Not a National Model — A National Warning. As Gavin Newsom runs absurd ads inviting Floridians and Texans to come to California for its “freedom,” his bravado is undermined by an inconvenient fact: For the first time in state history, California has begun to shrink. People have been fleeing Newsom’s business lockdowns, school closures, high taxes, and other policies.

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California’s outmigrants are bringing lots of income with them. The state shed an average of $270 million of annual income to Florida from 2010 to 2018. The annual loss jumped to $1.2 billion from 2018 to 2019, and then to $2 billion in 2019–2020. California’s losses, and Florida’s gains, have almost certainly accelerated in the intervening years. And Florida is not the only state picking up California exiles. The Golden State’s losses are at or near record levels with other states, too—in particular, states like Texas that Newsom targets with criticism.

Newsom wants Americans to believe that he has it figured out in California, and that the new American model for freedom is a progressive one. Yet his state’s aggressive population pivot has coincided almost precisely with his tenure as governor, making Newsom the first California leader to preside over a shrinking state rather than a growing one.

No amount of political rhetoric can mask California’s reality under Governor Newsom. Low-income students are being left behind, the rule of law is eroding, and residents are leaving in record numbers. The many former Californians watching Newsom’s ads in Texas and in Florida can only marvel at the hubris of the man.

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