California Succeeds by being Anti-Trump

By Ronald Horvath | Jul 30, 2018

"Just about every policy Donald Trump imposes to make his America great is opposed by the world's fifth-largest economy. That would be California, which is growing faster and outperforming the U.S. in job growth, manufacturing, personal income, corporate profits and the total return of its bonds. The most populous U.S. state, with 39.5 million people, supplanted the U.K. as No. 5 in the world with an equivalent gross domestic product of more than $2.7 trillion, increasing $127 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Trump attributes the prosperity of the U.S. economy during his 17 months as president to his evisceration of environmental regulations and other consumer protections, abandoning the Paris climate accord, aggressively deporting undocumented immigrants, prohibiting people from certain nations (mostly majority Muslim) from emigrating to the U.S., prosecuting sanctuary cities for protecting immigrants, cutting taxes most for corporations and the rich, and appointing a Supreme Court justice who just wrote the 5-4 decision limiting the rights of tens of millions of workers.

Jerry Brown, California's longest-serving governor, takes the opposite approach, and his state thrives. California is the global leader among governments committed to safeguarding the planet from climate change. Corporate California's revenues from clean energy companies dwarf those of the other 49 states or any country. The state's auto emissions law, now contested by the Trump administration, is the nation's most stringent. The legislature voted to become a sanctuary state, preventing police from participating in federal enforcement or asking people about their immigration status. The same assembly also made California the first state to declare a $15-an-hour minimum wage and to require solar panels on new homes. Its citizens approved Proposition 30, temporarily raising personal income and sales taxes to fund education.

California's 4.9 percent increase in GDP last year was more than twice the gain for the U.S. and enabled the state's jobless rate to slide to 4.2 percent, the lowest on record since such data was compiled in 1976. Per capita income since 2013 grew 20.5 percent, making California the perennial No. 1. Among the biggest states sharing the Trump agenda, Texas remains an also-ran with less than a third of California's $31.8 billion in receipts from agriculture, forestry and fishing and $63 billion less than California's $289 billion in equivalent GDP as the nation's largest manufacturer, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the Texas unemployment rate is lower at 4.1 percent, California's is falling faster and its total workforce of 17 million is 37 percent greater and has increased 2 million during the past five years, more than any other state.

Investors also make California the best-performing state
, with 462 native companies in the Russell 3000 index producing a 587 percent total return (income plus appreciation) during the past decade, 262 percent the past five years, 76 percent the past two years, and 27 percent the past year — easily surpassing the Russell 3000's total return of 371 percent, 154 percent, 59 percent, and 22 percent, respectively. In the market for state and local government debt, California also is superior, representing more than 20 percent of the No. 1 BlackRock Strategic Municipal Opportunities Fund, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

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Comments (2)
Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jul 31, 2018 06:16

That's great news, Catherine.  Now maybe LeRage will live up to his obligations.


"Maine is expected to have nearly $130 million in surplus revenues during the two-year budget cycle that ends in 2019, according to the latest projects from the state’s Revenue Forecasting Committee.

That’s great news (but not entirely unexpected because the state regularly ends its fiscal years with additional money on hand). The money can go toward fulfilling a state law requiring the expansion of Medicaid, which was approved by voters last year.

Gov. Paul LePage, who vetoed expansion legislation five times, has laid out a set of standards for funding the expansion, which he said, during his State of the State address, he would “enforce” as state law.

The funding standards include not raising taxes, not cutting funds for nursing homes or people with disabilities, not taking money from the Rainy Day fund and not using gimmicks. The surplus funds identified by the Revenue Forecasting Committee meet these criteria.

According to the nonpartisan Maine Office of Fiscal and Program Review, it would cost the state $55 million to pay for the expansion in fiscal year 2021, the first year of full implementation. That year, Maine will receive $525 million from the federal government, which covers 90 percent of the cost of expansion. The $55 million figure represents 1.5 percent of a single year of state spending.

Simple math shows the benefits to Maine far outweigh the costs by nearly 10-to-1. Even without the revenue surplus, Maine can afford to expand Medicaid. The surplus simply makes it easier."

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jul 30, 2018 18:48

California is still so much better off than any "Republican" state.  Have you looked at the stats for Alabama or Mississippi, Catherine.  There's a reason Republican states take more money from the dreaded "guvmint" than they pay in taxes.  Texas is in far worse shape than CA.  And then there's  that Republican paradise, Wisconsin:


"The bad news keeps coming for Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), who ran as a conservative who was going to save the state and create 250,000 jobs. Instead, he’s thrown the state into what’s looking now like a long term economic contraction.

In the latest numbers from the Philadelphia Fed, which is a monthly state-by-state index of leading economic growth indicators, Wisconsin ranks 49th in the nation.

Out of the 50 states, only five are in contraction. Alaska, Louisiana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are all projected to decrease growth, with Wisconsin second to last with an index of -.74%."

"The other forty-five state indexes are projected to grow over the next six months. For comparison purposes, the Philadelphia Fed projects the US coincident index to grow 1.4 percent over the next six months."

"And then there’s the other data. In March of this year, Wisconsin plunged to 44th in private sector job growth. Also, Wisconsin came in as the fifth worst in terms of the erosion in private-sector wages.

Forbes named Wisconsin one of the “worst states” for business in December of 2012. Wisconsi is 44th for overall economic performance and 39th for business climate."


Or how about Kansas where the Republican governor did everything LeRage wanted to do here:


"At the one end of the scale are Kansas and Texas, with among the nation’s lowest taxes, least regulations, and lowest wages.

At the other end is California, featuring among the nation’s highest taxes, especially on the wealthy; lots of regulations, particularly when it comes to the environment; and high wages.

So according to conservative doctrine, Kansas and Texas ought to be booming, and California ought to be in the pits.

Actually, it’s just the opposite. For years now, Kansas’s rate of economic growth has been the worst in the nation. Last year its economy actually shrank.  Texas hasn’t been doing all that much better. Its rate of job growth has been below the national average. Retail sales are way down. The value of Texas exports has been dropping.

But what about so-called over-taxed, over-regulated, high-wage California? California leads the nation in the rate of economic growth — more than twice the national average. In other words, conservatives have it exactly backwards. " the one end of the scale are Kansas and Texas, with among the nation’s lowest taxes, least regulations, and lowest wages.

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