By: Thomas Del Beccaro, Forbes
The world knows of California’s unemployment, spending, and budget problems. With over $1 trillion in public debt, the Golden State’s fiscal situation is surely challenging. Amazingly, a giant gift was laid at California’s doorstep in the form of abundant oil fields accessible by fracking. Rather than promote the budget-soothing jobs and the tax revenue that comes with it, California Democrats have lined up to stop it.
California is the land of misplaced priorities, highest-in-the-nation taxes and even higher regulations. Recently, the California Public Policy Center, relying primarily on official reports prepared by the State Controller and State Treasurer, determined that “the outstanding debt owed by California’s state and local governments, using responsible actuarial assumptions, is almost certainly in excess of $1.0 trillion.”
That $1 trillion in debt compares to a state economy of approximately $2 trillion and a state budget of about $100 billion. Much of that debt is unfunded pension and medical liabilities for government employees – a problem that is getting worse, not better.
To make matters even worse, California’s reported unemployment remains among the highest in the nation. It is important to remember that the unemployed pay fewer taxes and use more government benefits. The best way to reverse that dynamic is with a growing economy.
So what is California to do? Apparently kick a gift horse in the mouth.
According to a state report, California Monterey Shale formation may exceed 15 billion barrels of oil, which is the equivalent of five years of U.S. oil imports. More importantly, at least to California, nearly three million jobs could be created in the next seven years and nearly $25 billion in state and local tax revenue could be realized IF – if the state permitted access to the oil through fracking. (Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure to fracture shale rocks, releasing natural gas inside.)
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Thomas Del Beccaro, “The Most Heard Voice in CA Republican Politics,” is the immediate past Chairman of the California Republican Party, Columnist for BigGovernment.com, Publisher of PoliticalVanguard.com, author of The New Conservative Paradigm and frequent talk radio and television commentator. In those roles, Tom is heard by millions on the radio, TV and in person each year. In his multiple roles, Tom is uniquely positioned to hear the pulse of politics all the way from the grass roots to Presidential candidates and legislators in between.
Political Career. Tom was elected Chairman of the California Republican Party in March of 2010. He was formerly Vice Chairman of the CRP for four years before that, Republican Party County Chairman of Contra Costa for three terms and former President of all 58 Republican Party County Chairman in California.