If you want to see where the nation is heading, look no further than California.
The state of California employs some two-and-a-quarter million people, includes almost 400 state agencies, oversees 29 different legal codes, administers a tax code that runs to more than 60,000 clauses or sections and spends more than $100 billion a year.
California is a bureaucratic nightmare. It is impossible, or close to it, to do business in the state. People are leaving in droves.
Any wonder why:
Even discounting for the impact of global recession, the most populous state’s ills are unique and self-inflicted — and avoidable. In the last three decades, California expanded the public sector and regulation to Europe-like dimensions. Schools, state employees, health care, even dog kennels, benefited from largesse in flush times. Government workers got 16 official holidays, everyone else six. The state dabbled with universal health care and adopted strict environmental standards. In short, California went where our new president and Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco want America to go.
And how goes the nation?
USA TODAY used federal data to compute all government liabilities, from Treasury bonds to Medicare to military pensions.
Bottom line: The government took on $6.8 trillion in new obligations in 2008, pushing the total owed to a record $63.8 trillion.
The numbers measure what’s needed today — set aside in a lump sum, earning interest — to pay benefits that won’t be covered by future taxes.
We’ve become a nation with nothing but states as vassals to the federal government. This is just perfect:
Welcome to the State of New Hampshire’s Office of Economic Stimulus and thank you for your interest in New Hampshire’s efforts to implement the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
I want to ensure that New Hampshire and its citizens receive maximum benefits from the federal recovery legislation, and that the federal funds we receive are used to create jobs and protect essential services here in New Hampshire.
I created the Office of Economic Stimulus to ensure state agencies are coordinating their efforts and that New Hampshire complies with all requirements of the federal law. This Web site will provide you with important information on state government’s work to implement the Recovery Act.
So the state waits to receive largesse from the federal government as long as it complies with all requirements under federal law. California waits with baited breath for a bailout.
The republic is dead. Perhaps it died long ago. We’re so deeply in debt, the fed has thoroughly debased our currency, and the federal government has taken over GM. In doing so, it broke the most basic rules of contractual law, violated ever tenet of limited government, and is setting its sights on the financial and health care sectors.
Dead broke. California is there, the nation soon to follow.