A choice between two futures.

Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, July 13, 2012.

Two items hit the news on the same day this week. First, San Bernadino became the third California city in less than a month to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. (See the story here.) Citing a looming inability to cover payroll, the city of 210,000 surrendered to the inevitable in the wake of a $46 million revenue deficit.

Filing for bankruptcy protection has become the thing to do among California cities. In just the past few weeks, Stockton, California filed for bankruptcy, becoming the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. That was followed shortly by the bankruptcy filing of Mammoth Lakes, California, a town of about 7,700.

In the cases of Stockton and San Bernadino, the reasons cited for their financial failure follow the well-worn paths of excessive spending, unsustainable employee health and pension costs, plummeting tax revenues and declining property values.

The state of California has, of course, been in the news on a frequent basis going back to at least 2003 when the state’s parlous finances led to the recall of then-Governor Gray Davis and the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Things didn’t improve on Schwarzenegger’s watch. Partly due to Schwarzenegger’s fecklessness but mostly due to deeply entrenched public employee unions, the state of California’s finances have only gotten worse since 2003 when they were sufficiently bad to make Gray Davis only the second state governor in U.S. history to be recalled.

California is a fiscal basket case, a fact that is underscored by the back-to-back-to-back bankruptcy filings of three California cities.

Meanwhile, on the same day that the San Bernadino bankruptcy story was being reported, financial cable channel CNBC released its annual “Top States for Business” rankings. For the third straight year Texas tops the list. (Story here.)

According to the CNBC report, Texas ranked first overall among the fifty states after factors such as the cost of doing business, access to capital, taxation, workforce quality, infrastructure, transportation and technology were taken into account.

Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential bid, deeply flawed as it was, did correctly make the point that the state of Texas has created more net jobs since 2008 than all of the other 50 states combined. For all of his failings as a national candidate, Gov. Perry has been very successful at positioning Texas as a state that is friendly to business and has reaped the reward of several high-profile corporate relocations, some of which were from California.

And thus, in the juxtaposition of these two stories, is the choice facing voters in the November election neatly encapsulated.

On the one hand is California. California, once the richest state in the union is now the brokest. California is rapidly becoming a vivid illustration of liberalism’s end game. Decades of onerous taxes, overweening regulation, overly generous welfare entitlements and cosmically lavish public employee pension plans – coerced from California taxpayers by the almost total seizure of government at every level by public employee unions – has left the state destitute.

On the other hand is Texas, looked down upon and sneered at by liberal elites on both coasts as a Neanderthal backwater. This even as thousands of former Californians flock to Texas for its business-friendly environment, its low taxes, its light regulatory burden, its lack of public employee unions, its status as a right-to-work state and its resulting entrepreneurial and employment opportunities.

The November election is not simply a choice between Romney and Obama; between a challenger Republican and an incumbent Democrat.

The choice is between competing visions for the future.

A California future or a Texas future. That’s what’s on offer come November.

Which future will you choose?

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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5 Responses

  1. Linda E. Montrose says:

    The only thing I can say to this is, people have been saying that to re-elect obama will be national suicide. I disagree with this statement. It was national suicide when obama was put into the Whitehouse, if he is re-elected, it will be our burial!

    It will be generations of hard work, facing reality and doing what needs doing despite all the hollering and moaning from people who have been on the public dole for far too long to even come close to mending the damage obama has done to this Country!

    Facing reality is a hard teacher, but once the lesson is learned, it becomes easier as we go along. The first lesson is to get rid of ALL elected officials who have been in office over two terms. If they haven’t done anything in two terms, it is likely they never will! It is a MYTH that they need more time in office to fix things. If that were the case, we wouldn’t be in the shape we are in NOW! Once this first lesson is learned, the rest fall into place and are much easier to follow!

    Come November, I want to see a rebirth, not go to a funeral!

  2. L Miles says:

    A Margaret Thatcher quote seems appropriate here.

    “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

    I would like to add that the problem with socialism is the total lack of morality exhibited as Socialists twist compassion into compulsory theft to promote dependency on their power-mad pursuits. Socialists don’t want to learn from their mistakes because they are parasites (by nature) who can not live without a host to feed upon.

  3. Sdrake says:

    This is a great contrast to show how liberal policies and agendas do not work. The libs have managed to take a great state, and drive it in the ground. On the other hand, the republican led state of Texas is leading the way for working people. Too bad libs just don’t have the mental capacity to figure this out. We have to remember, California gave us the likes of Pelosi, Boxer, etc. Leadership anyone???

  4. Wanted to say more on 11 Chronicles 7:14 as it says it all. “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face, turn from their wicked ways, than I will hear from Heaven, I will forgive their sins and heal their land.”
    YES America if only my people would Humble yourselves and pray!

    America come back to Jesus, repent, and you can be healed.

  5. Mark Olinger says:

    Under the Democratic leadership, America has an 8.3% unemployment, 35% of Americans receive welfare, $15.9 trillion in debt, and no budget in over 1200 days. Given this data why do some in America want four more years of Democratic leadership?

    There are those that believe America under Democratic leadership is headed the way of Greece or other EU countries. But I do not need to look outside the lower 48 states to find an example. Let me give you the “Tale of One State” to add a little more to the impact of Democratic leadership:

    The State of California has the largest gross state product in the United States and is responsible for about 13% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). If California were a country its GDP would be between eight and eleventh in the world. Since 1970 the California State Legislature has been under Democratic control except for 1995 – 1996 when the Assembly was controlled by the Republicans, even though the governorship changes between the two political parties.

    California has an unemployment rate of 10.8% (down from a high of 12.5%, but almost double of 5.7% in 2007), 3.8% of its residents are on welfare (on average it spends about $6.7 billion on welfare), a debt of $16.0 billion, a balanced budget with revenue shortfalls, and multiple municipal governments filing for bankruptcy. State spending increased from $56.0 billion in 1998 to $127.0 million last year, while state revenue continues to decrease.

    If the Democratic economic and social policies are so great why have they not worked for California? Why should the rest of the country have to implement them?

    Regardless of party affiliation or ideology if you have stupid elected leaders at any level you may want to vote them out.

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