California Leads The Nation – In Poverty

California is a leader. In this case, it’s not a good way.

They’ve led the nation in welcoming illegal immigrants, sanctuary cities, the minimum wage, welfare programs, and stupid Hollywood celebrities who just need to shut their friggin’ pieholes.

Despite all that (especially the leftist brain trust in Tinseltown), the state also leads the nation in poverty.

And not just because it’s the largest state by population, but by percentage.

More than one in five Californians now live in poverty, new data released by the Census Bureau indicates.

At 20.4 percent, that poverty rate is higher than in any other state (only Washington DC has a higher rate at 21 percent). The national poverty rate stands at 14.7 percent.

Amazingly, The Orange County Register reports, while the state with the largest economy in the country has 12 percent of the national population, they account for a full one-third of all families in the nation receiving money from the Clinton-era “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families,” which sucks almost $20 billion from the federal budget.

Why are so many Californians in poverty? There are many reasons. One of the first is the high cost of housing.

According to a draft report on the housing crisis by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, “production averaged less than 80,000 new homes annually over the last 10 years, and ongoing production continues to fall far below the projected need of 180,000 additional homes annually.”

As a result, homeownership rates are at the lowest they’ve been since the 1940s, as increasing proportions of renters find themselves rent-burdened. According to the California Budget & Policy Center, more than half of renter households pay more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing, and one-third pay more than half of their incomes for housing.

So while only 12 percent of the population, 22 percent of the country’s homeless are in California.

But there are other factors, as the OC Register points out: They have some of the highest tax rates in the country and some of the least business-friendly policies as well.

In a recent WalletHub report on overall tax burdens, California ranked 10th-worst in the country. Meanwhile, the Tax Foundation ranked California 48th in its 2017 State Business Tax Climate Index due to California’s distinction of having some of the highest income, sales and corporate tax rates in the nation.

California is consistently ranked as one of the worst states to do business in. For the last 13 years, in fact, the state has ranked dead last for “perceived business friendliness.”

Taken together, California’s barriers to business will, in turn, harm the poor the most. If California wants to seriously address its high levels of poverty and factors aggravating it, like high housing costs, it must relinquish its commitment to excessive taxation and regulation.

Democrats who control California will not learn a thing from this lesson. They will continue to drive their state further into the ditch by sucking taxpayers dry, alienating the business community and imposing burdensome and idiotic regulations on its people.

What do you think? Is California on the way to becoming a third-world country? Sound off below!