California has always been associated with some of the most radical political policies and practices in America. However, they may have found a way to stoop to a new low after their recent actions, tarnishing the state in the process.
On January 1st, California’s ban on diesel vehicles exceeding 14,000 pounds and manufactured before 2010 went into effect. The law impacts upwards of 200,000 automobiles, including 70,000 big rig trucks registered in California. However, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) ban applies to all vehicles operating in California, no matter which state they are registered in. This brings the total number of affected trucks to at least 230,000. Rather than being directed to focus on the crime that is plaguing California, California authorities have been instructed to issue on-road citations to non-compliant trucks that haul the goods that Californians consume. Specifically, CARB has stated that “Non-compliant trucks issued an on-road or field citation are subject to a penalty of $1,000, which could go up to $1,800 if the owner fails to correct. To clear the citation, the owner needs to demonstrate compliance by upgrading the engine, selling or scrapping the vehicle, or not operating in California, along with payment of the penalty.”
Forcing over 200,000 vehicles to either stop driving in California or pay a hefty fine is not enough for California’s officials. In August of last year, CARB proposed a ban on every diesel-powered truck operating in California, regardless of size or date of manufacture. California expects to require trucks or buses driving around busy ports and railways to be zero-emission by 2035, and by 2045, all non-electric bus and truck fleets will be banned from the state. This ridiculous proposal would undoubtedly harm the economy as truck and bus fleets shrink, with the remaining ones being forced to pass on the costs of expensive electric automobiles to consumers.
Thousands of children are victimized by pedophiles each year. Any sane individual would expect convicted pedophiles to be punished to the maximum extent of the law. In California, however, it appears as if those who prey upon children are receiving mere slaps on the wrist for their evil crimes. New data shows that California has released thousands of guilty child sex offenders years early, with some spending mere days in prison. A federal act referred to as Megan’s Law forces states such as California to publish information relating to sex offenders. Of the 54,986 criminals listed in the California Megan’s Law database, approximately 76% were sentenced for crimes involving minors. California’s maximum punishment for felony child predators is 8 years in state prison. Sadly, the average time served for all convicted child molesters in California is just 2 years and 10 months. Even more dishearteningly, a total of at least 7,000 of individuals in California’s database were released within 12 months after being convicted of “lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age.”
Former Los Angeles prosecutor Samuel Dordulian has called the revelations out of California “terrifying.” According to Dordulian, “Statistics clearly show that pedophiles don’t get reformed. They’re going to come out and they’re going to commit again. Letting these people out early, we’re allowing for a lot more victimization. And that’s terrifying.” California Republican Representative Darrel Issa was also disturbed by the news of California’s soft punishments for brutal crimes. To quote Rep. Issa, “This disturbing report represents a critical challenge to California: Prove it isn’t true or take immediate action to reverse policies that contradict any sense of justice. The spirit that made Megan’s Law a reality is as important to public safety as ever, and there must be a clear and consistent standard for truth in sentencing of the most violent and dangerous criminals.”
While states like Florida have banned puberty blockers and so-called sex reassignment surgery for those under the age of 18, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed a bill into law enabling the state to become a transgender surgery “sanctuary” for juveniles. According to S.B. 107, which began taking effect on January 1st, the state of California is able to claim emergency jurisdiction over minors if there is a disagreement between California and the child’s parents about the child’s gender. Furthermore, S.B. 107 declares that taking adolescents away from their parents in another state is legal and justifiable, so long as the child is pursuing gender transition procedures in California. This effectively allows California to claim custody away from out-of-state parents if their child flees to California. The legislation also prohibits healthcare providers from providing medical information relating to a child’s gender procedures to family members, even if the information is subpoenaed.
Just as California is a “sanctuary state” for childhood transgender surgeries and illegal immigration, it is also a sanctuary state for women seeking abortions at nearly any stage of their pregnancy. In 2022, California spent more than $20 million to fund travel, lodging, and, ironically, child care, for women in different states to get to California and receive an abortion. That same year, the California State Senate pushed for a bill of rights covering cats and dogs. In California, women are able to obtain an abortion until the point of “viability,” which has been determined to be around 6 months into a pregnancy. Allowing for babies to be murdered up until the third trimester while advocating for an animal bill of rights signifies that the California State Legislature has a higher regard for the lives of dogs and cats than they do for the youngest human beings, which is extremely disconcerting.
Additionally, California is set to pay billions of dollars in reparations. The California Reparations Task Force, which was established by Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom in 2020, recently proposed that $223,200 be awarded to each eligible applicant of the program. Reports suggest that a minimum of 2.5 million individuals are expected to receive payments from the project, meaning the program could ultimately cost California taxpayers more than $500 billion.
The city of San Francisco has somehow managed to move an already radical proposal beyond the definition of insanity by proposing absolute debt forgiveness and lump sum payments of $5 million to all approved applicants of its own reparations. Moreover, San Francisco plans on providing a guaranteed income of over $100,000 annually for 250 years for all low-income recipients of the initiative. These dangerous Marxist proposals were made despite the fact that California has been a free state for the entirety of its existence. In other words, a state that never allowed slavery is going to take money from citizens who never owned slaves and give it to people who never were slaves.
California is in no position to waste an extra $500 billion right now. Despite high taxes and hundreds of billions of dollars in state revenue, California’s reckless spending has resulted in massive debt. This fiscal year, California is set to experience a statewide deficit of around $24 billion. Projections indicate that California’s financial situation will not improve any time soon. To the contrary, future budget deficits are expected to be between $30 billion and $50 billion if spending is not severely reduced. This comes despite the fact that California residents endure record-high tax rates compared to other states.
To start, California consumers must pay a whopping 7.25% state sales tax on every retail purchase that they make, the highest state sales tax percentage in the country. California business owners are also subject to a corporate tax rate of 8.84%, the third highest in the nation. Lastly, personal income in California is taxed at a rate of up to 12.3%, more than residents of any other state pay. Clearly, California has no problem in terms of collecting revenue. Rather, they have an issue with their Democrat leaders, who continuously waste taxpayer funds.
Even though the state spends hundreds of billions each year, California has essentially nothing to show for it. California cities are in shambles; crime is growing more rampant by the day; students are failing at record rates; and the homeless population continues to grow as the statewide population continues to shrink. Under nearly every metric, California is becoming a failed state. Sadly, the once “Golden State” is now tarnished, and it is unclear if it will ever shine again.
Parker Bono is an 18-year-old patriot from Southern California. Before joining AMAC, Parker wrote a total of 6 books as a teenager. He wrote his first book when he was just 13 years old. Parker is also an active member of his community. He has worked on nearly a dozen different political campaigns and has helped get conservative candidates elected to an array of government positions.