Governor-elect Gavin Newsom, whose political career comprises San Francisco Mayor 2004-2010, and California Lieutenant Gov. 2011-2019, is promising the world and a bag of chips to Californians. Let’s review his campaign promises as he is inaugurated as California’s 40th Governor, and review them again later in the year.
Newsom’s campaign promises include:
- Universal healthcare for everyone, regardless of ability to pay, including immigrants in the country illegally
- A “Marshall Plan” for affordable housing production of 3.5 million housing units over the next decade
- A master plan for aging with dignity
- A middle-class workforce strategy
- A cradle-to-college promise
- Universal pre-school
- An all-hands approach to ending child poverty
- “Audacious” and “bold” action on the homelessness crisis
Newsom’s campaign website says that too many families are being priced out of the California Dream because of “sky-high price of housing to rising costs of health care, childcare, and higher education.”
“No family should ever lack a roof over their heads. No child should ever be raised below the poverty line,” Newsom said during the campaign. “No patient should ever be denied access to basic health care. And no Californian should ever have to choose between the three.”
“Like most single-payer schemes, the proposed system would effectively outlaw private insurance,” said Sally Pipes, who covers health policy as President of the Pacific Research Institute. “Public officials would determine which drugs, procedures, and services the one-size-fits-all system covers.”
Newsom’s cradle-to-college promise starts before birth and extends through school, college and into the workplace. “Our role begins when babies are still in the womb and it doesn’t end until we’ve done all we can to prepare them for a quality job and successful career,” he said in an interview with EdSource. Newsom’s proposals include expanding pre-natal care, introducing universal preschool for 4-year-olds, starting college savings accounts for every kindergartner in the state and guaranteeing two years of free community college tuition.
On California’s exploding homeless population, Newsom said he would appoint a secretary-level “homelessness czar” to coordinate the delivery of mental health, welfare and other services to the needy, fund jail programs to prevent inmates from becoming homeless upon release and support so-called homelessness. Newsom made a similar promise as San Francisco Mayor 10 years ago, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “San Franciscans are still waiting.”
Despite the Democrat-dominated Legislature’s budget that appeared favorable to Newsom’s spending agenda on social services, Gov. Brown cut it significantly. “He agreed to increase spending on homelessness, for example, but it would be only a third of the $1.5 billion that the state’s mayors had been seeking,” Dan Walters wrote in June following the Governor’s May Budget revise. “And he deflected demands for permanent new spending with some one-time appropriations. The stark contrast between Brown’s fiscal approach and Newsom’s campaign promises is obvious.”
Many Californians are concerned where Newsom would come up with the hundreds of millions needed to deliver such a vast social services agenda.
“California’s one-party government can now pass tax increases without the need of even a single vote from the opposition party,” said Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “This surely increases the probability that taxpayers will be steamrolled by all the tax increases that were defeated in 2018 being resurrected in 2019.”
“An even bigger threat may appear in the form of proposed constitutional amendments emanating from the Legislature,” added Coupal. “Supermajorities in both houses allow the party in power to place these on the ballot, again without the need of a single Republican vote. Once on the ballot, the measures need only a simple majority to pass.”
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