California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) finds himself in a bind following the ambitious reparations plan proposed by the task force he established. The committee, created in 2020 to develop a reparations scheme for the state’s black residents, has put forward a project that could have a shocking price tag of over $800 billion.
The proposed plan includes cash payments that could total as much as $360,000 for each eligible resident. The astronomical cost of this proposal far exceeds California’s annual budget, which stands at around $300 billion. Critics argue that such a financial burden could have catastrophic consequences for the state’s economy.
So, let me get this straight. Calif. Gov Newsom signs bill to establish a ridiculous first-in-the-nation task force to study reparations for blacks—then rejects its ridiculous recommendation for reparations for blacks? Demonstrating, yet again, how Dems pimp blacks for votes. pic.twitter.com/DNO9yNruON
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) May 10, 2023
Caught in the crossfire, Newsom appears to be wavering in his response to the task force’s proposal. An initial statement from his office stressed the importance of addressing more than just cash payments, implying a potential resistance to the reparations plan. However, in a later statement, Newsom’s spokesperson clarified that Newsom was not rejecting the idea of cash payments, but rather, he was waiting for the full report before making any decisions.
State Sen. Steven Bradford (D), a member of the reparations panel, supported this cautious approach, suggesting that the reparations program might not be as straightforward as direct check payments. Nevertheless, he expressed his hope that Californians would be open to various forms of reparations.
Newsom has lauded the task force’s work as a crucial step towards justice and healing, recognizing the necessity to confront the enduring legacy of slavery in America. However, he has not yet committed to any specific recommendations. Instead, he has pledged to “advance systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians,” according to his statement to Fox News Digital.
The recommendations made by the task force offer a detailed account of historical discrimination against black Californians in areas such as voting, housing, education, and disproportionate policing and incarceration. In addition, the plan suggests creating a new agency that would offer services to descendants of enslaved people, calculating what the state owes them.
Yet, the need for clarity on how this massive reparations project would be funded has raised eyebrows. As California Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher noted, “Democrats have promised the world with this reparations task force, and now the massive taxpayer bill is coming due.” He questioned whether the reparations task force was more than a political stunt.
As the proposal now heads to the state lawmakers, all eyes are on Newsom. Will he endorse a policy that risks bankrupting the state, or will he concede that the task force might have been a well-intentioned but unrealistic endeavor? Only time will tell how the Governor navigates this tricky political landscape. Until then, California waits in uncertainty, watching as their state budget could be blown apart as Nemsom reportedly mulls the prospects of a White House run.