Why does The Union allow editorial prominence to Thomas Elias? Because of the reasoned opinions? That would be a big “no.” Elias cherry picks bits of information while leaving out volumes to promote “progressive” thought. That would be leftist views for those non-political types.
Elias recently gushed over Gov. Brown’s masterful balancing of the state’s budget with — what a shock — tax increases. To do this, Elias had to gloss over the usual fuzzy budgetary math and ignore the more than $100 billion of unfunded state employee retirement benefits. Oops. And the fact that when Brown was governor in the 1970s he successfully pushed for unionization of state employees, which created this budgetary mess in the first place.
Here’s how it works. Three entities are involved when state union bosses “negotiate” with politicians for what we now know are unsustainable raises and benefits: the public union bosses, the politicians and California taxpayer’s money (not California taxpayers, just our money). The politicians involved, mostly union-loving Democrat “progressives,” promise huge taxpayer-funded pay raises and lush benefit packages to state unions. Union bosses, the quintessential “progressives,” promise huge donations back to politicians from dues derived from, you guessed it, taxpayer dollars. It’s the classic, “If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” Taxpayers are left with the disgusting mental image of that all-too-familiar ritual, oh yeah, and we get to pay the bill.
Another recent Elias beauty was his one-sided attack on those no good, evil states like Texas stealing away poor progressive California’s businesses and high earners. Not once does The Union’s opinion piece darling mention the obvious fact that these states could not entice one business or high-earning individual away if California maintained the minutest resemblance of a reasonable business climate. Moving yourself or your business out of state requires a huge undertaking preceded by much number crunching and trepidation. My tax guy recently lost his two largest accounts to Nevada.
So why do it? Why move? Because this state treats its higher income earners like a parasite treats a host. If you try to work harder, the parasite sucks more. California stifles initiative, innovation and incentives to grow with more taxes, fees, permits, mitigations, litigation, redundant agency oversight, multiple agency jurisdictions, multiple but different agency rules, codes and regulations, exploding workers’ compensation costs, lax phony disability protection and endless environmental review (too much of which is emotional, not science based). So what’s a person to do? For many, you cleave off the parasite and go to a business-friendly state that entices you with initiative, innovation and incentives. Is that evil or just common sense and Business 101?
Come on, The Union, don’t be so lazy. You can do better than this guy. The same old progressive sycophant’s endless slanting of reality in one direction gets old. Spark some debate. How about get some new and different ideas and opinions on your Ideas and Opinions page? If not, at least change Thomas Elias’ column from “California Focus” to “California Bogus.”
Robert G. Ingram lives in Grass Valley.