Eber | Moment of Truth for Gavin


By Richard Eber, California Political News and Views 

Making decisions is often not an easy task. In politics  a point inevitably transpires when the research of advisors and the desires of special interest groups need to be cast aside when “Judgment Day” comes; Or as Brutus remarked in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “There comes a time in the affairs of men which taken at the crest leads on to fortune.”.

In a similar way Gavin Newsom is dealing with such a moment when he becomes governor on January 7, 2019. In his first order of business the new CEO of the Golden State will have to determine what to do with the 14 billion dollar budget surplus bestowed upon him by his processor.

Jerry Brown recommended putting the extra revenue in a rainy day fund as he fears a mini recession will hit the state in the coming year.  Naturally, what Gavin Newsom does with this extra cash is another matter.  He will be under an immense amount of pressure from the left to:

  1. Fund the preschool program being pushed by progressives in the legislature to provide a day care program for at risk children including kids from undocumented families. The cost for this is estimated to be about 2-3 billion dollars per year
  2. Fund Medi-Cal for 1.8 million illegal aliens at a cost $3 billion. This expense does not cover food stamps, welfare entitlements, education, law enforcement and a host of other subsidies given to Sanctuary City residents
  3. Set aside more money for CalPERS to help pay off their huge deficit that mostly been given to cash strapped local governments to fund.
  4. Give one off grants to public education from K-1 to college. Taking such a step would likely prove popular with the SIEU and the heavily Democratic teachers unions.
  5. Provide additional revenue for dealing with Homelessness and low income housing projects
  6. Spend the funds to provide seed money for a single payer health system the left craves so much.
  7. Give extra cash to the Bullet Train to dredge this project from the government scrap heap.

All of these ideas fall under the category that assumes tax revenues will continue to raise in California whose present prosperity has been provided by high tech companies.  This is a pretty thin argument especially considering the current dependence on millionaires for revenue and the alarming exodus of high paying jobs from the State.

Pushing for a minimum $15.00 an hour minimum wage for fast food workers means little compared to losing disposable taxable income of high tech and manufacturing companies who have chosen to relocate elsewhere.  As such, what would be a reasonable way to spend the 14 billion dollars surplus that Jerry Brown is bestowing to his subjects upon retirement?

  • A onetime rebate to a group of tax payers who have one of the highest rates in the Country.
  • Spend the money retiring bond debt which is a significant portion of the State budget
  • Put extra funds on a one time basis to fix neglected highways and infrastructure projects
  • Keep the surplus in the bank as an insurance policy to operate the government when the next recession hits.
  • A combination of the above.

Of course it is doubtful that the new sheriff in town will act in a sensible way pertaining to the budget surplus.  He might put a few dollars into CalPERS or even set aside some of the 14 billion for the rainy day fund.  However, like most tax and spend politicians, the new Governor will likely try to solve what ails society with government funds while at the same time trying to placate his supporters.

Indicative of this is a recent letter Newsom sent out to donors of his historic 4 year campaign to become governor.  In part it read:

“As we transition into this new era for California, there are so many decisions to be made, and we’ve been full steam ahead on laying all the groundwork for the next four years. But I wanted to take some time today to share what I’ve been thinking as we look ahead, and most importantly, invite you to keep making your voice heard.

As I see it, there are three non negotiables here: One, we must expand opportunity to every single person who calls California home. Two, we must never, ever back down from our commitment to California’s values. And three, whatever we achieve, we achieve together

Because this is our moment to be leaders not just of our state, but of our nation. The work is just beginning 

The California Dream needs to be accessible to everyone – that’s why our people-powered movement must be dedicated to building an economy that works for everyone. To thinking big – not just aiming for the bare minimum, but for truly equitable communities, in every corner of our state.”

After reading this diatribe, one would think Newsom was giving a half time pep talk to a high school football team.  If not this we might think the new Governor was about to take over for Steve Carell in making a new episode to the sitcom The Office. In this entire letter to supporters, almost every word was a pronoun.  Nothing specific was mentioned or that the former San Francisco Mayor is about to take over the reins of the 5th largest economy in the world.

This is OK because Gavin Newsom starts his term as Governor with a clean slate.  He did very little working as Jerry Brown’s second in command other than  being a cheerleader for  LGBT rights, legalizing  weed, supporting Sanctuary Cities, and running for office at taxpayer expense.

Now the hard work must begin with the actual phrase uttered “Et tu Gavin?”

Richard Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and was former city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.

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