In California, based on the results of the recent election when combined with Obama's re-election at the national level, we're about to be presented with a demonstration project that will answer a lot of questions that political pundits and economic theorists have debated ad nausea without much hard evidence to back up the various positions.
President Obama apparently is taking a very hard line on tax increases for those earning over $250,000. Democratic interest groups have been urging a hard line on any significant reductions in spending at the federal level. And it is apparent that regulation promulgation will accelerate as a result of implementation of Obamacare and the appointment of activists at EPA and other regulatory agencies.
Meanwhile, here in California, we've passed our own major add-on to taxes for the "wealthy" $250,000/yr earners, and Democrats will have a supermajority in the legislature meaning that Republicans will be powerless to stop or ameliorate even more taxes and regulation on a state business climate which routinely is rated the worst in the US.
In the past, liberal California voters could vote their conscience, but rely on the election of a sufficient number of conservatives so that the liberal project was neutralized somewhat in legislative maneuverings between the parties.
That won't be the case now: Liberals in California are going to get all the government they've been voting for - and more. The California "rich" - a group well-represented in Palo Alto - are going to see MUCH higher taxes and a comparatively activist policies. We're going to have a lot more government than we've ever had before.
Will this work out?
The next several years will provide pretty good evidence on whether the progressive policies that left-leaning advocates have been pushing for decades really will produce the nirvana they've claimed.
If it doesn't work out as planned, it will also provide a test of liberal voters' commitment to their principles. It may get very interesting.