John and Tamera Colbert are two of California’s strongest conservative leaders. In 2010, in addition to maintaining a successful business and raising three children, John ran for Congress with Tamara working closely by his side. Like John, Tamara has been a major force within the Pasadena Tea Party Patriots, leading family friend Newt Gingrich to suggest that Tamara should also run for Congress someday. Instead, after John lost his bid for office, Tamara and her business partner, Deborah Flora, launched a website and radio show called American Women Media.
You would think a floundering state like California would do all they can to entice people like the Colbert family to stay—but unfortunately the opposite has been true.
“We had plans to start a business, but held back to see what happened with the state election and the effects of Obamacare”, Tamara says. After seeing that both proved to be “as anti-business as they can possibly be”, Tamara says they have no choice but to sell their home and relocate to Texas.
“As native Californians our decision to move to a more prosperous and free state was difficult”, Tamara says. “However on election night in 2012, when Californians voted for every tax increase initiative on the ballot, and voted in a super-majority of Democrats in Sacramento it became clear…. the California state legislature and public didn’t represent our values any longer.” Tamara adds, “We find it difficult to raise our children and start a business here because the ‘Golden State’ is no longer golden.”
The Colbert’s certainly aren’t alone in their frustration.
Sandy Valentine is the CEO and sole owner of Fortune Escrow Inc. She established her company in 1985 and has been active in the escrow business for over 41 years.
“Like many small business owners who provide sole financial support for their families,” Sandy says, “the company became my primary focus and working 18 hour days, 5 or 6 days a week was the norm for many years.” Sandy attributes “perseverance and dedication” as the reasons for her company’s success, allowing them to weather the normal real estate business cycles over the years.
At least that was the case until the advent of what Sandy refers to as the “Obamaslaught”.
Over the past 5 years, in addition to layoffs of almost half her staff and cutbacks on “everything from the company cleaning service to the elimination of the company IRA plan”, Sandy says she has witnessed her corporate income decline by nearly 80%.
“To make matters worse”, she says, “I had been unable to take any income from the company since 2008, although my necessary cash infusions to the company--just to keep the doors open—continued, reaching $500,000 in 2012, all the while hearing that ‘the economy was improving’ and the recession was over!”
Sandy says that while Obamacare laws don’t directly impact her company (“because at this point, I am considered a small, now miniscule, business”), they have impacted her ability to do business with many in her client base who are subjected to Obamacare requirements. However, over the past few months Sandy says her business has picked up enough to necessitate hiring a few extra employees. Not surprisingly, she received overwhelming responses from people in dire need of work.
“Despite clearly stating the (escrow experience) requirements of the position, I was inundated with applications from attorneys, cocktail waitresses and auto mechanics; almost desperately pleading their cases that they were fast learners,” Sandy says. One of the applicants was Sandy’s own son, who had graduated from a “well known University” with an MBA. As with many of the applicants for this position, her son had been unable to find any job other than as a maintenance worker.
Unlike the Colbert family, Sandy Valentine isn’t able to relocate her company outside of California.
“Regardless of any personal ‘tipping point’ which may cause me to relocate,” Sandy says, “any such move could only occur upon closure of my business or upon my retirement…yet another long-planned goal which has been postponed due to the state of our economy and its effect on my business and financial situation.” She adds, “Were it even a possibility, at this point I am not convinced that relocating a business to another state would be a solution because of my strongly held belief that the long-reaching arm of the Administration with its myriad of fingers designed to dig into our corporate pockets will continue to spread regardless of where we go.”
An interesting aspect of the recent increase in Sandy’s business is because of an influx of Asian buyers.
“These clients generally appear to have unlimited sums of cash and…purchase high end homes with the intention of occupying them only occasionally when they come to the U.S. a couple of times a year,” Sandy says. “In other words, and to quote an L.A. Times headline from 2012: ‘L.A. Properties…The New Asian Souvenir!’”
“Over the past 28 years”, she says, “I have watched in frustration as my corporate taxation and governmental requirements have steadily increased to the point where I no longer aspire to large corporate profits and merely hope to hang on to what little I have managed to save after paying taxes, assessments and fees to branches of the ‘Regime’, some of which I never had heard of before the Obamaslaught.”
Established professionals aren’t the only ones suffering in California. Menial jobs are also difficult to come by, with 20-somethings competing with older, more experienced people for work. Many have given up their searches entirely, content to move back in with Mom and Dad, collecting unemployment (or disability). One 27-year old (who wishes to remain anonymous) told me, “Kids with college degrees are competing for jobs at McDonalds. Thing is, most of them would rather stay at home and bilk the system than demean themselves by scrubbing toilets in fast food restaurants, especially when they can make more money taking a government check.”
The pessimistically optimistic conclusion is that with the onslaught of scandals and lies coming out of the Obama administration, many are turning away from the Democrat Party. One new member of the GOP tells me, “I’ve been a Democrat my entire life. I wanted to believe in the ‘hope and change’ Obama promised. But after losing my family business and seeing the direction this administration is taking our country, I can no longer associate myself with people like this. The Democrat Party I once knew no longer exists and as far as I’m concerned, they are the root of all our problems.”