In California, It's Still the Economy, Stupid

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You hear a lot out of Sacramento about the state budget, education cuts and even the lobbyists ex-Assemblyman Mike Duvall was diddling. (Excuse me, "telling tall tales" about diddling.)

But the latest "Californians & Their Government" survey by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) essentially says, "It's still the economy, stupid."

Interestingly, the PPIC is headed by Mark Baldassare, a former UC Irvine dean who once found himself in R. Scott Moxley's cross-hairs for towing too close to the Irvine Co. "Californians & Their Government" is sponsored by the James Irvine Foundation. Hmmm . . .

 

Then again, you don't have to be a mega-developer or foundation named after Orange County's largest land owner to believe this particular PPIC poll's conclusions.

Jobs and the economy (52 percent) continue to top the list of issues that Californians consider most important. Far fewer mention the state budget (14 percent), health care (8 percent), and education and schools (6 percent).

The economy has topped the list of concerns among Californians since January 2008 and is the top issue mentioned across all political, regional, and demographic groups, according to the PPIC.

[B]ut is more often mentioned by Democrats (56 percent) than Republicans (41 percent) and by Latinos (67 percent) more than whites (45 percent). Concern about the economy is also higher among those with a high school education or less (65 percent) and those in households making less than $40,000 (60 percent). 

The pollsters call on the Governor and the Legislature to address what the majority of Californians consider the most important issue facing the state. With economists saying the recovery has begun everywhere except California and Orange County, the call of "It's the economy, stupid" is likely to ring true for many months to come. "California can restore its status as an economic powerhouse if and when the political will materializes to make it happen," the pollsters say.

 

The way to do that, according to voters, is to "strategically and aggressively pursue opportunities to grow California's economy and create high-wage jobs," reports PPIC. "Doing so will reduce demand for state services, create opportunities for families, and provide the revenues needed to stabilize the fiscal crisis."

 

Considering the Sacramento logjam, the pollsters end on an upbeat note. Kinda sorta.

 

"With next year's elections approaching, perhaps there's hope the politicians in Sacramento will start listening to the people and get the job done." 

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