A friend of mine who’s a huge Danzig fan maintains that this was a sucker punch (nsfw):
I’m not so sure. I say if you shove somebody in the face, you should be on the lookout for a knuckle sandwich. Pretty much immediately. But if you want to see a *real* sucker punch, check out Allysia Finley’s swipe at California this week in the Wall Street Journal.
California: The Lindsay Lohan of States
Your government’s run by a brothel of environmentalists, lawyers, public-sector unions and legislative bums. When they’re not taxing or spending, they’re creating regulations and commissions like the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology and the California Blueberry Commission. Many businesses would leave if it weren’t for your sunny climate.
You appropriately give your government low marks — 28% approval for outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, 16% for the legislature — yet you continue to re-elect the politicians who got you into this mess. Not a single incumbent state legislator lost re-election this year, including one Democrat who died a month ago (no joke). What’s scarier is that you’ve just given almost all of the keys to statewide offices to Democrats.
So here’s our final warning: When you inevitably crash and burn, don’t count on us to bail you out.
Look, there’s plenty wrong on the Gold Coast — pension liabilities, the dying film industry, womens’ obsession with tweezing their eyebrows — but is this what passes for journalism these days? Was there no editor at the Wall Street Journal compelled to call Ms. Finley into his/her office and say, “Thanks for making your deadline, Allysia. But did you realize that California generates more federal tax revenue that any other state, and that it gives more tax money to the federal government than it receives in return, and that, as such, it is subsidizing much of the federal funding of other states? And, oh by the way, would mentioning these facts give your column a little more nuance?”
If Finley does anything well, it’s document the disgust people have for California. I should know; I just spent the last 3 weeks listening to my Alabaman in-laws scoff at every passing mention of California’s budget crisis. “Your state is in danger of going broke? Tough crap, Larry Flyntland. You’re not not getting any of our money.” [I’m paraphrasing here.]
It’s a semi-defensible point of view . . . until you check out this table of how much each state gave the federal government (in 2005) compared to what it took in return:
Assuming these numbers are correct (I didn’t make them up, but someone else might have), for every dollar California sent the federal government, it got back 78 cents. For ever dollar the state of Alabama sent, it got back $1.65.
Sign me up for the latter.
And if California is the Lindsay Lohan of states, Ms. Finley, who exactly is Alabama-New Mexico-Mississippi-Alaska-Louisiana-West Virginia-North Dakota-South Dakota-Kentucky-Virginia-Montana?
Dina Lohan, maybe?