Let California Be a Warning

Conservatives and libertarians argue against big government for a very good reason: as a government continues to grow, the liberty of its people proportionally decreases. Moreover, as government grows it can no longer sustain itself, and will eventually collapse, as it apparently has done in California. From the LA Times:

On Thursday a small group of Senate and Assembly members will hold the first of what’s expected to be a slew of daily public sessions to wrangle over the details of the budget.

Schwarzenegger has called for cuts that would hit every corner of the state. He announced plans to lay off 5,000 of the state’s 235,000 workers and has proposed slashing education by up to $5 billion, selling state properties, borrowing $2 billion from local governments and potentially reducing eligibility for healthcare programs.

Like far too many states, the government of California has sought to satisfy all its citizens’ desires, a project which has resulted in an untenably booming budget. Rather than truly dealing with reality, however, Schwarzenegger has decided to turn to the federal government for help:

The governor also wants to borrow up to $6 billion, but awaits word on whether Washington would guarantee those loans. The White House has never done so for the state but is considering the action as Wall Street expresses concern that California could become a deadbeat borrower.

By abandoning the principles of small government, California seems to have put itself in a position from which it may never recover.

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