Tag Archives: budget surpluses

Fighting Back

You can file this under “thank goodness the news isn’t all bad”–or, if you are like the worry-wort who writes this blog, you can file it under “this is why the courts are so frigging important and we will lose the rule of law if Trump and McConnell and the GOP keep packing them with partisan ideologues.”

Timothy Egan recently had a column in the New York Times, titled “Revenge of the Coastal Elites.” In it, he celebrated the near-perfect “score” West Coast states have amassed in the numerous lawsuits they’ve brought against Trump and company.

Egan began with an “in your face” celebration in California.

LOS ANGELES — A big crowd showed up for the festive unveiling of President Barack Obama Boulevard here last weekend, at the intersection of “hope and resistance,” as one news outlet put it. Sure, it’s just a three-and-a-half-mile stretch of road, a living ex-president’s name added to streets honoring Jefferson and Washington.

But the ceremony also marked the latest, and one of the most joyous, of the not-so-subtle ways in which the West Coast continues to live free and prosper under a president doing everything he can to hurt the 51 million Americans in the three lower-48 states that hug the Pacific shore.

As Egan noted, Trump absolutely hates the West Coast, and it certainly looks as if the  states of Oregon, Washington and California return the sentiment.

His energy and environmental policies would hasten the collapse of some of nature’s finest handiwork, from a pristine coastline that he tried to open to oil drilling, to forests that will soon be aflame again because the president will not do anything to stall climate change.

His trade war is a bullet that could wound the nation’s most trade-dependent state, Washington, which produces apples and wine and software and coffee and jetliners and trucks andhealth care for the world.

To Trump, everything “Out West” is like occupied territory. Almost daily, he issues legal missives and executive orders intended in some way to make life worse on the West Coast.

But as Egan goes on to report, there’s “good news for E Pluribus Unum: He’s losing.” Consistently.

The West Coast is crushing it against Trump. Using the law to fight a bully, the Constitution to challenge an authoritarian, and facts against Fox News-driven fantasy, California, Oregon and Washington have stalled some of the most despicable of Trump’s retrograde policies.

California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, is currently leading an aggressive coalition to protect the Affordable Care Act, which allows 133 million Americans to keep their health insurance despite having pre-existing conditions. If that effort is as successful as previous ones, he’ll succeed.

Federal judges have repeatedly sided with California against Trump on air pollution, toxic pesticides and oil drilling. In April, the Interior Department was forced to suspend a plan to drill off the Pacific shore. Anda federal judge in Oregonhas so far backed a far-reaching attempt to hold Trump’s government responsible for averting climate change.

West Coast governors have defied Trump’s ban on transgenderAmericans serving in the military; they’ve opened their National Guard ranks to the people Trump is trying to shun from service.

Washington’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, has filed 36 lawsuits against the Trump administration and has not lost a case. His first takedown of the tyrant halted, nationwide, the initial Muslim ban.

Egan ended his report by reminding the rest of America how economically successful those recalcitrant states on the West Coast have been, and comparing that success with Trump’s performance.

Under Trump’s guidance, the United States is running up debt faster than one of his bankrupt casinos. It’s what he does. By contrast, California, after raising taxes on the rich and wages for the poor, after extending family leave and health care, is projecting a $21 billion budget surplus for the coming fiscal year.

Talent and capital can go anywhere. It’s drawn to the West Coast, because creativity doesn’t grow well in nurseries of fear and tired thinking. Washington was named the best state for business in 2017, and the best place for workers in 2018.

We’ll soon look west for a replacement for Trump. By moving their presidential primaries up to March, California and Washington have assured that the one-in-seven Americans who live in those two states will have an early say. It’s only fitting, given how much they’ve contributed to the fight against the Trump blight on the Republic.

As wonderful as these successes have been, they highlight the critical importance of maintaining a competent, non-politicized judiciary. Without judges whose allegiance is to the Constitution and the rule of law, we have no checks and balances.