Numbers Speak Louder Than Words

Conn Carrol, over at The Washington Examiner, has posted a commentary deriding the California Democratic Party’s governance of the Golden State.  The numbers he presents are frightening.

“Democrats have also enjoyed complete control of the state legislature since 1997. And they have governed exactly the way you’d expect Democrats to govern….”

“Spending has more than doubled, from $45.4 billion in 1996 to more than $92.5 billion today. Income, sales and car taxes have all been hiked. As a result, California has the most progressive income tax system in the nation, with seven income tax brackets, and the second-highest top marginal rate.”

“Even with all those tax hikes, California’s 2012 budget is still $15.7 billion in the red. So what does Gov. Jerry Brown want to do? Raise taxes again, of course. He has proposed a ballot initiative that would: 1) raise sales taxes on everyone and 2) raise incomes taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year (like Obama has proposed to do nationally). But even this $8.5 billion tax hike would still leave the state $7.5 billion short. Where will California get that money? Who knows?”

“At 10.8 percent, California has the third-highest unemployment rate in the country. There are fewer private-sector jobs in the state today, 11.9 million, then there were in 2000, 12.2 million.”

The numbers Carrol rattle off are appalling and depressing for sure.  What it illustrates should send a shockwave across the other 49 states all the way to D.C.  Keynesian-Statist spending schemes aren’t just vice grips on economic liberty, they also bankrupt the treasury while providing little if any relief to the citizenry.

History has shown again and again, whether in the 1920s, 1960s, or 1980s/1990s that economic liberty leads to prosperity.  The other side of that coin, statism, has a history of poverty and economic collapse.  An extreme example can be found in the authoritarian 5 year plans in the Soviet Union and early Communist China or more subtle examples can be found in the soft tyrannies of statist European social democracies.  The message is clear, liberty leads to prosperity while statism leads to depression and stagnation.