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.

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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A Last Nail in the GOP’s California Coffin

 

Sacramento The California Republican Party has been vanquished at the state level with Democrats having control of every constitutional office (governor, treasurer, secretary of state, etc.) and supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature. But Democratic officials aren’t content with such a rout, as they use their legislative power to manipulate the election system to […]

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California Split Back in the News Again

 

The latest news about California — a break-up plan touted by the leaders of Brexit — could serve as a case study of how mischaracterizations spread across the Internet, and how many media outlets echo what others have published or tweeted without apparently doing much checking. Reports suggest that the so-called “Bad Boys of Brexit,” […]

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Public Employees — Ever More Untouchable

 

One of the most obnoxious trends in the nation, and one that is particularly acute in California, is the continued push to enshrine public employees as a special, privileged caste of Americans, exempt from the rules and obligations that apply to the rest of us. As I documented in my 2009 book, Plunder!, public employees […]

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The Ever-Expanding Reach of Anti-Tobacco Zealots

 

San Francisco’s rent-control and tenant ordinances are so oppressive that thousands of apartment units sit vacant in a city where fierce housing demand has pushed rents for tiny apartments to above $3,000 a month. Basically, many property owners there refuse to rent out their apartments because once they do so, it becomes virtually impossible to […]

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The New Gender Battle: Tampons v. Whiskey

 

Sacramento It’s getting increasingly difficult to mock the California Legislature given the fusillade of nearly unbelievable legislation that makes its way through the Capitol’s hallowed halls. In the old days, when California had enough legislative Republicans and moderate Democrats to temper things, zany bills would be introduced only to die in committee. These days, the […]

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