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George Will misleads about a root cause of California problems

Fiscal conservatives and libertarians have a cruel trick they like to play on the people of California: whine about the problems California faces in order to push one part of their agenda, while ignoring how another part of their agenda caused the problems in the first place. See the fiscal con page for a detailed description and several examples.

The latest pundit to pull the Fiscal Con is George Will of the Washington Post, who offers "Golden State blues", link. In the article, he misleads his readers by not revealing a major cause of high spending:

[California's supposedly high] tax levels are surely related to these demographic facts: Between 2000 and 2010, Los Angeles gained fewer people than in any decade since the 1890s, and Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area have the slowest growth rates since the end of Spanish rule. For the first time since 1920, the Census did not award California even one additional congressional seat.

The high taxes and Americans leaving the state are related: a major cause of both is high low-skilled immigration. George Will (who at least acknowledged immigration's role last year) does not do that this time.

Instead, he focuses on Republican state senator Bob Dutton; see his name's link for some background.

ADDED: A main promoter of the Fiscal Con is Glenn Reynolds; he links to Will's piece at instapundit . com/121134. While (as could be expected) he just quotes and doesn't add anything, he obviously approves of the article.

Sat, 05/21/2011 - 14:26 · Importance: 4