular gridlock, and was constantly opposed by -- you guessed it -- labor unions. (Gee.) So maybe he did the best he could.

What I really would have to see is more data on what is out of whack with their budget. One of the sources I mentioned said it's 58% over revenue, so what leaps to mind is -- is 58% of the budget spent on entitlements, safety and the environment? If not then it may not really be fair to say that they're out of whack due to progressivism being out of balance with fiscal conservatism. I'd also like to see how much it's grown over the last ten years, and the ten years before that, and where the growth specifically came from.

Perhaps the people of California just don't care so much about the budget deficit.

If they are right then you can't say that the Texans are "better"- just different.

In what way would it be "right" to say that a state's deficit doesn't matter?

California has an unusual situation regarding taxes, requiring a two-thirds majority to make changes or to pass a budget. A comparison with any legislature that uses a simple majority will be off, in terms of which party is "in charge."

2/3rds of the citizens of California have to approve the state's annual budget?

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2/3rds of the citizens of California have to approve the state's annual budget?

No, 2/3 of the legislature, as I previously wrote. It's been in place since prop 13 passed in 1978, and was just amended in the most recent election cycle.

[T]he initiative also contained verbiage requiring a two-thirds majority in both legislative houses for future increases of any state tax rates or amounts of revenue collected, including income tax rates.

So blaming either party "in charge" is misplaced, if they did not have a 2/3 majority. Prop 13, in several ways, is a source of the problem.

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I see now that the number I found was for LA county, not the city. So that part is moot.[/Quote]

Maybe, but I'm thinking your mixing populous and density. Houston is not in Houston County, or is Dallas/Fort Worth or San Antonio in like named Counties, as is LA. In fact to make a qualified comparison, you would have to add Counties in all three Texas examples. Said politely you using Metropolitan Areas...

But the main point is in regard to your point about the ability to drill for oil, and that point stands — California is more densely populated. If you don't see the relevance of your point to the politics, I have to wonder why you brought it up. If you don't see the relevance as a rebuttal to your point, I don't see why you would add in a red herring about tying this in to Conservative/Liberal State Governments.[/Quote]

swansont, the "red herring" is the threads topic and what I'm discussing, nor did I bring it up, I responded to ydoaPa (post 8). I also will stand on my point that drilling in California opposed to Texas are based on their Governments, not the denseness of the population or the terrain. You get outside California's Metropolitan areas and I'll suggest this density is equal to many places crude oil is drilled. Off shore shallow reserves in California (few people live on the ocean) are probably greater than both Texas and Louisiana combined and their is no desire to allow any exploration. It is their right however and those that choose to remain in California SHOULD be paying the bill, not the US tax payer.

So blaming either party "in charge" is misplaced, if they did not have a 2/3 majority. Prop 13, in several ways, is a source of the problem. [/Quote]

Since much of the damaging legislation has occurred since 1978, do you really think the results are from anything other than a "Progressive" legislature. The below I wrote earlier to a like question.

Sisyphus; Keep in mind the Lieutenant Governor is elected and the combination are not always of the same party affiliation. Bustamante (D), not only served with Gray Davis (D) but as Schwartzenegger (R] most of his term. Garamendi also (D) was elected in 2006 replaced Bustamante in January 2007. Then except for 1995 and 96, the Democratic Party has controlled the California Legislature, since 1970. In using the term conservative, including while Reagan was the Governor, I'm not sure the State has EVER had a basically Conservative (fiscal or otherwise), Governance. As for Democratic, well you be the judge.... [/Quote]

With reference to "Referendums", which requires only a majority of popular vote to pass (Pangloss), the Legislature IS NOT BOUND to follow the peoples wishes or are the Courts. Then certain Taxes only require the 2/3rds vote by the Legislature and many otherwise taxes, called fees and property taxes, DO NOT require the 2/3rds vote.

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"In what way would it be "right" to say that a state's deficit doesn't matter?"

In the same way that it is "right" to say Conservative states do so much "better" than Liberal ones.

It's an opinion.

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swansont, the "red herring" is the threads topic and what I'm discussing, nor did I bring it up, I responded to ydoaPa (post 8). I also will stand on my point that drilling in California opposed to Texas are based on their Governments, not the denseness of the population or the terrain. You get outside California's Metropolitan areas and I'll suggest this density is equal to many places crude oil is drilled. Off shore shallow reserves in California (few people live on the ocean) are probably greater than both Texas and Louisiana combined and their is no desire to allow any exploration. It is their right however and those that choose to remain in California SHOULD be paying the bill, not the US tax payer.

Look, you had a choice in responding to John Cuthber and ydoaps. You responded. I'm entitled to rebut if I disagree or if there are facts missing or incorrectly presented. As are you. But how about responding with facts and links, rather than assertions and questions about the relation to a previous post? I have a hard time believing you couldn't see the connection. As for the population density and the ability to drill, go ahead and scour up some data that supports your contention. Though you've already pointed out how much California's central valley is used for agriculture; I would think that makes it harder to drill in California.

Since much of the damaging legislation has occurred since 1978, do you really think the results are from anything other than a "Progressive" legislature. The below I wrote earlier to a like question.

With reference to "Referendums", which requires only a majority of popular vote to pass (Pangloss), the Legislature IS NOT BOUND to follow the peoples wishes or are the Courts. Then certain Taxes only require the 2/3rds vote by the Legislature and many otherwise taxes, called fees and property taxes, DO NOT require the 2/3rds vote.

If the legislature can't do much of anything about changing the taxes, then that's a problem. Prop 13 scaled back and capped property taxes, and property tax increases, which is why they are not subject to the 2/3 majority.

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"In what way would it be "right" to say that a state's deficit doesn't matter?"

In the same way that it is "right" to say Conservative states do so much "better" than Liberal ones.

It's an opinion. [/Quote]

John Cuthber; Worse yet it's political opinion but as precedence is being set today in Ireland/Greece it's hard to excuse fiscal irresponsibility, even if it pretends to have a good purpose. In essence and IMO, the thread question "why do...", related to the recent elections is that those in need have surpassed those that pay for those needs.

This fits with you other post and had meant to comment on;

Perhaps the people of California just don't care so much about the budget deficit.

If they are right then you can't say that the Texans are "better"- just different. [/Quote]

Technically by comparison to the US National problems, California is NOT in all that much trouble. Unlike NJ, Michigan and Illinois (in worse shape), they still maintain a great deal of potential, not only in their abundant natural resources but in their climate and access to everything manageable, year round decent weather, Ocean Beaches, Mountain Skiing, Entertainment, not to mention being in the right position for importing/exporting products, agricultural production (year round) and tourism or as a retirement center. While these are all great things, it appears to be not enough to maintain the growth they have enjoyed since the 1840's Gold Rush days....

swansont; Straying off topic, it cost a great deal of money anyplace in the US to get permitted for exploration to drilling for crude oil. As in any business those in the business will peruse the least expensive places to achieve an objective, in this case worldwide. The cost of one success;

The radio story covers the essential points: the first new oil lease in state-controlled ocean waters since 1969, possibly attached to a guaranteed shutdown of four offshore oil platforms plus two onshore processing facilities... a \$100 million upfront payment to the state from Plains Exploration & Production Company (PXP), the oil company that would drill 'T-Ridge'... [/Quote]

http://blogs.kqed.org/capitalnotes/2009/09/09/drill-maybe-drill/

It's not only the Energy Business or the Government, but the mindset of the electorate that seems to ignore common sense for their State IMO. Prop 23 will cost them more business than imaginable and for really no reason. Alternative energy R&D or implication would not stop and only the cost to impose these things on their broken State/Business environment will be devastatingly.

Proposition 23, which would have suspended AB 32, the "Global Warming Act of 2006", was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in California as an initiated state statute...

AB 32 requires that greenhouse gas emission levels in the state be cut to 1990 levels by 2020.[/Quote]

I've never lived in California, but have spent years out there by the week or month on business, even wanted to retire there. At one point had a good many trucks running up and down the west coast hauling containers, in addition to running many reefers from all parts to the East Coast. What AB 32 will do is increase the cost of everything going in or out of California. We had already set up relay points in Arizona and Nevada in the early 90's to avoid intrusive regulation and just to get drivers that would venture that direction, not to mention Mexican Trucks, which not one will ever qualify. Maybe train service can pick up some of the slack, but I seriously doubt that....

It just as exasperating/frustrating for me as to why you can't see the different policies of California and Texas, even if completely disregarding the politics.

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