California is reeling from crisis to crisis.
Water shortages, wildfires, power outages, government shutdowns, homelessness, exploding deficits, and uncontrolled crime and violence. All of these problems seem to be converging at once, and they’re leaving Californians angry and distraught.
Simply stated, California’s problems aren’t a failure of ideas, industry, or families—they’re a failure of leadership.
In 2019, California was hit with wildfires, and then by electrical shutdowns by its largest electric utility, PG&E. Cast as a preventive measure to fires, the shutdowns damaged the economy and caused California’s tech industry to warn Gov. Gavin Newsom that if the state can’t reliably provide electricity, they would be forced to relocate.
2019 also saw California’s homelessness crisis make national news for its scope and because there’s no end in sight. In places such as San Francisco, the city has moved the homeless into hotels and delivers alcohol, marijuana, and syringes to them.
The homelessness and wildfires/electrical crises joined California’s perennial water crisis. California farmers, who make up California’s largest industry, year after year are deprived of water and can’t rely on consistent delivery of what little they get. Neither can the rest of Californians.
The water crisis could be resolved, in part, if government captured the rain instead of allowing trillions of gallons of water to run off and flow unimpeded to the ocean. Desalination plants could help too—but, environmentalists and Newsom will have none of it. Instead, Sacramento wants to restrict water allocations to 50 gallons a day per person for California residents.
Then COVID-19 hit.
Newsom’s ongoing response to the COVID crisis has plunged the state into a recession—a deep recession brought on by government. It’s estimated that over 30 percent of California restaurants won’t reopen. The hotel industry still has occupancy rates below 25 percent, while landlords deal with empty storefronts and a lack of cash flow.
Meanwhile, car dealers are struggling because their buyers are unemployed and the anti-independent contractor law, AB5, limits the ability to work from home. The list could go on and on.
The governor has only begrudgingly opened the state after threatening to keep large aspects of it shut throughout the summer. His hand, however, is said to have been forced by lawsuits demanding restoration of Constitutional rights and local officials facing huge budget deficits caused by lost tax revenue as a result of locking down the economy. Newsom still refuses to disclose the $1 billion contract he signed with a donor’s company to obtain masks.
As if that isn’t enough, in the months ahead, Californians can expect:
- The state budget deficit could top $54 billion;
- PG&E to conduct further power shutdowns as it labors under debt and environmental rules that prevent the utility company from clearing trees that present fire risks;
- A measure to take away Prop 13—the 1978 ballot initiative that limits taxes on real estate—protections for commercial property is on the November ballot; and
- Newsom has threatened to lay off first responders unless the federal government bails out the budget mess.
You can bet sales tax hikes and income tax hikes are about to occur as well. Even Democratic legislators are upset with Newsom for running the COVID-19 shutdown without consulting them.
California’s problems aren’t accidental. They’re the result of bad policies and the current governor.
He’s had a full year to work with PG&E to address the growing fire hazards. He hasn’t. When the COVID crisis hit, any responsible governor would know that state and local revenues would be devastated by a shutdown. Rather than work with individual counties and cities, however, Newsom dictated from Sacramento—until the protests were too large for him to ignore.
Incredibly, he’s banked the state’s fiscal future on the notion that the federal government will bail California out of its budget mess. Perhaps House Speaker Nancy Pelosi assured him it would, but last I checked, she isn’t president. It has been just plain irresponsible for Newsom to forge ahead in the manner that he has.
Amid that record of failure, Newsom now says he wants to take this opportunity to reshape the California economy. Yes, he wants to use the shutdown to direct a recovery from Sacramento favoring the green industries of his choosing. Politicians directing the economy are always a bad idea—Newsom doing it is a horrible idea.
Best of all, he wants to be president in 2024. For the sake of the nation in the future and California today, Newsom must be recalled, and a signature drive (RecallGavin2020.com) is underway now to do just that. If successful, a special election would be set in February or March of 2021 and California could get a new governor.
Californians deserve a fresh start with a leader who will allow everyone to prosper, and that starts with the recall of Newsom.
Tom Del Beccaro, with others, recently launched the California Revival PAC (CaRevival.com), which supports the recall of Gavin Newsom, the defeat of the anti-Prop 13 measure, and common-sense policies for California.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.