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Michael Reagan’s Alternative Universe Where Prop 13 Never Happened

August 26, 2019

I get two local newspapers, the reliably liberal Valley News published in Hanover, NH and the reliably conservative Caledonian Record published in St. Johnsbury, VT. Last Friday’s Caledonian Record featured an op ed article by Michael Reagan, Ronald Reagan’s son. Michael Reagan clearly despises Democrats who, he claims, turned the sunny California his father created into “…a social, fiscal and economic s-hole.” How did this happen?

…the California Dream has been transformed into the California Nightmare by Democrats and their liberal ways. Now the Golden State is famous for high taxes, over-spending, failed education policies, overgenerous social welfare programs, a huge homeless population and bad environmental and energy rules.

There’s one fact Mr. Reagan conveniently overlooked in his analysis of California’s woes: Proposition 13 created most of the “failed education policies” in the state and also resulted in taxes being shifted from local property tax to various state taxes— the “high taxes” Mr. Reagan cites.

And there’s another fact the Vermont newspaper failed to mention: California’s tax burden ranks 11th in the nation… and Vermont’s tax burden ranks 4th.

And here’s another fact that is overlooked: California ranks 18th in terms of social benefits. Vermont’s ranking? First.

And here’s a final inconvenient fact: California experienced a population growth of 6.5% while Vermont had a growth of .21%. So… people are not fleeing California’s onerous taxes, bad environmental and energy rules. Nor are homeless people and welfare recipients seeking out Vermont’s generous benefit package.

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