Gavin Newsom is cornered by the reparations clown show he unleashed

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom finds himself in such an awkward position that he is refusing comment on a gathering storm that will not go away, and which has the possibility of turning his presidential ambitions to ashes.

Newsom is known to many as “Governor Brylcreem” for the large amount of greasy pomade he favors for his coiffure. He will need all the lubricant he can come up with to slip through the trap he has constructed for himself.

Aaron Kliegman reports for Fox News:

The California Reparations Task Force, which was created by state legislation signed by Newsom in 2020, is considering a proposal to give just under $360,000 per person to approximately 1.8 million Black Californians who had an ancestor enslaved in the U.S., putting the total cost of the program at about $640 billion.

The task force's final recommendations for reparations will be submitted to the California Legislature, which will then decide whether to implement the measures and send them to Newsom's desk to be signed into law.

Democrats totally control both houses of the legislature, and who among them would vote against reparations? Blacks’ share of California’s population is well below the national average, but in a state utterly dominated by the left, it would take courage – and leadership from the governor – to go against the fad (and left wing obsession) of reparations.

No race or ethnic group constitutes a majority of California’s population: 39% of Californians are Latino, 35% are white, 15% are Asian American or Pacific Islander, 5% are Black, 4% are multiracial, and fewer than 1% are Native American or Alaska Natives, according to the 2020 Census.

Still, I am pretty sure most Hispanics and Asian-Americans, and not a few whites, would not fancy paying higher taxes in order to hand out substantial personal wealth to African Americans who were never slaves. And higher taxes, or radical service cuts (or both), would be necessary:

The task force had initially proposed $220,000 per person for Black Californians last year but recently increased the figure by more than 60% to $360,000 as one of many ideas being mulled to give out reparations.

Economists and scholars consulting with the task force came to the latest proposal by using a model that evaluated California's racial wealth gap, calculating damages related to injustices such as housing discrimination, mass incarceration and health harms.

It's unclear how California would pay for large-scale reparations. Newsom announced in January that the state faces a projected budget deficit of $22.5 billion for the coming fiscal year. Then weeks later, the California Legislative Analyst's Office, a government agency that analyzes the budget for the state legislature, estimated in a subsequent report that Newsom's forecast undershot the mark by about $7 billion.

A nearly $30 billion looming deficit before any payments to Blacks leaves a big fiscal challenge. If California were to hand out the $360,000 to every one of California’s 2.252 million Black residents, the total cost would be over $810 billion dollars, more than three times Newsom’s 2022-3 budget.

Simply put, reparations are a stupid idea, but one that has caught the imagination of many on the far left. Reparations that would triple the state budget simply cannot realistically be paid. There is no room to triple California’s taxes, or even increase them by 30% in order to fund a massive bond issue that would be necessary. California already is hemorrhaging affluent residents, who pay most of the state’s income tax revenues. And how many Blacks from other states would rush to California to acquire more liquid resources than most American families can dream of? Imagine the turmoil if they are told to buzz off.

So, Newsom is caught. Either he takes on the entire reparations movement, which is the darling of the left wing of the Democrats, in which case he earns many enemies, the kind that take to the streets, or else he presides over an unprecedented financial disaster.

Unless, that is, the state legislature refuses to pass the bill. But how likely are state legislators to do so without Newsom leading the charge? Unless they have some cover, who would want angry demonstrators back home in their district? A mobilized angry minority can torpedo  their primary contests for renomination to their seats.

Then, there is the even more ridiculous San Francisco reparations gold rush, about which Newsom has said nothing:

Last week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors expressed "unanimous" support for a draft plan of more than 100 reparations recommendations for the city, including a proposal to dole out $5 million each to qualifying Black residents. The proposal of $5 million lump-sum payments would cost non-Black families in the city at least $600,000, according to Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

The city board also expressed interest in other forms of reparations for San Francisco's roughly 50,000 Black residents, such as a guaranteed annual income of at least $97,000 for 250 years and a home in the area for just $1 a family.

Another idea under consideration is a "comprehensive debt forgiveness" program that would clear all personal, educational and credit card debt of low-income Black households. 

Like California, San Francisco is also facing a massive deficit, estimated at $728 million, making it unclear how the city would pay for such a reparations plan.

Plans that spend impossible amounts of money, taxing people wholly innocent of any guilt to bestow fabulous wealth on others to compensate for wrongs that none of them suffered: this is California Democrat policies at their zenith. No wonder that the dummy Newsom is dummying up.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0 license

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