Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s recent likening of California to Greece, Spain and Italy drew a sharp response from Gov. Jerry Brown. His press secretary, Gil Duran, denounced Romney and said conditions in California were the “exact opposite” of what was seen in those struggling European nations.
The Associated Press story on the contretemps noted that the debt and credit-rating woes of the nations were much worse than the Golden State’s. But Romney’s point was that “entrepreneurs and businesspeople” see California, Greece, Spain and Italy in a similar light. For anyone who has read The Economist for any period of time, that’s not exactly a controversial observation.
It’s not just the fiscal irresponsibility shown in California’s chronically dishonest budgets. It’s in the huge impediments to economic growth created by high taxes, rigid regulations and fears of new burdens being imposed. As in many European nations, our state’s most powerful leaders simply don’t believe that how governments behave can kill jobs and stymie growth.