The California welfare racket


Jill Stewart is the pre—eminent journalistic truth—teller about California politics. Naturally, she is a free—lancer, who lives column—by—column, without the benefit of s fulltime job for one of the state's newspapers or TV stations. Fortunately, the San Francisco Chronicle has been buying a lot of her columns lately, including today's number, headlined "Victimized by the poor."

She methodically lays out the structure of self—interested parties who have ensured that California become a chronically deficit—ridden state, starving its infrastructure of necessary repairs, and lavishly funding all kinds of welfare for the poor, and even the middle class. Although she never uses the term "welfare magnet," that is precisely what California has become. She also fails to point out that California is a welfare magnet situated next door to Mexico, a country full of impoverished and desperate people, who, if they cross the border, fully qualify for benefits exceeding anything they could earn at home.

All of this would be hopeless, beyond the possibility of change, save for one man: Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger, who is about to place on the state ballot a series of referenda targeted at changing this awful mess into something approaching good governance. As his campaign advances, I will be reportiung on it in greater detail.

In the meantime, be aware that something very remarkable is happening in California: one man standing up against a corrupt, downward—spiraling polity, and using his extraordinary talents and resources to make a fundamental change. Politicians don't get much more admirable than this outside of wartime (Thank—you, President Bush). What the governator has set about accomplishing will turn state government on its ear, and will likely inspire other states to make similar changes. Big news is brewing in California.

Thomas Lifson   3 6 05