I have just been informed that California’s budget surplus will exceed $98 billion this year.

And yet recent articles by the AP suggest a need for “reparations.” And our state government is “exploring” the topic.

Was California ever a slave state? It was never. Should we, the taxpayers of California, pay reparations for something that happened in Alabama long before we became a state?

This is simply a baldfaced attempt by Democrats who control a huge budget surplus to expand their political constituency, by giving money away. Our money.

Clayton Rich

South San Francisco

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(8) comments

Terence Y

Mr. Rich, if we practiced accounting like the state of California, we’d all have budget surpluses and become synonymous with your last name. Subtract long-term liabilities such as a mortgage and we'd be sitting pretty too. However, I wouldn’t recommend handing out this “surplus” unless you’re running for office and need to buy votes.

Ray Fowler

"What do you call it when someone steals someone else's money secretly? Theft. What do you call it when someone takes someone else's money openly by force? Robbery. What do you call it when a politician takes someone else's money in taxes and gives it to someone who is more likely to vote for him? Social Justice." - Thomas Sowell, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute


Good afternoon Ray,

Just curious, what about Robin Hood?

Ray Fowler

Hey, Tafhdyd!

Hmmm... your query raises some interesting possibilities re: what some might call noble thievery. Were you referring to Robinhood Investments maybe? Or possibly the well known character from English folklore? You know, the shadowy figure, Robin Hood, from long ago who has inspired today's well known noble thief, Hunter Biden? Hunter, who takes from the rich and gives to the poor... the poor like himself. OK, OK... having some fun.

Robin Hood... took wealth from those who had it, and transferred or distributed it to those who did not in order to gain the favor of those who benefited from that transfer. The mythology would have us limit Robin's thievery to the very rich, but do you think Robin would let a work-a-day merchant with a plump coin purse pass by without seizing and distributing the merchant's wealth to others?

I'm thinking Ye Olde Robin, and the way he distributed wealth, may very well fit Professor Sowell's description of today's social justice warrior. The professor also remarked, "... most wealth in the United States is not distributed: at all. People create it, earn it, save it, and spend it." So, I guess that means thievery... illegal or otherwise... can distribute wealth by taking wealth away from those who earned it. The highwayman runs down the street with a victim's wallet in his (or her) pocket; the progressives seek to distribute the wealth of their victims by giving away that wealth as "free stuff" to those who did not earn that wealth. As a result, we can expect those who did not earn that wealth to vote for progressives.

Thanks for asking about Robin... but how would you answer the claim made by Clayton in his LTE? Are Sacramento Democrats trying to "expand their political constituency, by giving away [taxpayers] money"?



Naw, the Democrats are just trying to help out the little guy like they always do.

Back to the LTE and the idea of reparations. Being a 7th generation native Californian whose ancestors had a Spanish land grant from the king which included most of San Luis Obispo and the surrounding area, I wouldn't mind getting a little of that money myself. Depending on the version of the story, the land was taken by the "white man" under the guise of just wanting some water rights but actually signing away the property. Or the other version, the papers to file in Washington were stollen in a train robbery on the way to Washington and so the recording was never official. Either way I lay claim to San Luis Obispo even though I don't think I will ever collect. How the Spanish got the land from the Native American Indians that were there is a story for another day.

Ray Fowler


Good morning, sir. I always enjoy your often wry sense of humor. Dems just trying to help out the little guy? We both know that plenty of D and R pols have their hands in the little guy's pocket.

Reparations... let me get this straight. You want your stolen ancestral lands returned to you... the lands your ancestors stole from somebody else? But if you had to lay claim on some California real estate, San Luis Obispo would be a great place to stake that claim.

Reality setting in... it's totally not fair how peoples of the past were displaced. Some of those wrongs can be righted, but is reparations the answer? (I hope some of our DJ comrades in arms weigh in on this subject.)

Wow... you are a 7th generation Californian? That's impressive. As both my parents came to the Central Valley in the 1930s, I am the Okie equivalent of the nisei. You could take the mistreatment and discrimination suffered by migrant farm workers from the Dust Bowl and replace the word "Okie" with "Latino" to describe the plight of those who followed. Those Okies were part of the reason Big Ag became so lucrative. So, reparations for them? No.



Good afternoon. I know you always like a different outlook on things and I thought a nice weekend would a good time to offer a lighter approach to the troubles of the day.

Back to reparations and who took what land from whom and people being displaced. I guess if you really want to spend some time on it we would have to go back to the original owners to try and sort it out. If I recall Adam and Eve owned the whole world and no doubt started parceling it out to the kids and grand kids and on down the line until we get to today. Of course along the way, as in any family, someone didn't like the share they got and trouble ensued. I am not about to start trying to figure out who gets what going back that far so I think I will just claim San Luis Obispo and leave it at that.

Ray Fowler

Touché, mon ami…

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