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California Insider: California Owes $55 Billion on Unemployment Benefits

Siyamak sits down with William Swain, the president of the California Policy Center.

Key points from the interview with Will Swain, president of the California Policy Center, about California’s $55 billion unemployment fraud scandal and challenging business environment are:

  1. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government sent $100 billion to California to backstop unemployment claims. About $55 billion of this was lost to fraud by criminal gangs, prisoners, and fraudsters from all over the world.
  2. The federal government is requiring California businesses to pay back this debt through higher federal payroll taxes over the next 20 years, amounting to a “secret tax hike.”
  3. Swain argues California is hostile to business due to high taxes, cumbersome regulations, and a perceived anti-business philosophy among state leaders. This has driven businesses and high income earners to leave the state.
  4. Government unions, which Swain says control California politics through campaign contributions, push for higher taxes and more business regulations. Businesses are hesitant to object for fear of retaliation.
  5. Swain, a former Marxist, came to believe more government control makes problems worse. He sees hope in Democrats and Republicans working together on issues like homelessness, crime, and education.
  6. The interview argues progressive policies claiming to help the poor, like high minimum wages, actually reduce jobs and raise prices, hurting poor Californians the most. Homelessness is exacerbated by lack of consequences for petty theft and drug use.

In summary, it portrays a state where a Marxist-influenced government, controlled by unions, overtaxes and over-regulates businesses, driving away jobs, while well-intentioned progressive policies worsen poverty, homelessness and crime. But Swain sees some hope in bipartisan problem-solving.

“In the COVID era people ended up on unemployment and the federal government send out about $100 billion to California and a huge amount of it, about $55 billion, was lost to criminal gang. Fraudster show up from all over the world. We’re talking about international crime, gangs, people in California prisons and jails.”

Siyamak sits down with William Swain, the president of the California Policy Center. We’ll discuss how California now has about $55 billion in unemployment benefit liabilities, of which a significant amount was due to EDD fraud during the pandemic, the biggest fraud of its kind in any state. Now, California businesses are liable to cover these costs.

“They’re not just going to eat that out of their profit these businesses, they’re going to raise their prices. You wouldn’t know a whole lot about this because the business community itself is really hesitant to raise objection or afraid that if they do the regulator’s will descend on them and find something wrong with their business.”

*Views expressed in this video/article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of California Insider.

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