The media have published many news stories about the new Biden administration’s eagerness to use California as a model for national policymaking. “California is emerging as the de facto policy think tank” of the new administration, as the Los Angeles Times put it. “California is America, only sooner,” said one USC professor quoted by The Guardian.
Everyone can see the obvious connections. Sen. Kamala Harris is now vice president. Biden has tapped Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who sued the Trump administration more than 100 times, as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services. The president has selected several other Californians for top posts in a wide range of federal agencies.
This is not just about placing Californians in positions of power. “California is eager to support your bold agenda by sharing our experiences implementing progressive policy on everything from workers’ rights to climate change,” Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote in a letter to the new president. Progressives see California’s controversial policies as a template.
California often is overlooked in national politics, but this push is about more than lobbying for additional federal aid and attention. It’s about imposing an aggressive, big-government agenda that includes increasing the federal minimum wage, embracing far-reaching policies to combat climate change, and boosting taxes and regulation.
Before attempting to California-ize the nation, the administration needs to look at how things have been going in California in recent years. Our state has the highest poverty rate in the nation. We have a housing crisis driven by government regulations that limit housing supply. After passing a “landmark” anti-contracting law (Assembly Bill 5), myriad moderate-income Californians lost their jobs.
On almost every key issue the state has become a model for what not to do. It’s not a coincidence that our population growth has stagnated amid an exodus elsewhere. “Biden should absolutely look to the PEOPLE of California for examples of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit,” noted former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “The state government of California? Not so much.”
Well said. Let’s hope someone sends Biden the memo.
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