California was built by men like Nathan Weston Blanchard, who in 1850 at age 18 left his home in Maine, survived a fire on his first ship out of Boston, boarded another ship in New York, arrived weeks later on the east coast of Panama, traveled  on a mule train 47 miles across the isthmus (no canal yet), and once he reached the Pacific boarded a steamer that eventually arrived in San Francisco Bay by way of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii).

The bay was littered with ships, hundreds of them, some visible only by their masts lying like litter on the docks, a legacy of the past two years when even ship captains and their crew infected by gold fever abandoned their vessels for the mother lode. No wonder ocean passage to California was usually a one-way ticket.  You could get there but you couldn’t get back.

That was then.

This is now:

Debate over Proposition 30, the November ballot initiative to raise sales taxes on everyone and income taxes on “the wealthy,” revolved around whether it would solve a problem or  lead to lower revenues.  Being in the latter group, and foolishly believing that a majority of my fellow Californians were similarly rational beings, I wrongly predicted that it would lose.

Alas, the consequences are now clear of the income-tax hike that the proposition actually made retroactive to the beginning of last year (via

After Proposition 30 passed on November 6, 2012, the State of California experienced a decline in the total state revenue for the month of November. California State Controller John Chiang reported that the total revenue for the month of November declined by $806.8 million, which is 10.8 percent below budget.

The State of California experienced a decline in its revenue as several of the high income earners have relocated to other states, and have also relocated their businesses out of state. This led to a decline in corporate and income tax revenues by more than $1 billion.

Even more predictably, California’s legislature—which the voters in their infinite ignorance turned into a Democrat supermajority, thus enabling unlimited future tax increases sans ballot initiatives—spent the money before it came in.

As a result of the decline in tax revenues collected, and the increase in spending, California’s deficit increased to $27 billion for the first five months of this fiscal year.

Don’t worry, though.  The Democrats will solve the problem by raising taxes.

UPDATE: A reader writes in to note that John Chiang, California’s controller, says that revenues actually increased for the month of November by 10 percent over 2011—but were more than 10 percent below expectations. Only sales tax as a category exceeded expectations. Income taxes and corporate taxes both failed by wide margins to meet projections. Corporate taxes collected for the month fell 213 percent below 2011 and 160 percent below expectations. Remember, too, that November was the month Prop 30 passed, meaning its full impact won’t be known for sometime. Not everyone can just pack up and leave in a U-Haul.