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Newsom shies away from cash reparations

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) seemed to shy away from cash reparations to black residents of his State, as a task force recommends.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) visits El Salvador

Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) did not endorse paying every black resident “descendant of a slave” $1.2 million in reparations.

Newsom and the reparations panel he created

Newsom waited more than a week after the reparations task force recommended paying black residents up to $1.2 million each. Yesterday his office released a statement to Fox News Digital applauding the task force’ work – sort of.

The Reparations Task Force’s independent findings and recommendations are a milestone in our bipartisan effort to advance justice and promote healing. This has been an important process, and we should continue to work as a nation to reconcile our original sin of slavery and understand how that history has shaped our country.

“Bipartisan” might not be the word for a task force without significant Republican membership. And the “legacy of slavery” in California is subject to an inherently arbitrary definition. The United States Congress admitted California to the Union in 1850 – as a “free” State.

In any case, Breitbart’s Joel B. Pollak suspects Newsom of suffering from sticker shock. His statement went on:

Dealing with that legacy is about much more than cash payments. Many of the recommendations put forward by the Task Force are critical action items we’ve already been hard at work addressing: breaking down barriers to vote, bolstering resources to address hate, enacting sweeping law enforcement and justice reforms to build trust and safety, strengthening economic mobility — all while investing billions to root out disparities and improve equity in housing, education, healthcare, and well beyond. This work must continue. …

Following the Task Force’s submission of its final report this summer, I look forward to a continued partnership with the Legislature to advance systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians.

Gov. Newsom created the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans by law in 2020. That whites owe blacks reparations for slavery has been a staple of Democratic Party argument for decades. The San Francisco Chronicle gives details of the reparations proposals, which don’t propose a lump sum. Instead, anyone would have to establish an adverse effect of some form of discrimination, or descent from a slave. Each of several “harms” would carry its own price tag, and the $1.2 million figure would be a maximum figure. How many blacks would actually get the $1.2 million is far from clear. Nor has anyone estimated an average payout.


More to the point, the task force says nothing about where to get the money for any payouts. But its chairman has proposed a “wealth tax,” on the theory that wealth is a “white” phenomenon.

A no-win situation

Asm. James Gallagher (R-Yuba City), Assembly Minority Leader, called the panel “a fool’s errand from the start” yesterday.

Democrats have promised the world with this reparations task force, and now the massive taxpayer bill is coming due. Newsom has painted himself into a corner, and he’ll have to choose between signing off on a ridiculous policy that will bankrupt the state or admitting once and for all that this task force was nothing more than a political stunt.

The task force recommendations do not carry any force of law. Instead, the California legislature must consider whether to write any of its recommendations into law. Only then will Gov. Newsom need to face the decision whether to sign – or veto.

Readers should not confuse this proposal with a similar proposal in San Francisco. The Supervisors there are actively considering a plan to pay out as much as $5 million per resident. As with this State plan, no one has advanced even an hypothesis of where the money would come from.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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