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Reviews |  No California is not doomed


Homelessness is caused in part by a lack of housing, but also by inadequate treatment of people with mental illness and addiction. Many conservatives argue that the state has focused too much on social housing as a solution to homelessness. “Focus on treatment first, rather than housing,” says Wayne Winegarden, senior researcher in business and economics at the center-right Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy. “Otherwise, all we do is take the problem from the street to the hotel room. “

Chris Hoene, executive director of the center-left California Budget and Policy Center, disagrees with Winegarden and calls for more spending on Homekey, the state’s homeless housing program. Social services should be “wrapped up” or integrated into a home, says Hoene. It is unfortunate, he says, that “people on different sides of the strategies pit potential solutions against each other.”

One of California’s advantages in dealing with these and other challenges – fixing K-12 education, reducing the tax burden on families and businesses, etc. – is that the state finances have improved. The state raised taxes and cut spending to prepare for the Covid-19 recession, but tax revenues rose unexpectedly because high-income workers continued to work and financial markets performed well , generating taxable capital gains. The $ 100 billion California Return Plan, which Newsom signed in July, is a Christmas tree of Democratic priorities, including stimulus checks for two in three Californians, tenant assistance, housing for homeless people, tax breaks and grants to small businesses, universal pre-K, college savings accounts for low-income students and investments in infrastructure and resilience to wildfires.

I referred that optimistic line of thinking to Joel Kotkin, a professor at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., Who is an expert on cities. He was more pessimistic. “The way our economy is structured, there is an incredible amount of wealth minted for a small number of people,” he said. “We have the worst overcrowding. The schools are terrible and they will get worse. He added: “Before, it was an ambitious young person who went to California. I don’t think that’s happening anymore.

It’s hard to argue with a seasoned California observer like Kotkin, who began writing about Silicon Valley in 1975. On the other hand, the drop may be overstated. Bloomberg News editor-in-chief Matthew A. Winkler observed earlier this year that people like to declare California “doomed.” This is not the case.

How you describe a bill depends on what you are talking about. If you’re worried about too many fiscal stimulus, it makes sense to take note of tax increases and spending cuts. If you’re concerned about the size of government, taking note of spending cuts makes sense, but it doesn’t make sense to reduce the size of the bill by the amount of tax increases. Same thing with a Republican tax cut. If they cut taxes by $ 1.5 trillion and offset them entirely with spending cuts of $ 1.5 trillion, that’s a tax cut of $ 1.5 trillion and so it is. should be described. Only compensatory tax increases should be taken into account.


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