California’s Rendezvous with Reality. By VICTOR DAVIS HANSON
Excerpt: Californians also see their progressive, one-party state as a neo-socialist model for a nation moving hard to the left. But how long will they retain such confidence? California’s 40 million residents depend on less than 1 percent of the state’s taxpayers to pay nearly half of the state income tax, which for California’s highest tier of earners tops out at the nation’s highest rate of 13.3 percent. In other words, California cannot afford to lose even a few thousand of its wealthiest individual taxpayers. But a new federal tax law now caps deductions for state and local taxes at $10,000 — a radical change that promises to cost many high-earning taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. If even a few thousand of the state’s 1 percent flee to nearby no-tax states such as Nevada or Texas, California could face a devastating shortfall in annual income. During the 2011-16 California drought, politicians and experts claimed that global warming had permanently altered the climate, and that snow and rain would become increasingly rare in California. As a result, long-planned low-elevation reservoirs, designed to store water during exceptionally wet years, were considered all but useless and thus were never built. Then, in 2016 and 2017, California received record snow and rainfall — and the windfall of millions of acre-feet of runoff was mostly let out to sea. Nothing since has been learned.