Dems incoherent on Sacramento shooting

The mass shooting in Sacramento last weekend that took six lives occurred one block from the Capitol offices of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. The following morning, I speculated on social media that it was probably gang members with criminal records. It didn’t take a Kreskin to make that sort of prediction which, of course, turned out to be accurate.

Nor does it take extraordinary clairvoyance to predict that progressives would, once again, blame “gun violence” rather than criminally inclined perpetrators. (I’ve often wondered why, when there is a murder committed with a knife, progressives never talk about “knife violence.”) True to form, both Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sacramento’s mayor, Darrell Steinberg, immediately blamed “gun violence” and called for more gun control laws notwithstanding the fact that California already has some of the strictest gun control laws in America and is currently considering more.

The issue of gun control aside, the progressive answer to any one of California’s many problems is to advance “solutions” that are ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst. Here, their answer to civil unrest, increased crime and perceived excessive incarceration is to “defund” the police and grant early release to violent felons. Even when, as last week’s carnage reveals, these policies don’t work, the response is frequently doubling down with more of the same.

The failure to hold criminals responsible for their behavior is just one example, but there are many more. Housing crisis? A real solution would be to remove impediments to housing construction. But this runs contrary to the DNA of California’s progressive urban planners who strictly control the kinds of housing being built, how it is to be built and where it is to be built. In addition, rent control laws and a new push to impose higher capital gains taxes on house flippers sends a stark message to all potential homebuyers as well as investors that California is not where you want to lay down your money.

Climate change? Rather than transition to clean, carbon-neutral nuclear power, California has already closed two of its power plants and is on the verge of closing the last one. And why don’t progressives count carbon-free hydroelectric power as a renewable energy source? Probably because that makes too much sense.

Another example is transportation, where progressive policies designed to force commuters out of their cars have resulted in even more gridlock and more pollution. Mass transit is more unpopular than ever because of reliability and personal safety concerns while lane closures and so-called “traffic calming” designs leave drivers angry and using language you don’t hear in church. And for goodness’ sake, don’t get me started on high-speed rail — the most costly, environmentally destructive transportation project ever designed by humans.

Homelessness is next on the list. How is it that progressives continue to spend ever increasing amounts of money on this tragedy only to see the problem getting worse? Has it ever occurred to them that all their “solutions” are exacerbating the problem? Are they unfamiliar with the popular definition of insanity?

This is just a short list of the very serious problems confronting California to which you could add a horrific business climate, crushing tax burden, massive waste in state government, water shortages, and the nation’s highest unemployment rate and highest effective poverty rate.

What California desperately needs are serious candidates to advance real solutions to serious problems and a lot less superficial posturing.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.