http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/22/opinion/22mathews.html?_r=2&ref=opinion http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124260067214828295.html As I see it, California is the prime example of what a failure the policies of the Left are (whether followed by Democrats or Republicans). Considering the policies that wrecked California (massive social spending, high taxes, heavy regulation, environmental regulations, etc...) are what Barack Obama and the Democrats ran on, everyone needs to pay very close attention to California as this administration seems hellbent on applying these same policies on the national level, and California is the world's 7th largest economy, and once the greatest state in this nation. The taxpayers should not have to bailout California, but if California goes under, so will the nation I think. It's just too big. But the Leftist government there, and the special interests there, namely the unions, trial laywers, and environmental whackjobs, have killed the goose that lays the golden eggs. The Left may like to try the claim that this financial crises on Wall Street somehow "proves" that the Republican "model" (which the Republicans themselves haven't per se followed 100% as of late) doesn't work or whatnot, but the real proof of what works and doesn't lies with the states and cities. The same thing happened to the nation's greatest city, New York City, in the 1970s. No city followed more policies of rent and price controls, high taxes, big government, a huge budget and massive spending on entitlements and social programs. John Kenneth Galbraith once wrote an article for the Times in the 50s asserting that if only the city's budget was twice was it was at the time, all the city's problems could be fixed. Well by the '70s, the budget was more than tripled and the city was a crime and poverty-infested, bankrupted hellhole, in which the state of New York and the federal government had to literally bail it out. NYC has a welfare state within the welfare state to this day. Now California, the world's 7th largest economy and our greatest state, once reknowned for having the greatest infrastructure, the best schools, the best students, and the greatest economy in the nation, has been driven straight into the ground, through policies of massive entitlement spending, incredibly strong unions, insanely stringent regulations, an environment outright hostile to business and free enterprise, out-of-control speniding, and so forth. California, New York state, New Jersey, and so forth, are also proof that raising taxes, even when it increases revenues, rarely closes the budget, because then the special interests (which grow as the government grows, because the more government tries to regulate industry, the more industry tries to regulate the government) demand more and more money and the government decides to just spend more and more. What states have the highest taxes in the country? California, New York, New Jersey, etc...what states have the biggest budget deficits, AGAIN, California, New York, New Jersey. Here in Upstate NY where I am, they have run commercials talking about how to fix the state's budget problems as so many businesses and wealthy individuals are leaving the state. This creates a vicious cycle, as taxes go too high, more and more businesses and people leave, resulting in taxes having to go even higher, and so on. The great irony is this administration will have to bail out the state that has gone down the toilet while at the same time seeking to apply the same policies on the national level (they are going to have to raise taxes significantly to pay for the massive spending of universal healthcare and whatever else they create, then there's carbon cap-and-trade they will try (General Electric, which is in bed with this administration, is hell-bent on having universal healthcare and carbon caps passed), union card check, etc...). Another example of a country headed this way is the United Kingdom under Labour party, which first drove the UK into the ground by the 1970s, then the conservatives won power, fixed things, then grew corrupted like the Republicans did, lost power, Labour made a comeback as "New Labour," and "New Labour" has since gone on to enact the same old tired policies of massive spending, thus so mis-handling the nation's finances that it will be an enormous shock if they do not lose in the next election.