Recently lawmakers in Texas acted to save taxpayers about $15 billion in long-term costs and, along the way, ensured that current public employees’ pension benefits would be fully funded.  How was this done?  They made budgeting provisions to cover the previously unfunded pension liabilities, which have tripled over the last 20 years.  And they also reformed public pensions by shifting new employees to a financially sustainable pay-as-you-go 401(k) program – like most private employees have.  So that will stop the bleeding in the future.  And how were they able to do this?  The lawmakers showed the political courage to stand up to the public employees’ unions.

We have rarely seen any such political courage in California. The only real exception is Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Hewitt, who has built a coalition to reform that county’s pension benefits programs along similar lines. And, yes, that is the same Supervisor Jeff Hewitt who is running to replace Governor Newsome in the upcoming recall election. Our state, and nation, are crying out today for political courage! And this we have not at all seen from Governor Newsome. Instead what we have seen? His hypocrisy (French Laundry, his children continuing with in-person schools while he was prohibiting them for others, and his children not wearing masks at summer camps in violation of his own mandates); his EDD sending out something like $30 billion in fraudulent unemployment benefits – without an accounting whatsoever from his office as to how or why this happened; his huge exaggerations about his administration’s wildfire prevention efforts; and his needlessly closing down many golf courses, public parks, small businesses and outdoor restaurants, thus causing many local businesses permanently to close their doors. (As a consequence, last Christmas season a restaurant in our neighborhood put up an outdoor sign that said “Scrooge Newsome!”) So my recommendations? Recall Governor Newsome and elect Supervisor Hewitt! Help us bring Financial Responsibility back to government!

Quote for the week: “The best gift you can give yourself is the gift of possibility.”  Paul Newman

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

As stated above, feel free to listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely issues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand by going to And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Please read and discuss it with your friends, and send in a review.