It is not a national election year, but the “red state versus blue state” wars continue. Texas Governor Rick Perry’s recent foray into California, to lure away businesses and jobs, signals more than a rivalry between these two mega-states. The Texas-California competition represents the political, economic and cultural differences driving American politics today – and for the foreseeable future.
The Great Debate
Valentine’s Day is a time when couples go out for romantic dinners and exchange gifts, while singles meet up in bars, hoping to make some bad decisions. Valentine’s Day is also a day when people with crazy ex-boyfriends or -girlfriends are reminded of how thankful they are for anti-stalking laws.
The Internal Revenue Service created a bit of a kerfuffle last week when it announced that it would no longer publish data on interstate taxpayer migration and the income they take with them. This would be a huge disservice not just to economists and policy analysts but to all Americans.
The changing face of the American electorate is etched all over the map of California. The Golden State may no longer be a partisan battleground, but it continues to be a reliable bellwether for the evolving national political landscape.
From America’s mid-term elections, two noteworthy comparative results. A modestly funded ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in California drew 300,000 more votes than a billionaire businesswoman who spent well over $140 million of her own money to try to become the state’s governor. Both lost.
-The opinions are the author’s own-
California voters on Tuesday rejected a measure to suspend the state’s innovative climate change law. But the state’s emission trading scheme has been substantially diluted to buy off opposition from energy-intensive industries and allay fears about job losses.
What would legalizing marijuana in California, America’s most populous state, mean to the drug cartels whose fight for access to American markets have turned parts of Mexico into war zones? Shrinking profits? Certainly. Less violence? Maybe.
Let the trading begin.
California will be mailing out its first batch of IOUs today after the state’s stalemate over how to close the more than $24 billion hole in the budget leaves it with insufficient funds.
The California budget impasse comes to a head one way or the other this week, with state lawmakers needing to make nice by June 30 to close a $24 billion budget gap. If they don't, rating agencies have threatened to downgrade the state's credit ratings.