Because of exorbitant taxes and draconian coronavirus restrictions, people and businesses have been moving out of California. The exodus out of California has been happening for years as the cost of living has become too expensive for many. On this week's "Real Time with Bill Maher," the host complained about the mass departure.
Jordan Levine, a Senior Economist with the California Association of Realtors, noted that people are mostly moving to nearby states with lower taxes such as Texas, Nevada, and Arizona. In 2018, more than 86,000 people moved from California to Texas, and nearly 70,000 migrated to Arizona.
A 2019 University of California, Berkeley poll found that 71% of registered voters who left were leaving California over the high cost of living, while 58% cited high taxes, and 46% said they were departing the Golden State over political culture.
California's large-scale egress was punctuated in the middle of 2020 when several big names proclaimed that they were moving out of the state.
In May, Elon Musk was frustrated by California's stringent COVID-19 restrictions and declared that Tesla would move its headquarters to Texas or Nevada. Musk decided to build a new Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, that should open in May 2021.
Massively popular podcaster and UFC commentator Joe Rogan announced in July that he was moving from California to Texas.
Last month, Ben Shapiro announced that The Daily Wire would relocate its headquarters from Los Angeles to Nashville, Tennessee.
Two weeks ago, ultra-successful bond fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach suggested that he would leave California over the state's tax increases. Gundlach has an estimated net worth of $2.2 billion, and he manages a hedge fund with assets adding up to $123 billion.
On Friday night, Bill Maher wanted to "b**** a little bit" about the mass exodus out of California. He did so during his "Real Time" interview with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
"California businesses are leaving the state in droves. In just 2018 and 19, which were economic boom years, 765 commercial facilities left, 13,000 between 2009 and 2016," said Maher, who lives in California.
"Look, I came out here in 1983. I found paradise. I love California. I do. I don't want to leave, but I feel like I'm living in Italy in the 70s or something," said Maher, who is a liberal Democrat. "Super high taxes, potholes in the road, fires. I don't know what I'm getting for my super-high taxes."
Maher cited the departure of well-known names, "People talk about this a lot now and people are leaving. Like in my industry, Joe Rogan left, Ben Shapiro ... Elon Musk talks about leaving."
"What do you say about that as a California representative?" Maher asked Schiff, who is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
"Well, I think we have to make every effort to make this a more business-friendly state," Schiff replied. "And I don't think that there's anything incompatible with being progressive and also wanting to make sure that this is a place that businesses can survive and thrive."
California has voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in every general election dating back to 1992, and has had a Democratic governor since 2011.
Lefty @BillMaher complains to @AdamSchiff about “exodus” from Democrat-controlled California. “I feel like I’m livi… https://t.co/VlrmckNjhA— Brent Baker (@Brent Baker) 1602297105.0
Also during this week's episode of "Real Time," Schiff said that he supports abolishing the Electoral College.
"I think we're better off focusing on discrete amendments to the Constitution to overturn Citizens United and make sure that we can have elections untampered or uninfluenced by excessive expenditures and dark money," Schiff told Maher. "And I would favor doing away with the Electoral College system."
Eliminating the Electoral College system would require a constitutional amendment, a process that would involve approval by two-thirds of the House, two-thirds of the Senate, and three-fourths of all states to agree upon. Schiff acknowledged that this is very unlikely to happen any time soon.
"[The Founders] were great back then, but they were not Nostradamus, they couldn't see a lot of s*** that was going to happen," Maher said. "This is a tough sell in a lot of America, where there's people who believe that the Constitution was literally delivered by Jesus."