California is reeling from crisis to crisis.
Water shortages, wildfires, power outages, government shutdowns, homelessness, exploding deficits, and uncontrolled crime/violence. All of these problems seem to be converging at once, and they are leaving Californians angry and distraught.
Simply stated, California’s problems are not a failure of ideas, industry or families—they are a failure of leadership.
In 2019, California was hit with wildfires and then 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 Gavin Newsom that if the state cannot reliably provide electricity, they would be forced to relocate.
2019 also saw California’s homeless crises make national news for its scope and the fact that there is no end in sight. In places like San Francisco, the city has moved the homeless into hotels and delivers alcohol, marijuana, and syringes to them.
The homeless and wildfires/electrical crises joined California’s perennial water crises. California farmers, who make up California’s largest industry, year after year are deprived of water and cannot rely on the consistent delivery of what little water they get. Neither can the rest of Californians.
The water crises could be resolved, in part, if government captured the rain instead of allowing trillions of gallons of water run off to flow unimpeded to the ocean. Desalination plants could help too—but, environmentalists and Gavin 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.
Gavin Newsom‘s ongoing response to the COVID crisis has plunged California into a recession—a deep recession brought on by government. It is estimated that over 30 percent of California restaurants will not 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.
A reluctant Gavin Newsom has only begrudgingly opened the state after threatening to keep large aspects of it shut down throughout the summer. His hand, however, has been reputedly 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 is not enough, in the months ahead, Californians can expect:
- The California budget deficit could top $54 billion;
- PG&E to conduct further power shutdowns as it labors under debt and environmental rules preventing it 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
- Gavin Newsom has threatened to layoff first responders unless the federal government bails out Newsom’s budget mess.
You can bet sales tax hikes and income tax hikes are about to occur as well. Even Democrat legislators are upset with Newsom for running the COVID shutdown without consulting with them.
California’s problems are not accidental. They are the result of bad policies and Gavin Newsom.
He has 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, Newsom has 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 is not President. It has been just plain irresponsible for Newsom to forge ahead in the manner he has.
Amidst that record of failure, Gavin 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—Gavin Newsom doing it is a horrible idea.
Best of all, Gavin Newsom wants to be President in 2024. For the sake of the nation in the future and California today, Gavin Newsom must be recalled. Fortunately, a signature drive (www.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 that will allow everyone to prosper and that starts with the recall of Gavin 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 polices for California.
The views expressed herein are solely those of the author. As a non-partisan public charity, Epoch does not endorse these statements and takes no position on political candidates.