Solar- and wind-generated power, being much more expensive than conventional fossil-fuel-generated electricity, would only be used sparingly if it weren’t for government support. And while fossil-fuel producers and users pay billions of dollars of taxes and fees to the government, renewable-energy sources are net tax sinks, even when the billions of dollars given through various state governments to the wind and solar industries are ignored.
“At the first meeting of the Trump Leadership Council — an advisory group consisting of top CEOs from major companies — President Donald Trump asked these business leaders what was their biggest problem. I expected the answer to be America’s anti-growth tax system. The CEOs almost all listed the federal tax code as an albatross, but not the heaviest one. But I was surprised to learn that most insisted he biggest restraint on growth is federal red tape and regulation. Manufacturers, energy firms, financial services, agriculture interests — across all industries — federal rules were seen as mindless, inefficient, costly and incomprehensible.”
On Feb. 8, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE) released its annual ranking of the 50 states “according to 55 policy measures, including a wide array of tax, regulatory, and government spending measures.” The findings were not surprising — Nevada, Texas, South Dakota, Wyoming and Florida were at the top, while Vermont, Minnesota, New York, New Jersey and California were at the bottom. What is troublesome is that year after year the business-unfriendly states do so little to improve their rankings. As the author of the study, Raymond J. Keating, chief economist of the SBE Council, noted: “Too many elected officials choose to ignore the basic economic realities of how government affects entrepreneurship, business, and investment.”
About 5 million Californians departed the Golden State between 2004 and 2013, while 3.9 million arrived from other states for a net population loss of roughly 1.1 million, the Sacramento Bee reported Monday using tax-return data from the Internal Revenue Service.
Gov. Jerry Brown pleads with companies to stay in California, and scolds those that are leaving. He, too, recognizes the storm clouds over his state’s business climate. “We’ve got a few problems,” he conceded to an interviewer not long ago. “We have lots of little burdens and regulations and taxes.” But neither he nor the state legislature have plans to do anything about it. Until they do, only the brave, if not foolish, set up a business in California.