Here in the Breitbart News office in LA, every desk faces a bank of flat-screen televisions on the south wall that show every major cable news network–and, during baseball season, the Dodgers. As a result, we see the same ads several times a day–Fox pushing catheters, CNN promoting ChristianMingle.com, and MSNBC touting its own mindless propaganda shows.
Lately, we see ads inviting us to relocate to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York.
The voiceover proclaims sunnily:
The new New York is open. Open to innovation. Open to ambition. Open to bold ideas. That’s why New York has a new plan: dozens of tax-free zones all across the state. Move here, expand here, or start a new business here, and pay no taxes for ten years. We’re New York, If there’s something that creates more jobs and grows more businesses, we’re open to it. Start a tax-free business at StartUpNY.com.
For that ad alone, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio should be sued for false advertising.
Last week, Cuomo made clear that if you oppose abortion, support gun rights, and embrace traditional marriage then you “have no place in the state of New York.” This week, de Blasio–speaking in Washington, D.C., leaving thousands behind in snow-bound streets–said that Gov. Cuomo was “absolutely right to say what he did.”
The joke is on them, of course, especially de Blasio, because many of the same rich people he wants to tax so badly hold the same opinions he wishes to expel from the state. Some wealthy New York City residents, knowing Michael Bloomberg was likely to be succeeded by someone much crazier, have already left. You may see them walking their dogs in Central Park on spring Sundays. But their businesses are out-of-state, or safely offshore.
California is hardly saner than New York. We are losing hundreds of thousands of middle-class residents every year–especially young families who can’t afford the cost of living. We also lose businesses that can’t survive the taxes or the regulations. And we have a government that is just as hostile to conservative views. The gunmaker Smith & Wesson is leaving the state due to new regulations; the previous state government refused to defend traditional marriage in court, even after Proposition 8 passed overwhelmingly (the same year Obama first won).
Yet Gov. Jerry Brown is riding high. Not because he is sticking it to conservatives–he is, albeit more politely–but because he is bucking pressures from his own party to spend the state’s $3-to-4 billion surplus on an orgy of left-wing priorities. For a Democrat, his “State of the State” speech this week was a model of fiscal sanity.
Of course, Brown barely addressed the state’s $355 billion in unfunded liabilities and debts. He did not talk about the state’s high unemployment or poverty. And he declared that the answer to California’s severe drought was to use less oil, the idea being that a) global climate change is to blame, and b) California could do something to stop it. He also committed himself, once again, to his wasteful high-speed rail to nowhere.
Yet Brown’s main focus–reflected in favorable media coverage across the state–was fiscal prudence. He showed up with playing cards like those that U.S. troops distributed in post-Saddam Iraq–except that these bore graphs showing the dangers of deficit spending. He even cited the Biblical story of Joseph and Pharaoh: “Put away your surplus during the years of great plenty so you will be ready for the lean years which are sure to follow.”
How utterly sane, how un-Moonbeam.
Stories in the liberal press about how Brown has engineered a California “miracle” are silly. The state’s financial health is the result of dodgy bookkeeping and a Wall Street windfall that has benefited California’s one-percenters, most of whom are too happy with their lifestyles to consider moving.
Yet Brown has balanced the budget. That gives him something no other leading Democrat has: an achievement.
That distinguishes him from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (another New Yorker). She is busy lining up the Obama money machine for her inevitable 2016 run. But she has no accomplishments to her name–not one. And in Benghazi, she has a very, very serious failure. The administration calls it a “phony scandal,” and Clinton herself asked a year ago: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
The answer is: the presidency.
Brown says he has no presidential ambitions–not after running three times and failing. But wait until the 2014 campaign is over, and ask again.
He is no great leader–he has none of the political courage of Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, for example, whose Republican administration took on the public sector unions, and is about to hand his state’s surplus back to the taxpayers. But in a field of Democrats who have done nothing, Brown stands out.
Jerry Brown recalls the old joke about two men being chased by a bear. One stops to put on running shoes, and his friend tells him he’s crazy: “You can’t outrun a bear!” The other replies: “I just need to outrun you.”
Sure, the conventional wisdom is that opposition to Hillary will come from the left. That misreads the electorate, and the Democratic Party, which after likely losses in 2014 will be looking to the center.
And–watch–to the West Coast.