California has the second highest jobless rate of any state and has come out of the deep recession in far worse shape than America’s other megastates (Texas, New York, Florida). Is now the best time to experiment with our economy in two very risky ways, one without precedent in world history and one more conventional? Sober people would say not. But thanks to Arnold, the AB 32 experiment in forcing a huge economy to absorb much higher fuel costs than rival states and nations is about to begin. And if Jerry gets his way, we’ll see a squeeze on wealthy Californians that will force them to ponder this question: Is it really worth surrendering nearly half my income to live here? Be scared, Golden Staters, very scared. As bad as things now are, they could soon be much worse.
By themselves, either AB 32 or the highest state income taxes on the rich bode terribly for California.
If the Golden State takes away 12 percent of income in addition to the fed’s 35 percent cut, how many millionaires will say it’s time to bail? The following states have no individual income tax at all: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. There are many beautiful places to live in those states, some with good weather, some with cosmopolitan charms. Why stay in Cali?
And after AB 32 kicks in, forcing a massive shift away from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources, here’s how many states will have cheaper energy costs than California: All of them.
And yet Jerry Brown continues to pretend that AB 32 is a net positive for the economy even as it adds a unique burden to our economic competitiveness.
What’s particularly screwy about this argument is that in certain areas, starting with manufacturing, there is simply no dispute that energy cost is absolutely critical to staying in business. Manufacturing also provides the sort of relatively well-paying jobs that people without a college education can aspire to. But Jerry, Arnold and California Dems want to drive these jobs off. Why? Well-educated, employed greens don’t like manufacturing jobs (or ag jobs, for that matter). Let them eat cake.
Let us all eat cake. The state’s own estimates are that the big utilities will charge residential and business customers 41 percent to 60 percent more for energy by the time AB 32 is fully online in 2020. What? You’ve never heard that stat before? Of course not. There has been far more media coverage devoted to the idea that AB 32 will help the economy than to the idea that imposing unique energy costs on the state’s economy has a huge downside.
I used to wonder how all the journos in the green tank could sleep at night. Now I have more basic concerns. Are they reproducing? “Idiocracy” here we come.