California can now boast of being America’s poverty capital, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A report by Kerry Jackson asks, “Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America?” Well, the answer is in the question: it’s under the control of Democrats.
Jackson reveals that the state with the largest economy in the United States and the sixth largest economy in the world beat out places like New Mexico, Mississippi, and West Virginia as the state with the most impoverished in the country. “Nearly one out of five residents is poor,” Jackson notes.
At the same time, California spends billions — that’s BILLIONS — to fight poverty:
It's not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause. Several state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200% above the poverty line receive benefits. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments and "other public welfare," according to the Census Bureau. California, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation's welfare recipients.
Jackson, who is a fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, a pro-capitalist/limited government think-tank, explains the crux of the entire problem:
The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.
Jackson spells out even more of the failures of the Democrat Party platform that has led California straight to the bottom:
The state and local bureaucracies that implement California's antipoverty programs, however, resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It's as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place...
Self-interest in the social-services community may be at fault… To keep growing its budget, and hence its power, a welfare bureaucracy has an incentive to expand its "customer" base...
Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average...
California lawmakers recently passed a measure raising the minimum wage from $10 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022 — but a higher minimum wage will do nothing for the 60% of Californians who live in poverty and don't have jobs. And research indicates that it could cause many who do have jobs to lose them.
Furthermore, as Jackson points out, California is far from reducing its spending. Instead, politicians want to build an incredibly expensive high-speed rail system, they continue protecting illegal aliens, they’ve hired Obama pal and former attorney general Eric Holder to seek out anti-Trump policies, and they want to secede from the Union. And yet, state voters continue putting these big spenders back in power.
“California Democrats have long been free to indulge blue-state ideology while paying little or no political price,” Jackson concludes. “The state's poverty problem is unlikely to improve while policymakers remain unwilling to unleash the engines of economic prosperity that drove California to its golden years.”