Editor’s Note: The following remarks were part of an address by Congressman McCarthy to the Orange County Forum & Orange County Business Council Executive Roundtable.

“I want to talk about California today. I want to talk about where we’re going as a state, and I want to talk to you about the signs of what I see happening. Kern County is where I am from. If you want to describe Kern County, literally it’s the ‘Grapes of Wrath’ – it’s the shantytown that everybody ended up in. But why I call it the “Shantytown” is because it was during the Dust Bowl when they wrote it. You think about the time and the setting of when those people decided to leave Oklahoma for Kern County. It was 1934 – 1936 during the Great Depression when everything had been wiped out. They put everything on a truck and said, ‘California or bust.’ Why? Even though the whole nation was in a depression, they believed California was the future.”

“California was the magnet for everyone looking for a chance at something better… And that Shantytown that they came to and why they came to Kern County is because it’s an agriculture district. They wanted to plant the seed – because the seed they put down before was blown away in the dust – they wanted to plant the seed for a better day. By the end of this talk, I want us all to talk about how we’re going to plant the seed for a better California as well.”

“I believe in measurements, let me give you some new measurements and let me talk to you about California… Californians have always believed they are further advanced than the rest of the country, and they are – in the all the wrong directions. I told you the story about the Shantytown because I wanted you to understand that people came to California when the rest of the nation was in the midst of the Great Depression and so was California. But people believed that the future looked brighter if you could get here.”

“Now, we know the challenges of California, but there are some canaries in the coal mine. The first measurement I look at is since 1860 we’ve always gained a congressional seat – our population has always grown. We gained zero this time. In 2009 one company per week left California. In 2010, it grew to 3.9 and last year it was 4.9 – 28 in total from Orange County just last year. Last week I just lost a company – XCOR – from Mojave in my congressional district… They’re leaving for Texas.”

“Structure dictates behavior. These are all signs of California moving in the wrong direction – businesses leaving every week and no new population growth coming in.”

“Speaking of our population, you realize we have 37 million people –12 percent of the entire nation’s population lives in this state, but we have 32 percent of the nation’s population that is on welfare in this state. We get 25 percent of our entire budget from 144,000 people.”

“The Governor’s tax proposal is not the right direction for California to go in. The Governor’s tax proposal will only speed up the direction we’re already heading in.”

“Will raising taxes make California more competitive? Will raising taxes encourage small businesses to hire more people? Will raising taxes make more people come to California? The answer to all of these questions is ‘No.’ So, why is this the right approach? It’s not – it’s the wrong approach. I do not believe in giving up on California… I don’t want to give up on California because I think it’s fertile ground. I just don’t want us to keep plowing in the wrong direction.”

“I don’t want to come back here next year and tell you it’s 5.9 or 7.9 businesses leaving our state every year – we have to turn it around.”

“We have to get our house in order. I don’t think that the nation can turn around without California turning around. The answer is not taxes – the answer is the opposite. I want to comeback here and tell you that we’re getting 1 new business per week and then adding 2 new businesses per week. That is a direct correlation to regulatory policy, tax policy and the attraction to the economic infrastructure that we have. I believe if we plant the seed today, we can still grow here, but not if it’s going to be trampled on.  My challenge to you on California and Governor Brown’s tax policy – If we say ‘no’ it’s a start on the right path. If we say no to a policy that will drive us down further – we’ll be at a new beginning.”