Friends Fleeing California

Over the past year, several couples in our Bible study have moved away.  Why?  Here are some reasons (and something to consider if you long to live in California):

            Highest state income tax in the US

            2nd highest gas tax in the US

            1.3 Trillion dollars in debt

            Highest homeless population in the US

            Highest poverty rate in the US

            One out of three welfare recipients live in California

            Taxes on drinking water.

Upcoming proposals in our legislature:

            Remove Proposition 13, first for corporations and then residents.  (Proposition 13 was mandated by the citizens of our state to prevent the property taxes from going up EVERY year – which had been happening.  Proposition 13 set the property tax based upon purchase price and was for the protection of homeowners.) 

            Rationing water to 55 gallons per person per day.

Other reasons people are upset:

            California has created sanctuary cities and state policies to shield illegals – even violent criminals who are released and end up in primarily Latino neighborhoods where they threaten the lives of those who fled Mexico and Central America for a better life.

            Refusal to cooperate with federal authorities in arresting and deporting violent criminals

            Reduced support of police

            Teachers cannot suspend students for bad behavior. 

Rick and I are “native” Californians, meaning we were born here.  California education was ranked #1 when we were in school.  We had wonderful teachers, some of whom became friends after our graduation and were invited to class reunions.  Most families owned homes, smaller than the ones built today, but affordable and comfortable.  There were no homeless populations living on San Francisco, Sacramento, and L.A. streets.  Kids felt safe enough to leave doors unlocked and ride bikes to their friends’ homes.  Times have changed.

Will we be leaving California, too?  We’ve talked about it, but we love our state, even with its political, environmental, and social problems.  We’ve been through major earthquakes, fires, floods and recessions, and we’re still here.  We love the people.  We love the climate.  We love the land.  Drive 45 minutes west and we can walk along the Pacific Coast, 30 minutes to picnic beneath redwoods, 20 to Valley of the Moon and there are the beautiful vineyards turning red, orange and gold right now.  Even with the air thick with smoke from the latest fires, we don’t want to leave. 

It just seems a grievous and unfair situation when people who have poured taxes into the golden state of California all their working lives can no longer afford to stay through their golden years.