Neel Kashkari: Returning CA to Path of Prosperity

When I started thinking about running for governor more than a year ago, it was in large part because I was frustrated by the Democrats’ ascension to one-party rule in Sacramento. Their big-government policies have continually failed millions of middle-class families across the state; that was no surprise. Since then, we’ve also seen a culture of corruption revealed in Sacramento that underscores the urgency of electing new leaders to guide our state.

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The truth is, California is in desperate need of fresh, bold leadership that is unafraid of taking our state in a new direction. California has the potential to be the best place to live, but the fact of the matter is that we have been in a downward spiral for years. If you were to listen to Governor Jerry Brown, however, you would think that things have never been better in the Golden State. But his claims of a “California comeback” ring hollow for families, businesses and communities up and down the state.

In fact, Governor Brown has completely lost sight of California’s priorities. At a time when the state ranks 47th in jobs, 46th in education and 1st in poverty, his focus continues to be on his legacy: A $68 billion high-speed rail project that Californians don’t want and can’t afford.

jerry brown tax increase

California is perennially listed as one of the worst places to do business – Chief Executive Magazine awarded us the dubious honor again just a few weeks ago – yet Sacramento politicians turn a blind eye to these troubling statistics and continue to pass laws and regulations that make it more and more difficult for small businesses to grow. It sometimes feels as though a California company talks about moving to, or expanding in, Texas every other day. Businesses should be flocking to the Golden State – not from it.

California has some of the highest taxes in the nation, yet the tax-and-spend culture in Sacramento continues to thrive. Politicians can’t wait to get their hands on taxpayer dollars to waste on frivolous government programs. I recently called on Governor Brown to repeal the sales tax increase portion of Proposition 30 in order to bring relief to middle-class Californians who are working tirelessly to make ends meet – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We know our state’s taxes are too high, they’re poorly designed and we’re not getting our money’s worth for the taxes we pay. And the ones who are struggling most as a result? Millions of middle-class families – and it’s time we held Governor Brown accountable.

The good news is that we know how to turn this around. We know how to unleash the private sector and to improve our schools. All across the nation, Republican leaders have implemented bold reforms that have produced remarkable results. We know that this can work – but it does require a willingness to challenge the status quo.

My first order of business as governor will be to cancel the high-speed rail project and instead invest it in water storage to help prepare for our state’s next, inevitable drought. I want to create incentives for companies that open manufacturing facilities and create jobs here. By safely tapping into our state’s natural resources, we can create thousands of jobs. Regulatory reform can make a huge difference in making our state friendlier to job creators.

Reforming our education system starts by giving control back to parents and teachers. Our kids aren’t all one size, so our policies shouldn’t be either. Giving schools and parents much more control over their budgets and how they educate their students provides them the opportunity to innovate in ways that can lift student achievement. Likewise, making higher education more accessible opens up doors to social mobility that can help close the inequality gap that’s grown ever larger in recent years.

As Election Day approaches, I am more convinced than ever that Republicans can take back Sacramento. Californians are fed up with the same tired rhetoric from career politicians who have run this state into the ground. The task won’t be easy, but I am up for the challenge. With voters’ support, we can win in November and return California to the path of prosperity.

Neel Kashkari, Republican candidate for governor, previously served in the U.S. Treasury Department during former President George W. Bush

Editor’s note: A column by state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, Republican candidate for governor, will be published Saturday on


  1. John Guerrero says

    Cancelling the High Speed Train would be your first order of business? And you called on Gov. Brown to repeal the Sales Tax Burden of Prop 30? I also do not like the HS Train and the Sales Tax, but you are running for Governor, not King. Our King decided he did not want to defend Prop 8 in Federal Court because he did not like what the voters wanted. So you are going dismantle other voter approved projects if you are elected KIng? Make no mistake, I don’t like either one of those issues…but I also understand that nobody is above the law. Mr. Kashkari, you will not be King if elected, but a Governor…sorry.

    • I hope you have the same concern over the Supreme Caliph in Waiting in DC. Far be it from me to defend Neel, but it takes leadership to deal with these issues. Does he have it in him? Beats me.
      Never seemed to bother the Dems to kick out voter approved propositions like Prop 8 and 178 of yore that bankrupted the state in the name of social justice the former done “constitutionally” by crooked judges at their behest.

  2. You got to be kidding! Kashkari (cash and carry) for Gov – not getting my vote. He is a RINO of the highest order. Neel doesn’t talk about his time at Goldman-Sachs or that he was the financial architect of TARP. Nor does this RINO tell you that he publicly endorsed and voted for OBAMA in 2008 & 2012.

    He has really big cojones to put himself out there as a conservative after voting for the bumbling Marxist buffoon that resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If you would like to see a “REAL” conservative Republican vie for the governors office, vote for Tim Donnelly. Kashkari is a RINO – not a conservative.

  3. Suzanne St. John says

    Apparently you folks are not even aware of what a danger this man is for California and America. He claims to be a Republican, BS! He voted for “O”, supports Common Core; Amnesty; and sharia banking, etc. He was given millions of dollars by a major lib Manger UGH!

  4. Agent Orange says

    This is all well and good, but what is your position on border security, Mr. Kashkari? You know as well as we do that the influx of millions of illegal aliens is driving up unemployment, burdening the economy and threatening our national security — what are you planning to DO about it?

  5. M. Studer says

    Remember when you said that you don’t give a rats-ass about the 2nd Amendment. Ok not exactly like that but close enough. You told us that if it was important to us we shouldn’t vote for you. Guess what..we’re NOT.

  6. MH Snider says

    I pay Tim Donelly kicks your R,I,N,O, ass back to your liberal friends. I would rather have Moonbeam as Governor that you any day. I remember how you told people who love the 2nd amendment not to vote for you, don’t worry, we are following your advice.

  7. Kashkari’s background is suspicious in my opinion. Definitely do not want crazy moonbeam brains full of mush Brown again.

  8. Kashkari was one of the first little o called in after the designed bailouts. You are an obama bootlicker. Go back where you came from.

  9. After reading these comments, it appears my candidate and your rival Mr K, will be winning the race. You are right: there has been a one party system in California for too many yrs. Govt is dysfunctional , distrustful, and we need to get rid of those who have caused it. That is why I am not supporting you, who , I believe would continue the situation. That is also why I will not send money to the Rep. Party which has promoted you and misused our hard earned dollars in the past. “More of the same” is not what we’re seeking!

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