Prominent “Progressives” identify a simple way for governments to ease economic and social problems: take more money from people as tax revenue and spend it on programs and projects. And in 2013 they can cite an example that seems to conform with their ideas.
Yes, it’s California.
Below is a fairly comprehensive list of sources for this claim. Notice that many of these sources are based on the East Coast.
Reporters and columnists for the New York Times seem to be particularly knowledgeable about the political and economic circumstances of California. They have even personified the claim through Governor Jerry Brown, as if one heroic, enlightened man alone engineered a “comeback” for the state. (Governor Brown doesn’t do much to dispel the myth.)
I’m guessing that the interest of the New York Times in California’s economy and budget is based primarily on needing to tout an example that the federal government should emulate. The nation’s intellectual elite continues to be frustrated that the “New New Deal” that Progressives were envisioning for America after the November 2008 election never came to fruition. The “Tea Party” has exploited outdated structural checks and balances of the republican model of government and permitted the thinking of the Reagan Era to linger, hindering Progress.
- California Beaming – commentary by Tim Egan – New York Times – March 28, 2013
- Lessons From a Comeback – column by Paul Krugman – New York Times – March 31, 2013
- California Faces a New Quandary, Too Much Money – New York Times – May 25, 2013
- California’s New ‘Problem’: Jerry Brown on the Sudden Surplus, and the Filibuster – The Atlantic – May 26, 2013
- The California Comeback: How Progressives Stopped California’s Decline – video of panel discussion at 2013 Netroots Nation – June 22, 2013
- California Shows the Country How to Overcome GOP Dead-Enders – New Republic – July 1, 2013
- California Resurgent Under Brown, But Spending a Worry – Associated Press – July 5, 2013
- California Economy is on the Comeback Trail. Can America Follow? – Christian Science Monitor – July 23, 2013
- Brown Cheered in Second Act, at Least So Far – New York Times – August 16, 2013
- Jerry Brown’s Tough-Love California Miracle: The 75-year-old governor rescued the Golden State from financial ruin – and is reshaping a national progressive agenda – Rolling Stone – August 29, 2013
- New Rule: Conservatives Who Love to Brag About American Exceptionalism Must Come Here to California – commentary by Bill Maher – Huffington Post – September 27 2013
- Jerry Brown Calls Washington Gridlock Dangerous, ‘Really Sick’ – Sacramento Bee – October 2, 2013
- Sacramento Not as Dysfunctional as Washington, D.C. – column by Tim Rutten – Los Angeles Daily News – October 11, 2013
- California Sees Gridlock Ease in Governing – New York Times – October 18, 2013
- Gov. Jerry Brown’s Advice for Washington – Los Angeles Times – October 24, 2013
- California, Jerry Brown Enjoying Rave Reviews, but Comparisons Are Tricky – Sacramento Bee – October 25, 2013
- While Congress Stalls, the Golden State Moves Forward – commentary by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D) – Santa Barbara Independent – November 5, 2013
- California Governor Brown: A Great Power Has To Find Some Unity – NPR – November 6, 2013
- California, Here We Come? – column by Paul Krugman – New York Times – November 24, 2013 (praise of Covered California)
After November 23, 2013
Jerry Brown’s Revenge – commentary by Tim Egan – New York Times – March 6, 2014
Palmy Days for Jerry – commentary by Maureen Dowd – New York Times – March 22, 2014
Jerry Brown’s 4th Act – Politico – October 28, 2014