- - Sunday, March 12, 2023

Sometimes I imagine a voter walking into a polling place in a deep-blue city or state and being accosted by a Democratic operative who whispers: “Psst. Want higher taxes, insane spending, lack of economic opportunities, rampant crime and homelessness? Vote for us. We deliver!”

We’re told that voting is a sacred right — the foundation of democracy. But sometimes, it seems like a form of collective suicide — death by the ballot box.

It’s costing New York City $4.8 million a day to feed and house 30,000 illegal immigrants. New Yorkers deserve it.

When it became a sanctuary city, New York said, in effect: Send us your illegals — your career criminals, gang members and chronic dependents — yearning to live off society. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent them.

President Biden — aka Joe the Generous, the patron saint of open borders — got a staggering 87% of the vote in Manhattan. New York and California were two of six states that the president carried by more than a million raw votes.

And then there’s Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis was reelected governor last year by a 1.5-million vote margin. Voters thus expressed a decided preference for conservative government, and they’re getting it.

If woke goes to Florida to die, as Mr. DeSantis says, it goes to California to thrive.

Voters there have created the perfect mechanism for political crazy. In California’s 40-seat Senate, there are only eight Republicans. Less than a quarter of the Assembly is Republican. Not surprisingly, California is at the forefront of the reparations movement, the war on fossil fuels and other forms of political derangement.

Florida’s Legislature is more than two-thirds Republican.

In California, state spending per capita is $9,040. It’s $8,583 in New York state, but only $3,987 in Florida. 

In California and New York, personal state income taxes can exceed 13%. Florida has no state income tax. The first two states are controlled by the party that worships the government. The other seeks to maximize freedom.

Creating a people’s republic is hard work, and its architects feel they should be paid accordingly. In New York, members of the Legislature are paid an annual salary of $142,000. In California, the legislative pay is $122,694, compared to a relatively modest $43,977 for Florida legislators.  

In 2021, California experienced the largest net migration to other states — 249,239. Apparently, the exiles don’t appreciate vagrants filling their streets with feces and used needles, paying confiscatory taxes, seeing stores being looted and watching as criminals are released without bail, creating new opportunities for predation.

California keeps pushing the boundaries of Cloud Cuckoo Land. By 2035, all vehicles sold in the state must be electric, hydrogen-fueled or a plug-in hybrid. The state’s power grid won’t even support current usage, let alone millions of electric cars. But in California, reality never interferes with utopian fantasy.

The insanity isn’t limited to the economy. In the aftermath of the Dobbs decision, Gov. Gavin Newsom — the master of ceremonies of this Theater of the Absurd — declared California an ”abortion sanctuary state,” putting up billboards in more primitive places (those with restrictions on feticide) urging residents to come to California to abort their baby.

It’s also a transgender sanctuary state, seeking to attract minors who want to avoid parental involvement in their efforts to assume the identity of the opposite sex. California must be in the vanguard of every goofy social movement.

Soon, you won’t even be able to flee the Golden State unless you’re willing to leave a lot of your gold behind. There is a proposal of dubious constitutionality, which would allow the state to apply a proposed wealth tax even after the so-called super-rich have fled the workers’ paradise. They should call it the Fugitive Taxpayers Act.

Half of the country is getting bluer, the other half redder. In states like New York and California, how much thought do voters give the consequences of their choices? The logic seems to come down to “Republicans hate minorities and the poor, so I’ll vote for the party that promotes poverty and makes the inner city resemble Beirut in the 1980s.”

The left wants to regulate or eliminate gun ownership but make it ridiculously easy to vote.

With bullets, the damage is limited. With ballots, you can destroy a state’s tax base, disincentivize production and make citizen/subjects miserable to boot, all by the simple act of exercising the franchise.

• Don Feder is a columnist with The Washington Times.

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