From The Wall Street Journal:
Republicans return to power in the U.S. House and many statehouses this week, but in three of our largest and most troubled states the voters in their wisdom have kept Democrats in charge. In California, Illinois and New York, we are about to learn if Democrats can adapt to new fiscal realities or will merely continue their slide toward welfare state decline.
For the sake of the country, we hope they can turn things around. These blue state bastions were once engines of American growth and opportunity, and in total they still represent more than 15% of the U.S. economy. But in recent years they have all shed businesses, jobs and people. Their budgets are a disaster, with huge deficits and unfunded pension liabilities.
It’s no accident that all three are also the very model of modern welfare and regulatory states. Their capitals have been dominated by a triumvirate of government-employee unions, trial lawyers and well-to-do environmentalists pushing an agenda of regulation and income redistribution.