Should California become an independent nation?

■ By Robert Haunschild / Contributed

This is a question most people will find strange as the constitution does not have a provision allowing states to secede. It has not stopped a group known as “Yes, California” who, at the present time have approximately 8,000 volunteers and 250 chapters. They mean business.
Their founder, Louis Marinelli, is a 30-something English teacher with a permanent residence in San Diego but is teaching in Yekaterinburg, about 1,000 miles from Moscow, Russia. The self-led embassy the group has opened in Russia, supported by the Kremlin, is an anti-globalization establishment.
Does Mr. Marinelli think he will get the 600,000 signatures needed to get on the 2018 ballot and then get the people to vote for him in 2019? Yes! Will they succeed? “Perhaps not, but the 40 million California voters deserve the opportunity,” said Marinelli.
California has voted much differently than the nation and most votes come from a very few highly populated zip codes. Allow me to explain. In the recent presidential election, Hillary Clinton won in California by a margin of approximately 61 percent. Most of that support came from a half dozen areas. The counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange and Marin are home to 19,000,000. I checked about 40 of 58 counties where her opponent had won and in some cases by a large margin. Lassen: Trump 72 percent; Clinton 21 percent; Calaveras: Trump 58 percent Clinton34 percent;; Del Norte: Trump 54 percent Clinton 37 percent. It didn’t matter as these populations are so small in comparison to the big cities. These are also where the majority of the entitlement and others prone to global preferences reside.
Anyone who pays attention to this will recognize this scenario across America, because the same thing played out in Atlanta, Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis. We have seen this for the last 75 years. That is why the Framers and Founders established an Electoral College, so a few “pockets” would not rule a nation.
Well friends, that is not sitting well with the “Yes, California Crowd” as they want to have their very own special constitution and have their own rules, so as not to be constrained regarding their chosen lifestyle.
How will the people vote? This is a population that has elected and left in place folks who ran up a deficit larger than most countries, mostly due to employee retirement debt. Truth in Accounting, a think tank from Chicago, identifies the following:
$150 billion unfunded retirement obligations, $63 billion debt in pension benefits, $87 billion in health care benefits.
$111 billion not reported on state’s balance sheet (California has $94 billion in assets to cover $328 billion of liabilities (about $20,900 per taxpayer).
But hey – Governor Jerry Brown’s Bullet Train has an estimated cost of $64 billion to $80 billion and that gets approved, never mind the above statistics. The Bullet Train may be ready to roll in 2029! Could the Oroville Dam have been retrofitted, repaired, brought up to better standards a few years ago?
The answer is “yes” and those 188,000 people were evacuated in early February, and then allowed back by Gov. Brown. Was that smart? The snow melt is coming and may be too much for that area. Who is in the way? Hundreds of thousands of Californians. I shared with you where the state’s focus has been, immigration, trains, pensions, etc.
If California were an independent nation, how many hours do you think it could stand on its own when today it borrows millions daily from the federal government just to keep its doors open?
We live in a beautiful state with a lot of great, hard- working, dedicated people, so let’s think about if it is worth paying attention to what is going on around us, as we are sightseeing.

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