California’s delusional governor
Opinion by Washington Examiner
To hear Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) tell it, the nation is “experiencing, in real-time, a rights-regression.
“It’s this great divergence between red states and blue states,” Newsom told the Milken Institute Global Conference this week.
That is why, Newsom says, he has launched his “Campaign for Democracy” to help project California’s progressive values into the benighted red states of America, where Republican leaders make their citizens’ lives so much worse.
Except that, when you look at the real-world data, you can see that Newsom’s story is a complete fairy tale.
After reaching a population of 39.6 million residents in January 2020, California has declined in population in each of the last three years (2020, 2021, and 2022). The biggest driver of this decline is middle- and working-class families fleeing crime, homelessness, high energy prices, and an otherwise impossibly high cost of living that are all direct results of Newsom’s Left-wing policies. The top destinations of these families are the supposedly oppressive red states that Newsom blames for “rights regression” and from which he wishes to save us — Texas, Florida, Utah, and Idaho.
Newsom seems unaware of what destruction his policies wreak. He brags about California’s economic record.
“Eat your heart out Texas and Florida and the U.S.,” Newsom said at the same Milken Institute event. “No state is outperforming the state of California. We look at the last 10 years, this state’s GDP growth. We’re now on our way to be the fourth largest economy in the world.”
Again, the data tell a different story. California is on the verge of overtaking Germany’s GDP, but that has more to do with problems in Germany than wonders in the Golden State. Calfiornia’s GDP grew by an anemic 0.4% last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This was less than a fifth as fast as the national average (2.1%), and slower than most other states. In the same year, Texas’s GDP grew by 3.4% and Florida’s by 4.0%. Other red states that outperformed California include Idaho (4.9%), Tennessee (4.3%), Oklahoma (4.3%), North Carolina (3.2%), Georgia (2.8%), and Utah (2.7%).
Eat your heart out, governor.
And all this was before the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, mass tech industry layoffs, and Central Valley flooding. No wonder California is looking at a massive $22 billion budget deficit this year.
Maybe Newsom should spend more of his time fixing the problems of his own state before offering pornographic book suggestions for elementary school libraries three thousand miles away from Sacramento.
Today, California has the highest poverty rate of any state in the entire country — higher than Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, or any of the supposedly backward states whose voters he now aspires to advise. California’s public school reading and math scores were already far behind the national average before COVID-19, and thanks to Newsom’s needlessly long school shutdowns, his state has fallen even farther behind, with non-white students harmed most as racial achievement gaps have widened.
Asked if the Golden State was headed in the right or wrong direction, a majority (54%) of Newsom’s constituents said the wrong direction. Contrast that with Florida, where 57% of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) constituents say the Sunshine State is on the right track.
Newsom is right about one thing: there is a growing divergence between red and blue states right now. But it has nothing to do with some delusional “rights regression.” What’s happening across the country is that middle- and working-class families are fleeing the anti-family policies of blue states for the family-friendly policies of red states. And you will continue to see these results every time the Census shows more and more Americans voting with their feet.