Budget crisis: Saving the Golden State
The late psychic Edgar Cayce was famed for predicting that in the not-too-distant future the entire state of California would collapse into the Pacific Ocean and disappear beneath the sea.
That may be a questionable forecast, but the collapse of the Golden State into a sea of debt is already upon us, and if we don't act now to begin to reclaim California it will soon be too late to save it from disappearing under a mountain of IOUs that cannot be repaid.
We had a chance to begin saving the state when level-headed Meg Whitman ran for governor and Carly Fiorina ran for Barbara Boxer's Senate seat, but the effort failed -- not because of a lack of money to fund their campaigns but for a lack of the kind of political savvy needed to win elections.
As the elder son of the late California Gov. Ronald Reagan, I watched and worked for his campaigns for California governor and then president of the United States and I learned at his knee the art of the kind of political action that wins elections.
My Dad dedicated himself to governing wisely and well, because he loved California and wanted it to stand as a beacon light for good government.
Now I believe it's my turn and my obligation to the Reagan heritage to pitch in and fight to lead Californians in a campaign to reclaim the state my Dad loved and served so well for eight years as governor.
I am impelled to act by the tragic circumstances that have led thousands of employers and job-creating entrepreneurs to flee to other states such as Texas which have been happy to throw out the welcome mat to Californians who bring new industry and jobs and investment capital with them.
According to the Los Angeles Times, during the last fiscal year 135,173 more people moved out of California than moved in from other states. It's no longer a case of "Go West, young man;" now the advice is to move is eastward where fiscal sanity prevails.
Why have so many fled this glorious, sun-blessed state? Well, for one thing it's the tragic fact that unemployment stands at an horrific 12 percent, more than 2 percent higher than the national average.
The state is broke. There are no jobs here -- they've gone to Texas or China. We can't pay for unemployment insurance or pay our bills. We have allowed the labor-union thugocracy to bankrupt our state. And the situation will get worse now that the majority of voters have handed the state's future over to Gov.-elect Jerry Brown, and allowed Barbara Boxer -- who never saw a spending bill she didn't like -- to return to her job as a senator.
I don't blame my fellow Californians for this sorry situation, I blame the leadership of the Republican Party, which is badly in need of new blood -- of dedicated party members who are willing to roll up their sleeves and go out and find grass-roots candidates and back them to the hilt.
We can win elections when we turn from building from the top down and start building from the bottom up. That's the way successful parties go about the business of winning elections.
It's important to observe the stunning success of the GOP in other states. Their success was entirely due to their grass-roots efforts that attracted such newly activated groups as the tea parties, the AFP and other such neighborhood-level political activists.
It's time to get to work rebuilding the party of fiscal sanity and restraint. We must reclaim California and do it now. If we fail, California will become the Greece of the new world.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan and a political consultant. He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation.