“On the twelfth day of Crazifornia,
Gov. Moonbeam gave to me twelve months of craziness,
Ten UC tuition hikes,
Nine “high-speed rail links,”
Eight states’ worth of takers,
Seven-ty percent underfunded pensions,
Six billion in debt
Five fleeing comp’nies,
Four bankrupt cities,
Three falling bridges,
And a tax hike on millionaires.”
It looks like Guv Moonbeam re-gifted us this year. After all, we got twelve months of craziness last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year ….
I am one day late posting the twelfth of the twelve days because my wife and I are in Arizona visiting our oldest daughter, who fled California because of one of its major crazy features: unaffordable housing. In California, the cost of over-regulation adds 30 percent or more to the cost of housing, which explains why all ten of the nation’s top ten cities for regulations’ burden on housing costs are in California.
Legislators are well aware of the impact their regulations are having on the housing industry, and they know how important new home sales are to the state’s economy. As recently as 2007, new home sales – not resale homes, just new ones – generated more dollars in sales than any other industry in the state, even more sales than all the retail sales combined.
If they would dial back the regulations, it would help they state. The Democrats in Sacramento know this. So what did they do in this crazy year? They increased the energy efficiency standards for new homes, which will add at least $1,500 to the cost of even the most modest home – and even more in the most hard-hit parts of the state.
Crazily, California already has the nation’s most demanding home energy efficiency standards. We’re doing a great job. We can rest on our laurels and still be the best in the nation. But no, recession or not, the Legislature ratcheted up what the state demands of homebuilders.
Why? To save the world from global warming of course. Will a small incremental gain in the energy efficiency of homes in a state where new homes already are extremely energy-efficient cause global temperatures to drop? No, of course not. It will do nothing but make the state less attractive.
Here’s some more California craziness from 2012:
One-third of the nanny-state laws passed in the nation were passed by California legislators, including most famously one that would make it illegal to try to turn around gender confusion issues in children.
California became the #! Judicial Hellhole in the nation, the #1 state for outrageous pay to state workers, topped by a state psychiatrists’ “earnings” of $822,000, and the #1 state for the number of people in poverty.
During the year, school districts all over the state started obligating themselves to expensive bonds to meet their outrageous pension obligations. Schools in Poway (San Diego County), for example, took on bond debt that will cost $1 billion in order to meet pension obligations of $100 million. A school district having pension obligations of $100 million? That’s almost as crazy!
Speaking of San Diego County, San Diego sued itself over a bridge that cost twice its estimated cost.
The year also saw the state’s first carbon credits auction under its first-in-the-nation state carbon cap-and-trade program. (Less crazy states aren’t considering such a program, or have delayed them because of the recession.) Moonbeam wanted $1 billion from the auction but only got $289 million. Do you sense the whole campaign against carbon is more about raising state revenue than saving planets?
On and on it goes. Obviously, the craziest thing that happened all year occurred in November, when voters sized up the Democrats who are so responsible for much of the state’s crazinesses and decided to award them with a legislative super-majority.
Expect things to be even crazier in 2013.