If the states are, as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis described them, “laboratories of democracy”, then California is the preeminent example in this country of the pitfalls and perils of socialism run amok.

It’s no secret that this state has been swirling the financial drain for many years now, spinning in a maelstrom of red ink. Massive deficits, accompanied by soaring taxes and Draconian regulatory burdens, have joined to drive out productive people and the companies that employ them. This state has about 14% (about 1/7th) of the nation’s population, and about 1/3rd of its welfare recipients. About 25% of the country’s illegal aliens live here (LINK).

We have among the highest state and local tax burdens in the country. We rank #6 in state and local tax burden per capita (LINK), but bear in mind that large percentage of people on welfare and the illegal aliens. If you factor them out, we’d be even higher on that list. We rank at #48 in state business tax climate, being better than only New York and New Jersey. We have the highest sales taxes in the country; we have the second-highest gasoline taxes, bested only by New York (LINK) by a mere 1/2 cent/gallon.


The Democrats rule this state with an iron fist; their GOP “opposition” is comprised for the most part of a bunch of, shall we say, “moderates” (to put it kindly). All you have to do is look to our former Governator to see an embodiment of the problem there.

Those same Democrats are owned by the unions of both government workers and the private sector. The government-worker unions alone have managed to burden this state with wage levels and benefit costs that are bankrupting us, and there’s absolutely no effort among the ruling elites to do anything whatsoever to address that problem.

For years we’ve had annual deficits that have been in the tens of billions of dollars. Yet somehow, in spite of that, current Governor Jerry Brown and his minions have found the money to enact the state DREAM Act to fund the educations of illegal aliens, and to proceed with a high-speed train to nowhere that’s going to cost in excess of $100 Billion, according to the best estimates.

In what shouldn’t surprise anyone, Brown released a statement on May 12th that our budget shortfall this year is $9.2 billion more than projected (LINK), for a total of about a $16 billion shortfall. It seems that “…tax collections have not come in as high as expected and the economy isn’t growing as fast as hoped for.” I guess that’s what happens when you scare all the productive people out of the state with confiscatory taxes and punitive regulations coupled with insane spending priorities.

So… what’s the latest “solution” to our problems being proposed by Brown and the rest of the socialists… er, I mean, Democrats? If you guessed “more taxes!”, you win a one-way ticket to Athens. Greece, not Georgia. (Well, not really. But you get the point.)

We have two competing ballot propositions coming up that would raise taxes. Brown’s would raise income and sales taxes (and remember, our sales taxes are already the highest in the country); the competing ballot would only raise income taxes.

Brown, as is SOP, threatens that failure to enact his proposition will “…force severe cuts to schools and public safety…”. Notice how these “failures” to pass tax increases never “force severe cuts” to funding for illegal aliens, or bullet trains to nowhere, or pay increases and outrageous benefits to government union workers, or anything like that. No, we’ve got plenty of money for those things, somehow.

The hypocrisy, ineptitude, cynicism, and downright turpitude pile up so fast you need wings to stay above it. This is government failure on a massive scale.

We are Greeceifornia.


© Brian Baker 2012

56 comments on “Greeceifornia

  1. Sgt Relic says:

    The crash is going to be spectacular! Ya’ want to look away, but you just can’t do it! LOL!

    This is what you get when you double down on stupid, and elect a proven idiot Governor.

    The unwanted railway project is popping up all over the country. Here in Hampton Roads Norfolk has just completed the light-rail system that was overwhelming rejected by the voters, in a non-binding referendum, 10 years ago.

    Now Virginia Beach is holding another non-binding vote, which I predict will meet with the same lack of acceptance, as to whether to jump into the money pit and extend the Norfolk system to the beach. No good can come of it!

    I can only think that the reason these politicians are willing to be thrown out of office, and they have been, in order to force these projects; is that they expect to be taken care of with political favors.

    Ultimately, these projects, always unpopular, invariably unprofitable, are being forced against the day when the socialists expect they will be able to evict us from our cars.

    But, what the heck, the Moscow subway was clean and beautiful, right? HaHaHa!

    • BrianR says:

      “Non-binding” votes? What the heck’s the good of that nonsense? “Hey, tell us what you think, so we can ignore you anyway”. Sounds like political suicide to me, too.

      As to our coming train wreck: it’s already here. But you know the socialists: “Move along, people. Nothing to see here…”

      In the case of doubling down on stupid with Moonbeam, that’s also LITERALLY true, as he was Governor back in the old days, and is the frikkin idiot who allowed government-worker unions in the first place. That guy’s one and only brain cell is dying of loneliness.

      Good to see you, Sarge. When you gonna start blogging again?

  2. says:

    My experience with California first started when I was in the Navy and extended on through annual trips all over the state after retirement.
    It is probably the most beautiful state I have ever visited and, with the exception of Hawaii, has the prettiest girls (..I wish they all could be California girls…”)
    But perhaps the beauty of the state is its flaw. Much like so many beautiful women who had tragic endings, California’s beauty attracted too many of the wrong kinds of folks.
    The land of Milk and Honey.
    Grapes of Wrath. During the Oklahoma dust bowl days lots of Okies, Arkies and Texans migrated. Maybe that is why this area is so conservative. The weaker ones left…

    • BrianR says:

      I agree, Buck. I think the beauty of the state is its big draw, along with the climate. Probably why such a disproportionate number of welfare recipients live here; great climate and grotesquely liberal welfare rules. And if you have to starve, at least you won’t freeze to death.

      You’re also right that we’re at “the end”. This nonsense is completely unsustainable. We’re bankrupt, and that’s a fact.

      As to those Dust Bowl migrants: they’re the folks who settled in the San Juoquin and other inland valleys to farm. Those are the conservative or “red” parts of the state. Interestingly enough, as far as land mass goes, that’s the majority of the state. But the populace in the cities is larger, which is why this is a leftist haven vote-wise. Check out the map:


  3. thedrpete says:

    The population of NYC, BrianR, is almost 9,000,000. Some of 8,960,000 pay half the tab for city government. 40,000 pay the other half. That’s less than 1/2 of 1%.

    Does one wonder why NYC voters love Democrats?

    • BrianR says:

      Probably why New York is one of only two states where things are as bad or worse than here.

      Why the hell would anyone live there? At least we have good weather.

  4. clyde says:

    California will be a mess until the remaining people get totally fed up with this crap and put a stop to it. It would help IMMENSELY if “the big one” would take Freakcisco.Talk about trains to nowhere. The idiotic “civic leaders” in Detruit are asking the private sector to pony up for the Woodward Corridor light rail operating expenses out of private funds. I say this will deal the death knell to it. These same business owners,and others they are asking,do not live within TWENTY MILES of the rail line. Last I heard,they were $9.5 mil SHORT of the $ 10 mil annual tab. And for WHAT ? The population of Detroit has plummeted the past 40 years. There are times during the day you could throw a rock at Woodward and Grand Blvd and not hit a soul. This city gov’t can’t even keep the damn busses running,what the hell they going to do with a train?

    • BrianR says:

      The problem is, Clyde, that TOO many of the “reamining people” are the very people bleeding the state dry while everyone else heads for the lifeboats.

      And Detroit? Does anybody still live there?

      • clyde says:

        Mostly takers,although,if one can believe local media,more people are moving into the city than the rest of Wayne county. Don’t see what there is for a draw. Whole Foods,the yuppie grocer of choice, is breaking ground for a new store somewhere near the midtown area. I predict within a week of opening,that’s supposed to be sometime next year,they will be held up. The population,as of the 2010 census,was 713,000. Down to it’s lowest level since 1910.

      • BrianR says:

        Maybe they’re all hoping to see themselves on TV on “Hardcore Pawn”…


  5. Gunny G says:

    The train wreck is coming and the Demerrhoids are simply going to screech and blame the right, like they always do. It’ll be the GOP Congress of 2013’s fault for not bailing out Mexifornia.

    • BrianR says:

      I’m not sure about that. The Dems have complete and solid control here. It’s pretty hard for them to try to pin the blame on anyone else. That’s why Moonbeam’s trying to pass the tax raise through a proposition: he can blame “the people” if it doesn’t pass.

      Not sure THAT’S such a smart political ploy… but then, there’s a reason he’s called “Moonbeam”…

  6. Gray Ghost (Mississippi) says:

    Well Brian, I live in what most surveys claim is the most “conservative” state in the Union. However (looking at your map which you included in your reply to Buck), I live in the Mississippi Delta which is the “blue” portion along the Mississippi River on your map. The state has had to take over several school systems in the delta because the Democrat-controlled school boards spent (or stole) all these school systems’ money. Several delta towns and cities are broke, again because their Democrats leaders spent (or stole) all these municipalities’ money. Crime is on the rise and now days I seldom leave my home unless I am armed.

    Elsewhere in the “red” portion of the state, the Obama economy is on the ropes. The cities of Batesville, Oxford, Pontotoc, Tupelo, and Corinth in Northeast Mississippi are growing with new industry. The Gulf Coast is going like “gangbusters”.

    The state legislature is completely controlled by the GOP, for the first time since reconstruction. And this legislature appears to be trying to correct fifty years of Liberal Democrat induced problems all over the state.

    I mention all of the Mississippi Delta’s problems because they “parallel” that of California’s problems. And the only solution I can see is to somehow reduce the number of Democrats in your state legislature. But I don’t know how you can do it.

    • BrianR says:

      No, Grey, we’re screwed. Save yourselves! Forget about us! Run for the lifeboats!


      • Gray Ghost (Mississippi) says:

        Even though my short service time was in the USAF, I believe in what the Rangers say about never leaving a man behind. We in the US are all in this together. And that being the case, some how all of us are going to have to figure out a way to correct the Liberal Democrat caused problems all over the country.

        But I see a reason for optimism. If the “rednecks” and “pecks” in Mississippi can figure out a way to correct the problem, then there is hope for the rest of the country.

      • BrianR says:

        I guess I’m not as sanguine, Gray. This problem here in Greeceifornia has been going on for years; the only real solution is to cut spending; and the Lefticrats simply won’t have it. Hence the Greeceifornia label.

        Just look at the real Greece to see the full embodiment of the problem.

      • Hardnox says:

        It is probably best to purchase beach front property in western Arizona.

      • BrianR says:

        Frankly, I think I prefer Vegas. More fun.

    • Nee says:

      Gray…my BIL practices in Jackson. He is building a home as well. He won’t let his wife go out alone unless it is to work at a private school. Sigh. The road to hell, still paved, but cracking like mad!

      • BrianR says:


        Potholes all over the place, too… something else that doesn’t get fixed here.

  7. says:

    Yep. The situation kinda reminds me of that story. Oh, dang. Long time ago. But it was about a …can’t remember… but an object and whomever owned it could have whatever he/she desired. But two rules. #1 You had to sell it for less than you paid for it; and #2 Who ever died posessing it went to Hell. The main character had paid one cent for it. Had a heck of a time selling it for less.
    Kinda like Democrat politics.
    In a way.

  8. Jack says:

    Most folks confront the debt problem (not just in CA) by pretending it doesn’t exist.

    What’s really insulting is the way Brown and the Dems are holding schools hostage and threatening to cut welfare(!) unless we approve even higher taxes (as if REVENUE were the problem)–as if zero overhead exists w/i the bureaucracy that can be cut first!

    In a local liberal rag, a local assemblyman (totally owned by the teacher’s union) was praised and re-endorsed for helping pass legislation which mandates CA to use ‘alternative’ energy by 2020 (or something like that). As if a bunch of worthless politicians attempting to force other people to do the impossible is an act of heroism–totally disconnect from reality.

    A neighbor of mine is a retired (not sure of his age, but he can’t be much over 50) prison guard who says he’s making more now than when he worked. His wife is on some kind of disability (I’ve never been able to figure out what’s wrong w/this healthy-looking woman) too–God knows why when he’s probably making close to $100K/year.

    That’s CA…

    • BrianR says:

      Yep. Exactly.

      BTW, on using “alternative energy” by 2020… haven’t you heard? The Vulcans are scheduled to drop by and train us on the use of dilithium crystals. Supposed to happen any day now.

      • Jack says:


        That’s about as good a plan as any out here!

      • BrianR says:

        Bro… it’s the ONLY “plan” out there, as far as I can see.

        They’re just waving a magic wand and trying to wish it into existence.

  9. Jack says:

    What’s incredible is that its CONSERVATIVES who are labelled as “mean, uncaring, bad guys who hate the poor and working-class”, when the fact is that it is LIBERALS who get the poor (and others, like my neighbor) addicted to govt. largesse and then end up wrecking the REAL private-sector working-class w/over-taxation/regulation in an attempt to pay for it all!

    Then, predictably, the over-extended system collapses leaving EVERYONE destitute–WORST off are those totally reliant on govt.

    What a F-in mess!

    • BrianR says:

      The ultimate failure of socialism: it lowers everyone to the same lowest common denominator.

      The only thing it does “equitably” is spread the misery around to everyone.

      • Jack says:

        Many people just won’t admit socialism doesn’t work though…or, they’ll refuse to call their socialism what it is, instead they’ll talk about ‘social justice’, ‘fair share’, yadda-yadda.

      • BrianR says:

        Well, the latest alias is “Progressive”.

        How come they always have to run away from what they are? I’ve been proudly procliaiming myself as “conservative” since I was old enough to know what it means. I’m not constantly trying to rename myself or my beliefs. I’m PROUD of them.

        The leftists can’t do that, so they’re always changing the name of their system… just like a common criminal tries to hide behind aliases.

  10. Jack says:

    Ya know, I’ve asked ‘Progs’ (including the editor of the lib rag I mentioned) why they don’t proudly stand up and claim their socialist ideology. I never get a straight answer, though in private conversations, many will admit an affinity for socialism. They’re conniving enough to understand that the general public (even many libs) still, even after decades of propaganda, vaguely understand that socialism is bad.

    I mean, sheez, most folks have no clue that a Liberal, once-upon-a-time, was someone who believed in a liberal amount of freedom FROM govt. coercion.

  11. jevica says:


    About NYC You are correct the government [city] is devoted to spending OPM. They never would think of a spending cut, heaven forbid, Bloomberg and company are crazy, nanny state people.

    Will never leave, our daughter and granddaughter live about 1/2 away, so the wife will never move unless they do.

    Get this “School fined $15K for selling soda.” this is a “federally mandated law”. What business does the federal government have getting involved in this?

    BTW TH seems to have changed the look of some of my blogs could be time to look elsewhere.

    Great post, these fools just like to tax all sort of things, gas [for cars] cigarettes, on and on. What would they do if we could put windmills on our cars, or fit them with solar panels, I’m sure they would find some way to tax it.

    • BrianR says:

      “Will never leave, our daughter and granddaughter live about 1/2 away…”

      Yup. That’s why I stay here, too. Otherwise I’d move to either Vegas (most likely) or Arizona. Get myself a CCW and buy some machine guns.

      The school/soda pop scandal? There ya go; more federal interference. Why is that any business at all of theirs?

      I just checked my TH blog, and it looks alright. But when I checked Edamon’s, it’s all f’ed up.

  12. clyde says:

    Jev,come on over here. Be great to read you again. I simply gave up on TH.

  13. thedrpete says:

    On the national — rather than Greecafornia — front, (1) expect QE3 (another round of “quantitative easing”) in August-September, that because more government borrowing and Fed printing is KNOWN by progressives to stimulate economic growth (It is an election year), that despite its never ever having done so before; and (2) expect us to speed over a fiscal cliff in January as myriad new taxes and many tax rate increases kick in simultaneously.

    Gosh and golly, this is fun.

    • BrianR says:

      It’ll be interesting to see what happens in January, as I think that’ll actually be determined by the election outcome of November.

  14. CW says:

    Great post, Brian. Having lived there myself, I can attest to the fact that the name of the game was always to figure how to get stuff and make other people pay for it. It should be called the “free lunch” state, or better yet, the “Golden Goose” state.

    I feel for you, because I think the mentality is such that only the experience of complete and utter disaster will open people’s eyes there.

    Did you happen to see the clip of Jerry Brown on CBS? There is a priceless moment 5 minutes into the clip where he defiantly boasts that Facebook was created in CA but is then reminded by Charlie Rose that it was actually founded in Massachusetts.

    • BrianR says:

      Gaaawd, that’s hilarious! Now you know why he’s called “Moonbeam”. It takes place at 5:22 into the clip. But Moonbeam’s right. Didn’t you know? Harvard was located in Commiefornia when Zuckerberg went there; they moved it back to Cambridge a few years later…. it was all very hush-hush…

      What an idiot.

      • CW says:

        I didn’t know the actual clip would show up when I copied the link for my post. I don’t know even know how to do that on my own blog!

      • BrianR says:

        CW, if you right-click the video, then “copy video URL”, then paste it into your comment box (or essay, when you’re rwriting it), there it will be.

        Now, maybe it works a little differently at blogspot. I’ll try posting your own video there as a comment, then you can see it in your dashboard comment editing screen.

  15. thedrpete says:

    Contrast the time that Governor Brown of California is having to the time Governor Walker is having in Wisconsin. In whose house would you rather live? Then consider why the 435 in Congress and the 100 in the Senate and the POTUS in the White House are saying absolutely nothing-nil-nada-zero-zip-zilch about the clear and demonstrable fact that the sum of nondiscretionary spending, interest on debt, and debt service is a $trillion over tax receipts; that even if they cut Defense and discretionary spending to zero, they couldn’t balance the budget, much less begin to pay debt down.

    Government monetary and fiscal implosion is a matter of which month, not if, and government is helpless to do a thing about it. Does that help explain why they’re acting like Moonbeam rather than Wisconsin’s Walker?

    • BrianR says:

      Yes, exactly. As a matter of fact, Bill Whittle has an excellent video on the topic:

      • thedrpete says:

        Brilliant! IIt left me wondering what the response would be if my next door neighbor was strapped in a chair and forced to sit through that video. I think he would say , “Anyone can make statistics say anything they want them to. It’s all rightwing propaganda.”

      • BrianR says:

        Of course it’s just right-wing propaganda to your neighbor. He probably believes, like most socialists, that there’s a Money Tree Forest somewhere, usually just down the road from the Free Lunch Cafe.

        You can’t believe in leftism and make any credible claim to having reasoning ablities or logical thought processes. It’s simply impossible. The only thing you can do is deny facts, otherwise your entire argument collapses upon itself.

  16. clyde says:

    Surprised y’all didn’t see the unicorns right there behind first row of Money Trees. About the economic prowess of this bunch. Whittle is always good listening.

  17. Nee says:

    Remembering you all with love and respect. We are the 7% who truly understand what it means…each of us is 1 in 23 million who have served. An honor.

    • BrianR says:

      Nee, this is the first thing I read this morning. I thank you, and salute you in return.

      That was very well said, and touching. I’ve never known how to respond when someone says “Happy Memorial Day”. “Happy”?

  18. Jim says:

    Any chance we could trade Greeceifornia for a far more conservative place say like Canada eh? Less of course Queesybec! This is a model of what the US is becoming, the illegals are voting for more spending and welfare and are going to Cloward and Pivon that state right into bankruptcy.

    Remember what Ben Franklin said: California is two wolves and a lamb voting over what’s for dinner (OK, I changed it slightly).

    • BrianR says:

      Hey, Jim. How ya doing’?

      Yes, you’re right. I was thinking about this again this morning. There’s nothing in the Constitution that grants “universal suffrage”; the Founders actually DIDN’T believe in that. They believed you had to be a businessman, landowner, something — some form of taxPAYER — to have the right to vote. You had to have skin in the game. It’s a theme also explored by Heinlein in his book “Starship Troopers”. You had to EARN your right to full citizenship that includes voting rights.

      Instead, we have the TAKERS voting on how the EARNERS are going to have their money confiscated and redistributed. Armed robbery using government guns.

  19. says:

    You’re right. Most folks just don’t think when they wish you a “Happy” Memorial Day.
    But the mentality springs from a type of HISS (Head in Sand Syndrome) or HIAS (Head in Ass Syndrome) that mandates no holiday be for reflection.
    Celebrations are for feasting, joy making, cookouts and boating.
    New Years
    4th of July
    Armistis Day
    Even VE and VJ Day are all times of celebration.
    Memorial day is reserved as a time for reflection and rememberance.
    So it is understandable most folks can’t understand it is not for joymaking.
    But for a time. Just a few seconds out of your 24. To stop and remember.
    To just say, “Thank you.”
    Then go ahead and wish me a “Happy” Memorial day.
    The guys we are remembering won’t care.

  20. thedrpete says:

    I half-masted my flag at sunrise, then raised her to the top at noon. In between I lifted my glass (Bloody Mary) to my brother, and toasted “To the many who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend each American’s liberty and also to the even more who have paid the ultimate price for no good or constitutional reason.”

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