For months now, Governor Gavin Newsom has spared no opportunity to demean and bash conservatives for their efforts to do what he thought unthinkable: put him up for recall. But as quickly as he sent his kids back to in-person private school this past fall, Newsom seems to have embraced a very conservative principle: return to taxpayers some of their money.
Predictable as it is, it’s nevertheless brilliant political theater, an attempt to undo the damage of his French Laundry soirée and term of for-me-but-not-for-thee reign.
In his press conference this week announcing his economic recovery plan/attempt to overcome the recall, the governor proudly proclaimed, “California is roaring back!” In true Golden State fashion, our governor will celebrate with traditional gilded stimulus checks. Under his proposal, Californians earning less than $75,000 per year would receive $600 stimulus checks. Those with children and undocumented immigrants would receive $500 bonues.
He’s doing this in part because he’s required by law to do so thanks to something called the Gann Limit. Led by tax-reform advocate Paul Gann, California voters overwhelmingly implemented this tax protection in 1979, capping state spending at 1978-79 levels, adjusted for population and inflation. Revenues that exceed this limit must be returned to taxpayers through tax cuts or rebates — and to public schools, thanks to a subsequent initiative, Prop. 98. Donate here to support fiscal conservatism like this.