tigations are closed. “Democrats are harass-

ing Dianne Feinstein for being too moderate, while they endorse a legislator ac- cused of harassment,” says Grant Gillham, a former staff er in the California leg- islature. “You can’t make this stuff up.” Democrats also can’t

wish away the fact that the unions and their liberal spending allies depend on revenue from a state in- come tax that’s both the nation’s highest and also very susceptible to booms and busts. Until now, high income

“It’s yet another example FEINSTEIN

of the state’s political class engaged in ‘La-La Land’ thinking — hoping that the problem can be wished away,” Dan Walters, the dean of the Sacramento press corps and a reporter on state government since the 1970s, told me. Another example of “La-


La” thinking comes from the willingness of the state’s elites to wall themselves off from the continuing break- down of civil society. Ed Lee, the mayor of

earners were allowed to deduct their large state tax payments on their fed- eral tax returns. But the Trump tax bill caps both state income and local property tax deductions at $10,000 overall. That’s only roughly half of what average tax itemizers have been deducting. So the state income tax is going to hit many Californians much harder. You’d think that change would


prompt a drive for reform of govern- ment programs and a new tax system that shifted more of the burden to an expanded sales tax. But instead, State Senate leader

Kevin de Leon is pushing a bill to al- low taxpayers to donate to a fund and deduct 100 percent of the dona- tion, essentially turning state tax pay- ments into a deductible charitable contribution. No doubt promoting such a stunt

will provide exposure for de Leon’s leftist primary challenge to Demo- cratic Sen. Feinstein this June, but few believe it has a chance of becom- ing law or passing constitutional muster even if it did.

San Francisco until his untimely death last year, warned that his city was suff ering from too much tolerance. In 2015, he told the San Francisco Chroni- cle’s Debra Saunders, “I do think that people are being somewhat more irrespon- sible.” He told her the city’s major problem is “historic

levels of drug use.” Legislation signed by Gov. Brown

in recent years has eroded the pen- alties for drug use, possession, and petty crimes to the point that police often don’t bother making arrests. Treatment is no longer forced on patients with drug abuse or mental health issues. One police offi cer interviewed by

Saunders was blunt: “If you are a drug addict, you are going to come to San Francisco.” The result is that the city that used

to be the nation’s most popular tour- ist attraction now spends $30 million per year on a losing battle to clean its streets of hypodermic needles and hu- man poop. NBC’s Bay Area Investigative Unit

surveyed 153 blocks of downtown San Francisco looking for trash, needles, and feces. It found trash littered across every block, 41 blocks had hy- podermic needles, and 96 had human excrement soiling them. As the NBC unit photographed

nearly a dozen hypodermic needles scattered across one block, a group of preschool students walked by on their way to a fi eld trip to city hall. “We see poop, we see pee, we see

needles, and we see trash,’ said teach- er Adelita Orellana. “Sometimes they ask what is it, and that’s a conversa- tion that’s a little diffi cult to have with a 2 year old.” Whenever brave California offi -

cials try to attack such “lifestyle lib- eralism” excesses, they are often con- fronted by a temper tantrum worthy of a 2 year old. Todd Spitzer, a member of the Or-

ange County Board of Supervisors, recently tried to clean up a home- less camp of 700 people living along a riverbed next to Anaheim’s Angels’ Stadium. He was promptly sued by

Reagan Country Turns Blue P

opulation shifts have even transformed Orange County, the suburban GOP power center where Ronald Reagan used to

end all his campaigns. In 2016, the county went Democratic for president for the first time since the Great Depression. Orange County is now one-third Latino and nearly a fifth Asian-American.

“Demographics is destiny, and, at the core, we’re seeing a historic shift of almost

a reconquest,” Chapman College political science professor Fred Smoller told The Orange County Register in 2016. “The state is changing permanently.”

MAY 2018 | NEWSMAX 47


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