On February 1st, right-wing commentator and former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley. His appearance was cancelled when masked protesters dressed in all black threw fireworks and rocks at police. They threw Molotov cocktails, set fires and smashed the windows of the student union center on the Berkeley campus where the Yiannopoulos event was supposed to take place.
The school claims that their students had nothing to do with the $100,000 worth of damage to the school’s campus. They believe that "150 masked agitators" were to blame and that their students were there only to participate in peaceful protests. The next day, two Berkeley College Republicans were attacked during an interview on campus. The attackers were not students and were also not affiliated with the university.
When Donald Trump saw the chaos on campus, he threatened via tweet to take federal funds away from the university. The university stands by their claims that they had nothing to do with the violence, yet Trump still points the blame in their direction.
Then on February 5th, right before the Super Bowl, Donald Trump did an interview with Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly. In the interview, Trump mentioned a potential plan to take away federal funding from the state of California. Why would he do that? Because California has stood by their promise to continue to try to protect immigrant’s rights and protect their sanctuary cities.
Why the beef with California? Could it be because 60 percent of Californians voted for Hillary? So what would happen if California lost the “tremendous amounts of money” that they receive from the federal government each year?
Let’s start with some facts facts — not alternative facts. California has 38.8 million citizens, which makes up 12percent of the U.S population. They also contribute 13 percent of all federal tax revenue. Californians pay a lot of taxes and it is a fact that in past years, California has given more to the federal government than they have gotten back in return.
In 2005, the Tax Foundation proved that for every dollar that Californians paid in federal taxes, they got back about 78 cents on average from federal spending. The U.S. Census and the IRS found that in 2010 that number rose by 9 cents and in 2013, California’s received 99 cents on the dollar. Most states receive $1.29 for every dollar they pay in federal taxes.
Taking away funds from California will affect the entire nation. California’s financial contributions are extremely valuable to this country. Earlier this month, California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León said in a statement, “Any pain the president wants to cause in California will ripple nationwide.”
Cutting federal funds will affect the taxpayers directly. According to the California State Legislature, “Most federal payments to California are paid directly to individuals, private entities, and universities—representing about 77 percent of the total.” The state of California is responsible for providing millions of jobs to Americans. Their schools, like U.C. Berkeley, deliver groundbreaking and life-changing research including the issue of climate change. Losing their funds would be detrimental to the nation and to the world.
According to The Sacramento Bee, “Serious legal, political and practical obstacles impede President Donald Trump’s threat to withhold federal funds from the state of California or its cities if they declare themselves sanctuaries for immigrants.” California receives $343 billion in federal funds each year and $200 billion of that money benefits veterans, the elderly and the poor. Cutting these funds and the funds for grants for art programs and scientific research would be hard to get past the federal court.
While his threats come in tweets,they still must still take them seriously. So far in his very short time as the president, he has kept his promises, no matter how crazy they may have seemed to be. Through peaceful protests, marches, postcards and phone calls there is a feeling of strong resistance against our current administration.
For now, it looks like California isn't afraid of the Trump. According to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, “It would be folly for an administration to take away funds to protect America’s port...Or take away vouchers that help get veterans who have fought for our country off the street.”
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck has also said that he has no plans to change the LAPD’s stance on immigration enforcement. “We have built relationships by effective law enforcement that doesn’t focus on where a person was born or the color of their skin. And we don’t intend to change that.”