Steven Greenhut

Steven Greenhut is a senior fellow and Western region director for the R Street Institute. Write to him at sgreenhut@rstreet.org. His political views are his own.

Distressed City Exits Bankruptcy, But More Distress Ahead

 

Sacramento Officials for the decrepit city of San Bernardino are touting the great news that, after five long and tumultuous years, the city this week officially exited bankruptcy. Starting next month, it will begin paying its debts again. Of course, it pulled off this miracle by stiffing creditors — many of whom will receive only […]

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Democrats Embrace Banana-Republic Tactics

 

Sacramento California’s Democrats control just about everything in the state. They own every statewide constitutional office and have supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature. Heck, a news report this week revealed that Republicans have a majority of voters in only 14 of the state’s 482 cities. In other words, the majority party can pretty […]

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Assembly Speaker Gives Public the Finger

 

Sacramento For a stellar example of the disdain with which some California legislators treat the public, consider a series of votes that Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, scheduled right before the Assembly adjourned Friday. The Assembly voted on nearly 90 bills, yet did so apparently without waiting for those bills to have been published for 72 […]

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Sacramento Discovers a Housing ‘Crisis’

 

Sacramento Nineteen years ago, I made the trek from a small, industrial city in Ohio to Orange County, California, to take a job at a large daily newspaper. Oddly enough, my friends in Ohio thought I was crazy to head to California, and my wife still sneers at me for accepting the post without having […]

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California Wants to Make Health Care a ‘Right’

 

Sacramento A Bay Area Assemblyman got an earful last week as he pushed a largely symbolic bill that would have made it legal for California public employees to be members of the Communist Party. Rob Bonta of Oakland contritely withdrew the measure, which had passed out of committee, after leaders from the state’s large Vietnamese […]

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Revolt of the California ‘Freeloaders’

 

Sacramento When normal people talk about “freeloaders,” they usually are referring to the assorted welfare dependents, scammers and, yes, public employees who game the system to do as little productive work as possible and receive as many taxpayer-supplied benefits as they can muster. In California, freeloading is an art form, but the term is largely […]

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UC’s Napolitano Digs a Deeper Hole

 

Sacramento University of California President Janet Napolitano, the former Arizona governor and director of Homeland Security under Barack Obama, showed off her political skill at a joint legislative oversight hearing last week. She was being “grilled” about a recent state audit alleging that her office — about the size of some small countries — held […]

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The Grass Gets Greener: New Data Tells Old Story of Public-Employee Greed

 

Sacramento Yet another prominent study highlights the depth of California’s and the nation’s pension crisis. The Pew Charitable Trusts recently released a report on the “state pension funding gap” — i.e., the $1.1 trillion-dollar divide between the assets governments have set aside and the amount of liabilities they have amassed to pay for those shockingly […]

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Napolitano Deserves Boot Over Latest UC Scandal

 

Sacramento The University of California warned Californians early this year that if tuition weren’t significantly raised or public funding increased, education at the 10-campus system — with its staff of 200,000 and $28.5-billion-plus budget — would suffer. “We’re at the point where if we don’t do this, if we don’t invest, the quality of education […]

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Rewarding Public Employees With New Tax Hikes on the Private Sector

 

Sacramento Under the “leadership” of Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative Democrats, the state government has increased its spending a dramatic $36 billion over the last six years, but never managed to put any additional funding into transportation and infrastructure — unless one considers the billions it’s spending to build a high-speed rail boondoggle. Yet during […]

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