Trump threatens to defund “out of control” California

“President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal funds from ‘out of control’ California if the state declares itself a sanctuary state,” as the Sacramento Bee and others are reporting.

“’If we have to, we’ll defund,’ Trump said in an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly before the Super Bowl. ‘We give tremendous amounts of money to California, California in many ways is out of control, as you know.’

“Trump was responding to a question from O’Reilly about efforts by Democratic state legislators to make California a de-facto ‘sanctuary state’ that would restrict state and local law enforcement, including school police and security departments, from using their resources to aid federal authorities in immigration enforcement.

“I think it’s ridiculous. Sanctuary cities, as you know, I’m very much opposed to sanctuary cities. They breed crime, there’s a lot of problems,’ Trump said.

“Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco are sanctuary cities and have said they will challenge in court any attempt by Trump to withhold federal funds from them. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he doubted the 10th amendment to the Constitution, which reserves power to the states, would allow Trump to defund.

“Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has said he would ‘join, if not lead, any effort to fight (the sanctuary city threat) with litigation.’

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

7 thoughts on “Trump threatens to defund “out of control” California”

  1. This is a great read. Lots of details inside Donald’s West Wing:
    “He often has to wait until the end of the workday before grinding through news clips with Mr. Spicer, marking the ones he does not like with a big arrow in black Sharpie — though he almost always makes time to monitor Mr. Spicer’s performance at the daily briefings, summoning him to offer praise or criticism, a West Wing aide said.” Watch out for that black Sharpie! What a fool.

  2. I think little d needs to remember no taxation without representation. So, who at the state can we send our federal tax dollars to instead? The Federal government does not “give” tremendous amounts to California, these are OUR tax dollars.

  3. Although we can take pride in California’s stance on many issues vis a vis the emerging policy initiatives of the Trump regime (I refuse to call it an administration until it actually becomes one) there is a lot at stake here financially and I truly hope the California Attorney Generals office is gearing up for the epic battle this very well might become.

    What’s at stake? Almost $1 Trillion in federal funds for program delivery in California over the next 4 years, if one accepts the conventional wisdom that Social Security and Medicare are legally exempt, many portions of which can be either directly challenged by the federal government through its agencies or can be slowed through bureaucracies controlled by the White House.

    Trump and his followers have specifically mentioned punitive cuts to federal funding for law enforcement and homeland security including port security, education, defense contracting, transportation (specifically targeting high speed rail, electrification or urban rail networks and federal highway funding), federal co-payments for health insurance, and advancing privatization of public lands (although to date none of the proposals have included federal lands in California.)

    That is not counting the fact that many of the stated policies of this administration are going to be devastating for California and particularly rural California.

    Let’s just consider one; trade. It has become de rigeuer on the left and the right to oppose free trade–even though the staunchest progressive voices have said we need fair trade not an elimination of trade–often without considering the consequences of losing our trading position in the Asian markets which California looks to.

    In 2016 California exported almost $200 billion worth of goods and services, most of it to Asia. Our top trade partners are Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and Hong Kong. In other words we just scrapped a trade agreement with 3 of our top 5 trading partners (Mexico, Canada and Japan.) If the Trans Pacific Partnership is not replaced with similar trade deals either individually, with formerly prospective ‘partners,’ or in blocs, and China executes on its stated desire to become the new leader of an Asian free trade movement which it delivered at Davos, markets for California products could be diminishing precipitously.

    Not only do urban economies in California depend on that trade relationship, with its revenue also driving a big portion of California’s $122 billion travel, tourism and recreation economy, California’s rural agricultural areas depend upon on those trade relationships to export almost $14 billion in products in 2015.

    All of this because we elected a petty, petulant child, a man without the discipline to think before he speaks, to be the President of the United States.

    Trade…immigration…climate policy…health care…tax policy….

    The only option for states like California is to resist, at least until some semblance of common sense returns to Congress to act as a check against the authoritarian in chief, but that resistance better be smart. That resistance is also going to expensive and we better be ready to support it.

    There is a rich body of law restricting the power of the President to restrict funding based on issues that have no nexus to the source of the funding–in other words restricting funding for education because someone rioted in Berkeley would probably not hold up in court, but restricting funding for law enforcement because California refuses to enforce federal law might. Which is why this move to go to a state declaration of sanctuary status is so important–it takes the burden of defending the decision off the local governments and places it at the Attorney General’s Office–and creates opportunities to collaborate with other states in a similar position.

    It is important to note that even executive orders have to be found constitutional if challenged, so the opportunity to block Trump’s actions in court, as we saw with many Obama executive orders and are seeing now with his Muslim ban, is there, and needs to vigorously pursued. This also creates a center of opposition to unconstitutional actions by the Authoritarian in Chief in the federal judiciary to stand along with Governor’s and State Legislatures to block action until another change occurs.

    While Indivisible groups are organizing and putting pressure on members of congress to stand up the states will be playing a prevent defense, dragging implementation of Trump policies out, delaying them, diffusing them. In an ugly paraphrase of Grover Torquiest,” I don’t want to abolish [Trump’s] government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

    We have the tools to destroy this President’s policies if we use them.

    I believe we are going to see a truly fascinating test of our federal system–can states through inaction and refusal to go along drag a federal government’s policy down and kill it–which ironically southern segregationists mastered successfully in the early 20th century.

    I think we can and we will.

  4. Rather than correcting the above misspelling of “Norquist” I think I’ll let is stand as a portmanteau of Norquist and Torquemada.

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