Divergences: DeSantis vs. Newsom

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Call in Michael Buffer. Some political pugilism beckons as the two most prominent governors in America agree to debate. This showdown will prove valuable and revealing for the American people, because Ron DeSantis’ Florida and Gavin Newsom’s California diverge in polar opposite directions on policy and politics.

Moreover, this matchup represents the choice that America truly deserves for president, rather than a depressing repeat of the 2020 contest, featuring two aged politicians who happen to be the two least popular men in America.

Could DeSantis and Newsom defy the current odds to become the eventual 2024 choices? Time will tell. But regardless, citizens will benefit from a stellar opportunity to size up these two leaders — and to decide whether America heads down the path of patriotic populism…or leftist top-down collectivism.

Here is Part One of three, detailing the key fault line divergences separating their records and ideologies on the economy. Part Two will examine COVID and lockdowns and Part Three will focus on culture and crime.


It would probably surprise most Americans that the poorest state in America is California, and not some Southern or Appalachian geography. Per U.S. Census Bureau data, California claims the dubious distinction of the highest poverty rate in the land, largely because of the out-of-control prices faced by citizens there, even before the explosion in nationwide inflation sparked by the exorbitant borrowing and spending of Newsom’s bestie, Joe Biden.

In many ways, Newsom presides over a Third World-like jurisdiction in California, where credentialed ruling class elites live in luxury manses near the ocean, while the masses endure the slog of economic anxiety and plunging standards of living.

Onerous building codes and radical environmental rules make new housing prohibitive for most Californians, resulting in an unaffordability crisis plus the highest homelessness level in America. Even the left-wing Atlantic magazine admits that California is “the worst in the country for housing.”

Because of the dearth of quality, affordable housing, millions of Californians are forced to reside far from work, so they endure long, congested commutes. Those trips of necessity are exacerbated by the sky-high cost of gasoline in California, because of Newsom’s stifling user taxes and radical “green” policies.

Right now, California is the only state in America with average pump prices above $5/gallon, as reported by AAA. For comparison, Florida prices are 24% lower, and still well under $4/gallon, despite the anti-energy policies of the Biden Administration.

Speaking of gasoline, Gavin Newsom also wielded king-like powers in California to totally ban gasoline-powered cars and truck sales by the year 2035. Naturally, Newsom buys fully into illogical climate alarmism and makes radical statements one might expect at a Greta Thunberg speech, to the delight of the compliant corporate media.

But Newsom has not – and cannot – propose a realistic plan to construct the infrastructure necessary to force the largest state in America into electric vehicles. The California power grid cannot come even close to supporting that much vehicle charging, which means a future of even more power blackouts, especially in warmer months, when the heat becomes dangerous to the elderly and infirm. Of course, such blackouts may, in fact, comprise a very intentional function of Newsom’s “Green New Deal”-like subversion. In addition, where is the rollout plan and financing for tens of thousands of new powerful charging stations, to make traveling the giant state of California feasible by electric cars?

The money for such grandiosity can now only flow from gargantuan borrowing, adding to the dismal financial predicament of the Golden State. This year the California state deficit surged to a stunning $32 billion, fully $10 billion more than forecast by Newsom and his Sacramento lackeys. Even biased PBS conceded that “California is one of the only states to have a shortfall this year.”

Things were not always so bleak for California. In fact, for centuries, California served as a national refuge for America, a land of boundless opportunity and amazing topography. Ambitious Americans were cajoled to “go West, young man.” But under Newsom, the Golden State has become “paradise lost,” because only leftists could ruin the sun-kissed glory of California.

So now, the new region of opportunity and internal migration shifts — to the Southeast generally, and to Florida specifically. There, in the other “Sunshine State,” Ron DeSantis presides over an economic marvel. His policies create a beacon of opportunity for entrepreneurs, larger businesses, and aspirational families.

Unlike California, the economy of Florida booms thanks to the pro-growth, anti-tax policies of Ron DeSantis. For 2022, Florida ranked third in overall state GDP growth, behind only Idaho and Tennessee, at ten times the economic growth rate of California. Florida ranked first in total domestic migration of Americans, including legions of California refugees.

Moreover, economic high performers are even more likely to leave California and flock to Florida. According to CNBC, Florida is, by far, the top destination in America for earners reporting over $200,000 in annual income on their taxes. In fact, Florida took in almost twice as many such economic outperformers as second place Texas. Where did California place? Predictably, dead last…even worse than New York and Illinois.

These lessons, both the positive and the negative, provide transferrable templates for the nation as a whole. Despite constant corporate media propagandizing regarding the economy, Americans understandably struggle in the Biden economic malaise. The pessimism is so pervasive that a recent Wall Street Journal poll found that nearly 4 out of 5 American adults report that their children will not be better off than they are. That awful number represents the most negative read in the three-decade history of the survey.

Ron DeSantis forcefully makes the case that he will not accept such generational gloom, nor will he preside over a continued managed decline of America. He just proposed meaningful “Economic Declaration of Independence,” with detailed plans for broad success and prosperity. Unlike ruling class toady Gavin Newsom, Ron DeSantis has the record and agenda to restore economic strength to the masses as the 47th president of the United States.

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About Steve Cortes

Steve Cortes is the founder of the League of American Workers. He formerly served as a senior advisor to President Trump, and a broadcaster with Fox News, CNBC, and CNN.