How One Obvious Mistake Created California’s Budget Crisis

by Lee Ohanian via California on Your Mind

California’s budget went from an assumed $98 billion surplus, in which there was so much cash in state coffers that Gov. Gavin Newsom was giving away $50,000 to randomly selected individuals to get a COVID-19 vaccine, to a projected $73 billion deficit in only about two years. As a result, voters in California are trying to get a measure on the ballot that would require citizen approval for state and local government to raise taxes or fees. Governor Newsom has sued to remove the ballot initiative.


City Journal

In April 2023, a California judge threw out the life-without-parole sentences handed down to three gang members convicted of murder -- because of their race. The judge did not find specific flaws in the handling of their cases but ruled that their sentences should be invalidated because allegedly race-based sentencing disparities had occurred in the past in Contra Costa County. Heather Mac Donald reports that Golden State residents should brace for more such rulings:

The Racial Justice Act, passed in 2020 without meaningful public review, turns long-standing academic tropes about implicit bias and white privilege into potent legal tools. And the floodgates are about to open. Starting this year, the RJA allows anyone serving time in a California prison or jail for a felony to challenge retroactively his conviction and sentencing on the ground of systemic racial bias. The Racial Justice Act operationalizes the proposition that every aspect of the criminal-justice system is biased against blacks. But according to the act’s legislative authors, it’s too hard to prove such bias in the case of individual arrests and prosecutions. Therefore, the act does away with the concept of individual fault and individual proof. From now on, statistics about past convictions are sufficient to invalidate a present trial or sentence.

US Government and Chinese Communist Party Enforce the Narrative

General Rob Spaulding spoke at a Peter Huessy/NIDS nuclear seminar this past week and explained that the CCP completely controls the information space in China. The narratives of the day are established by the Communist Party and no disinformation is allowed. The General also said that China has a huge financial stake in hedge funds in the USA that also own a significant portion of the five largest media conglomerates in the USA and thus from issues like Tik Tok to the World Trade Organization, to CFIUS, to the border, China has a huge impact on how the issues are debated in Washington.

This excellent podcast (link below) by Victor Davis Hanson expands this discussion by explaining the US government now also—just like the CCP-- seeks to enforce a specific narrative on CV-19, on energy, on crime, on foreign policy and on taxes, and threatens legal action against those who do not follow the government line and who produce what is described as misinformation or disinformation. As Hanson notes, this is contrary to our constitutional principles. See


From tax relief guru Steve Moore, we learn that new tax data from the Congressional Joint Tax Committee shows that no developed country relies more on the rich to pay the tax burden than the United States. Millionaires make up 0.6% of all tax filers but pay just short of 40% of the income tax collected by Uncle Sam. Can we now dispense with the "fair share" lie yet?

Moore explains, no, millionaires are not paying lower tax rates than their secretaries. And those earning under $60,000 have had their share of taxes not only go down but they get taxes back through the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, also expanded under the Trump tax reform. Here is the Committee chart. Here is the link:

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The Trump tax reform also resulted in:

  • The share of taxes paid by the rich rose to the highest level ever. 
  • Tax receipts overall rose to their highest level ever.
  • The United States repatriated roughly $1 trillion of capital from the rest of the world.
  • The black and Hispanic unemployment rates fell to the lowest levels in fifty years. 
  • The average family saved roughly $1,500 on their taxes. 
  • The percentage of Americans who itemized their deductions fell by roughly half. 

  Blue State City Portland, Oregon Votes for Law and Order

The city of Portland has rising homelessness, crime and fentanyl use and less business and less prosperity. The city elected a Soros backed DA that refused to prosecute progressive crimes such as the 2020 rioting. Good news, Nathan Vasquez, a longtime prosecutor in Schmidt’s office in Multnomah County, ran on fighting crime and Vasquez won—defeating Schmidt 53-47% running on a law-and-order platform. Progressives also lost Democratic primaries in two Portland-area Congressional districts to more moderate candidates. In one, the left-wing standard bearer was Susheela Jayapal, sister of Rep. Pramila Jayapal, head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives, and she was defeated.

Politics in Pictures and Charts

Here in four pictures is the record of socialism vs free enterprise/capitalism

Our second chart is the deaths from drugs—note the drop/slow down from 2017-20 when illegal immigration across the southern border was curtailed

Our third chart is the draining of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve since 2020

And then chart #4 shows peak inflation under the current and past administrations.


Senior Fellow Margaret Raymond testified before the US House Committee on Education and the Workforce, presenting findings from three national studies she conducted on the benefits of charter schools for both students and teachers. Remarkable improvements were seen, especially for disadvantaged students. She reviewed the data and drew policy implications that could widen these educational improvements. You can view her entire testimony, along with charts, here.



Eight mostly blue states and DC STILL have fewer jobs than before the lockdowns, while Idaho and Utah have gained more than 11%, Florida, Texas, and Nevada more than 9%. Maryland has fewer employed than before the lockdown but is at almost 99% of that level.


Last week, House Republicans got Democrats on the record for or against the growing movement to allow non-U.S. citizens to vote in local elections.

We’ve noted that several cities from San Francisco to New York have recently sought to allow non-citizens the right to vote, claiming they deserve to participate in decision-making. Starting this year, Washington D.C. will allow ANY adult who has been a resident for 30 days and claims they don't vote anywhere else to vote in local elections. That includes illegal immigrants.

A federal court upheld the law in March, leading Republicans to move against it. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the D.C. Delegate blasted the bill's sponsors as “paternalistic,” but seven members of the Congressional Black Caucus – including Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois – disagreed with her and supported it. A total of 52 out of 212 Democrats voted against the leadership of their party on the issue. Just the Facts concludes from studying the academic literature, roughly 10-27% of illegally aliens are registered to vote and 5-13% of those vote in Presidential elections. With 22 million people here illegally; (7.5 million added since 2020,) and if 75% are adults or 16.5 million then a minimum of 1.65 million are registered and of those 165,000 vote or an upward 5.9 million are registered and 772,000 vote.


An Update on the war against fossil fuels

The World Bank and IMF are telling African officials to cut back significantly on the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers, although 60% of the people of Africa rely on agriculture for their livelihood. According to The Epoch Times, African development is about where the US was in the 1800s.

The USA uses 120 kilos of such fertilizer per hectare of agricultural land, while China uses 360 kilos. The US Agency for International Development is refusing loans for coal or natural gas or oil development. Sri Lanka’s former PM eliminated such fertilizer sales. He had to flee the capitol as angry farmers marched on the capitol and burned the PM’s house down.The Netherlands and Canada have also pushed to reduce such fossil fuel fertilizer use and, in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders has formed a new populist/conservative government that ran on a platform of jettisoning the manic campaign  against fossil fuels. Source: Epoch Times, April 24-30, 2024   


A Final Indignity to the Arsenal of Democracy by Thaddeus McCotter, May 25, 2024

Abetting communist Chinese subnational incursions into our states has been a bipartisan disgrace—and this is despite the bipartisan warnings of the military, intelligence, and law enforcement.

Last weekend was Memorial Day weekend. We commemorated and reflected upon the ultimate sacrifices given by our fallen citizen-soldiers and the enduring grief of their families and loved ones, which were and are selflessly borne in the defense of their fellow Americans and our free republic.

This spirit of self-sacrifice is rarely evidenced by far too many of the elected officials who will publicly eulogize these same fallen patriots and extend condolences to their families and loved ones. While exhorting others to emulate the example of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, these disingenuous politicians refuse to risk an ounce of political capital—not by opposing public sentiment—but by supporting it in the defense of our national security. Why? Because they fear alienating major corporations and their own party leaders.

While currently occurring primarily in “Blue States,” abetting communist Chinese subnational incursions into our states has been a bipartisan disgrace—and this is despite the bipartisan warnings of the military, intelligence, and law enforcement communities.

The complicit politicians’ reasoning is as follows: using taxpayer money to subsidize CCP-linked businesses locating in states will provide jobs and boost the economy of not only the local populace but also the profits of these companies’ American corporate partners. In sum, having failed to implement the necessary fiscal and free market policies to produce domestic economic growth, these politicians have latched onto these Chinese-linked companies as an electoral lifeline. Apparently, these politicians think the public believes a job is a job and will not care about the use of their tax dollars to import CCP-linked companies into our backyard.

To wit: my home state of Michigan, which during World War II was rightly lauded with the name “The Arsenal of Democracy.” The “greatest generation” of Michiganians not only fought in foreign fields, they toiled in machine shops’ and factories’ floors to produce the armaments needed not only for our forces but for our allies as well. One shining example of American industrial and military might was the Ford Motor Company’s Willow Run Facility (Air Force Plant 31).

As the Detroit Historical Society records, Willow Run was built in 1941 with $200,000,000 investment by the federal government. At its wartime peak,

…Willow Run was able to achieve remarkable production rates. At its peak in 1944, it produced a B-24 [bomber aircraft] every hour. By 1945, it was able to produce 70 percent of its B-24s in two nine-hour shifts, with pilots and crew members sleeping on 1,300 cots as they waited for the B-24s to roll off the assembly line. The Ford Motor Company eventually produced half of their 18,000 total B-24s at Willow Run.

Yet, over time, even as the threats to America ebbed and flowed, morphed and intensified, Willow Run ebbed in the minds of policymakers and the public. In 1953, Willow Run changed hands by lease and, ultimately, by deed from Ford to General Motors; and by 2010, Willow Run plant became a casualty of GM’s bankruptcy proceeding:

Most of the plant was demolished in 2014 but a 175,000 foot portion was offered to the Yankee Air Museum, housed in a hangar until a 2004 fire. After successful fundraising, the Museum reopened in 2017 in the historic building.

The American Center for Mobility claimed the remainder of the massive site and in 2018 opened a proving ground and research facility for self-driving cars, the only one in Michigan and one of ten in the U.S., as designated by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.

What is of note to the present discussion is this: back in 1941, the U.S. government expended taxpayer dollars to an American corporation to provide employment in making armaments for the defense of our nation. Today, state governments are expending taxpayer dollars to CCP-linked companies that use the mantra of “jobs” to deflect from the potential to undermine our national security. All this for a talking point how “[Politician Name] Created [X Number of] Jobs.” (Sadly, the economic mendacity of this message remains lost upon far too many of our citizenry.)

And the offending politicians show no signs of slowing in their feckless endangering of our national security. As the Daily Caller’s Nick Pope reports:

Michigan Democrats shot down an effort to significantly expand the vetting process for China-tied companies seeking to cash in on state incentives earlier in May.

Republican lawmakers in both chambers of the state’s legislature pushed budget amendments that would have prohibited the use of state funds to subsidize corporations originating from adversarial countries like China, but neither amendment made it into the budgets that passed on May 9 and May 15. House and Senate Democrats leveraged their control of each chamber to shoot down both amendments.

The reason for the partisan divide is the support of the democratic administration of Governor Gretchen Whitmer for “Gotion, a company looking to build a subsidized facility in the Grand Rapids area… The state announced in October 2022 that it would be providing Gotion with incentives worth $715 million to attract its $2.4 billion factory to Michigan.”

This is despite the fact that Gotion

…is tied to China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) via its parent company, Gotion High-Tech. The Daily Caller News Foundation has reported extensively on the company’s links to China and the CCP, which include Gotion High-Tech’s employment of more than 900 CCP members as of 2022 and the fact that a visiting delegation of CCP officials set up a talent recruitment work station at Gotion’s California headquarters in 2017.

This is not a one-off by the wholly Democrat-controlled Michigan legislature, who, according to state Senator Jonathan Lindsey (R-17):

Governor Whitmer and the Democrats in Michigan are so married to this idea of taking Michigan taxpayer dollars and giving them to these corporations with ties to China, they refuse to budge. Last year they voted against preventing tax dollars from supporting child slave labor in China. This year they voted against reviews and limitations on those dollars flowing toward our global adversaries. What they’re doing is absolutely wrong for the people of Michigan.

As Michigan Senate minority leader Aric Nesbitt (R-20) further points out, “It’s shocking to watch the Democrat majority in Michigan hand over hundreds of millions in tax dollars from struggling Michigan families to multinational corporations that pledge allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party in their corporate documents.”

Yet, what of the Ford Motor Company, the quintessentially American corporation that was a major artery pumping munitions and materiel through the heart of the Arsenal of Democracy and into our military and allies’ hands? Like the Willow Run plant, Ford has another project seeking public subsidies. Unlike the Willow Run plant, however:

…Ford’s licensing deal with CATL, a Chinese battery manufacturer, has also drawn scrutiny. Ford planned to open a facility in [Michigan] – with the help of state incentives in excess of $1.5 billion – where it would manufacture batteries using CATL’s technology and know-how, but the company has since scaled down its planned factory, according to CNBC.

Perhaps it is an elected official and Navy veteran, State Representative Andrew Beeler (R-64), who, being well versed in the self-sacrifice made by our people in uniform and their families, so well expressed his consternation and concerns:

I didn’t spend years in the Navy pushing back against the Chinese Communist Party in the South China Sea only to come to the Michigan Legislature and give them government handouts… But House Democrats voted to let hostile foreign powers keep spreading influence and gathering intelligence on Michigan taxpayers’ dime.

Given the bipartisan opposition to spending taxpayer money to subsidize CCP-linked companies, one might be tempted to chalk this up to a case of imbecilic political hacks cutting off their nose to spite their face and hoping no one notices. Granted, it would not be the first time. Yet this is far worse. These useful elected idiots are spending taxpayer dollars to buy the CCP, the razor that barbaric regime will use to cut our throat. That this is happening in Michigan could well constitute a final—suicidal—indignity to the arsenal of Democracy.

That this is happening at all constitutes an unconscionable affront to the citizen-soldiers who gave their last full measure of devotion for us.

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) served Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003-2012, and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars; and a Monday co-host of the “John Batchelor Radio Show,” among sundry media appearances.


What’s No First Use of Nuclear Weapons? Another CCP Trick.

Peter Huessy Discusses No First Use strategy that China is pushing the US to adopt on the John Batchelor CBS radio show “Eye on the World” a program that former Representative McCotter also cohosts. Here is the link:


Toon of the Week: From my good friend Michael Ramirez, editorial cartoonist and twice Pulitzer Prize Winner.


Peter Huessy is a Member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee. Since 1981 he has been President of Geo-Strategic Analysis of Potomac, Maryland. He was a former special assistant to the Secretary of the Interior and consultant to the US Air Force. He can be reached at [email protected].

Montgomery County Republican Party