Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

A question for voters

California’s population last year was 38.9 million, hardly changed from 38.3 million a decade earlier. Yet in those 10 years, our state budget more than tripled in size – growing from $91 billion to $301 billion. That unprecedented increase in spending has not only failed to achieve anything meaningful in our lives, but by most measures, we’re worse off.

Compared to other states, we pay among the highest income tax, highest capital gains tax, highest gasoline tax, highest sales tax when local rates are included with the state’s rate, highest utility taxes, highest corporate taxes and because our homes are so expensive, the most dollars spent on property taxes.

Our elected officials are now trying to impose an exit tax, more real estate taxes and a wealth tax – basically any money they can get their hands on to enlarge our government even further. They constantly over promise to the point of lying to get tax increases passed via propositions, such as Proposition HHH, bullet train, etc.

We’re $73 billion in debt. Our elected officials have offered to reduce that by just $17 billion for the current fiscal year ending in two months. Next year’s budget, starting Monday, July 1, will have to use overinflated estimates of income to again avoid meaningful cuts. We still have an unfunded $184 billion pension crisis, we’re behind $435 billion in road repairs and now our state wants to pay hundreds of billions in reparations.

Our unemployment rate is the highest in the nation. Hundreds of businesses have packed up and moved out of state, while hundreds of others are shutting their doors. Violent crime as well as robbery and assault have increased double digits since before the coronavirus pandemic. Homelessness has increased 43% despite $20 billion spent to reduce it. Housing affordability has plummeted from 56% to 15% for our residents. Homeowner insurance firms are fleeing the state.

Our energy costs are 2.3 times the national average. We have the worst air quality in the nation. Our schools are in the bottom fifth of states despite our spending $22,900 per student in the upper half of the states last year. Our roads are in the bottom five states. Criminal justice, infrastructure, health care, transit, disaster response, water woes, deferred maintenance… Basically by almost every measurable metric, we are worse off compared to a decade ago.

Where does our money go? Why do voters keep re-electing the same politicians who have created this mess, rather than their more conservative opponents who want to take us down a less destructive path?

David Felker


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