California Has A Policy Approach And It's Clearly Working

06/19/2017 03:35 pm ET Updated Jun 20, 2017

You don’t always have to be a wonk to appreciate statistics.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office tweeted good news Friday: May unemployment levels in California had reached a historic low, 4.7 percent.

Our economy keeps looking better.

But how can that be? The minority party keeps telling us we’re taxing California into the ground and that our regulations are killing entrepreneurship.

It turns out they are wrong on both.

Just ask Kansas. As a headline in Business Insider put it recently, “Kansas’ experiment with tax cutting failed spectacularly – on its own terms.”

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback thought, in 2013, he could spur prosperity by slashing taxes in his state. It was such a disaster that his own party turned on him this year and restored some taxes, because things had been getting worse, not better.

Again, Business Insider: “The idea that cutting taxes especially for the rich will boost growth and make everyone better off remains a central, if misguided, element of many economic proposals.”

I’m not an economist. To me, supply-side sounds like where the deliveries are made. Keynesian demand theory sounds like, well, I really don’t know what that sounds like.

But it’s clear to me what is working in California: a policy approach that is focused on human beings.

Our clean air and carbon-reduction policies are there to make sure our grandchildren and great-grandchildren have a world to enjoy, but we have seen the tremendous boost it has provided to the economy, primarily with clean-energy businesses.

We have made it our policy to welcome immigrants because, frankly, so many of us are the product of immigrant families and we know what it’s like to seek a better life.

That turns out to be a big asset for some of California’s biggest economic engines: technology, agriculture and tourism. And, by the way, sanctuary cities have some of the lowest crime rates in our state.

Most of California’s governors have been Republicans in my lifetime, and yet that party tries to blame Democrats for everything.

What I see is sustained economic improvement under the current Democratic Legislature and Governor.

We aim to protect those gains, and will persist until they are shared by all Californians.

Anthony Rendon is Speaker of the California State Assembly and represents the 63rd Assembly District in Southeast Los Angeles County. Follow him on Twitter @Rendon63rd.

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