Former San Francisco Supervisor Warns California Reparations Plans Would Bankrupt State

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from The Epoch Times:

California reparations plans are moving forward, with separate proposals under consideration by the state Legislature and the city of San Francisco, but critics including a former San Francisco supervisor are raising alarms that the recommendations exceed budgetary limitations.

Established in May 2021 with the passage of Assembly Bill 3121, the California Reparations Task Force submitted its final recommendations to the Legislature on June 29, in the form of a 1,100-page report issuing guidance for apologies and calculations for determining cash payments.

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Also, San Francisco’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee issued their final report (pdf) July 7 with a lengthy list of recommendations including a $5 million lump sum payment to each eligible person and additional $97,000—adjusted to median income—each per year for the next 250 years; home, renters, and commercial insurance paid by the city; selling condominiums for $1 to eligible residents; and tax abatement on sales tax for the next 250 years.

Tony Hall served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 2000 to 2004, and he recently sat down with host Siyamak Khorrami on EpochTV’s California Insider to discuss the plans and what could happen fiscally if the proposals are approved and the potential for backlash if they are denied.

(L-R) State Sen. Steven Bradford, Secretary of State Shirley Weber, task force member Lisa Holder, and Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer hold up a final report of the California Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans during a hearing in Sacramento, Calif., on June 29, 2023. (Haven Daley/AP Photo)
(L-R) State Sen. Steven Bradford, Secretary of State Shirley Weber, task force member Lisa Holder, and Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer hold up a final report of the California Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans during a hearing in Sacramento, Calif., on June 29, 2023. (Haven Daley/AP Photo)

“I have never seen a more insidious, inane, exploitative, and cruel plan put forth to the American public,” Mr. Hall said. “In San Francisco, you’re asking non-slave owners to pay $5 million to people that were never slaves. The average household is going to have to pay about $600,000.”

The number only grows once factoring in the additional economic empowerment recommendations presented by the city’s advisory committee, he said.

“That’s not counting the $97,000 every year for the rest of their lives. That’s not counting the free education. That’s not counting the forgiveness of all debts. That’s not counting the right for them to buy a house in San Francisco for a dollar,” Mr. Hall said during the 30-minute-long interview. “It’s a joke.”

It is estimated that the recommendations would cost the city approximately $175 billion in the first year, and with an annual budget of nearly $14 billion, critics say the plan is indisputably unaffordable.

“This is a lot of unrealistic, pie in the sky promises,” Mr. Hall said. “It’s stuff that could never happen, and these people on the task committees know this.”

The state’s reparations committee outlined 115 recommendations across 13 categories in the weighty report it presented to lawmakers, but no specific dollar amounts were given for expected costs.

Experts say payments could equal up to $1.4 million for each qualifying applicant and costs to taxpayers could exceed $800 billion, while the state’s budget for the next fiscal year totals $312 billion.

“We’re looking at something that’s potentially twice as big of the budget. What happens if we’re forced to pay that out?” Mr. Hall said. “In the first year we’d do away with California, and you’re doing away with the goose that lays the golden egg. There will be no money left to pay for services, roads, policing, nothing.”

Supervisor Shamann Walton speaks at a reparations rally outside of City Hall in San Francisco, on March 14, 2023. (Jeff Chiu/AP Photo)
Supervisor Shamann Walton speaks at a reparations rally outside of City Hall in San Francisco, on March 14, 2023. (Jeff Chiu/AP Photo)

Critics of the plans say the fiscal impossibility of the proposals suggests they will not be approved.

“There’s no way you could pay the reparations they’re asking for and keep the country intact,” Mr. Hall told California Insider. “It’s a dream. It’s not going to happen.”

Therein lies a dilemma that could lead to social unrest, as millions of people are under the impression that they will receive some kind of handout, according to experts.

“You cannot promise something you can’t deliver. That’s wrong. That’s lying to people,” Mr. Hall said. “A lot of the poor black people are being misled; they’re being misguided. They’re going to revolt. They’re going to be upset.”

The legality of the proposals is also in question, with legal experts saying the laws would face intense judicial scrutiny at state and federal levels that could delay or prevent any payments from occurring.

Opponents argue the plans enable discrimination and should be subject to the same review as all other proposed laws.

“Something as stupid as color of skin has people arguing,” Mr. Hall said. “Nobody should be given preferential treatment because of the color of their skin. That’s discrimination. That’s exploitation.”

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