C.A.R. today sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown and members of the California Legislature asking them to place the Governor’s budget framework on the June ballot. The Governor’s budget framework calls for a $26 billion solution - half in the form of budget cuts and half in the form of revenue from the extension of existing taxes.
C.A.R. has not taken a position in support of tax extensions, but is only in support of putting the tax extensions on the June ballot to let California voters decide.
For more information, contact Christopher Carlisle, C.A.R.'s legislative advocate at (916) 492-5200.
I don't know if I agree with today's move by CAR - but they didn't ask me. However, it appears to be in line with recent polls showing the majority of Californians prefer having a voice in this latest budget skirmish. 61% believe the issue of Gov. Browns tax & cut budget should be decided by a vote of the people. Even 56% of Republicans believe this should be the case although 61% of Republicans also say they would vote against the tax measure. A majority of voters also indicate they would not vote for any new or increased taxes - but the survey didn't drill right down to whether the majority would vote to extend the currently increased taxes for another 5 years.
While I am not in favor of the tax increase that was foisted on us two years ago and is now scheduled to expire, if the few Republicans who have not backed themselves into a corner with the No New Tax pledge can negotiate some meaningful cuts - not just the lame-ass cuts proposed by the Governor, it's worth bringing to a vote of the people. Without the current taxes being extended, there will be foul nastiness ahead for our state. The few real cuts that have been proposed as well as any future cuts, would be to programs that probably should not be cut. The retirement boondoggle, entitlements and growing employment at the state level will not be impacted. Education, police and parks will be.
Whats worse, if the current tax structure is not extended for another 5 years, in addition to the worthless and superficial cuts that may occur, we would likely face a slew of new taxes disguised as fees, levies and outright thievery from our cities and counties. Many of those taxes would also be aimed at independent contractors, small business owners and other housing related areas. I mean, face it folks, our state is broke and should be declared bankrupt if such a thing were allowed and if we had any politicians with enough balls to do it. Unfortunately it's not and we don't.
Further, if the tax extension is placed on a special ballot I believe it would pass. It would be supported by massive spending by the public employee unions, teachers, nurses, etc, as well as the vast entitlement population who live on the public dole. California has reached a tipping point where we have more takers than givers, people who rely on the system for their income whether it's direct payroll, retirement or welfare. When that dynamic exists in a state without the political will to address it, the result will inevitably result in those voters making sure their nest continues to be lined as long as the rest of us can pay for it.
Of even greater concern, and something I believe is another inevitability, taxes will get placed on the ballot with the promise of real and substantial cuts to programs and entitlements. The taxes will get passed but the cuts will not occur. We already saw what happened a few years ago when Arnold worked up the machismo to try to tackle a few state employment issues. He was sued under the table and no jobs were lost. Even the few cost reductions that might have been realized by the imposition of a few months of furlough days was largely negated by the lawsuits necessary to defend the governors right to impose them.
So we'll get our existing higher taxes extended another five years, the $12 Billion in cuts will not materialize, there will be a call for more 'fees' on services and any other way to wring the last few bucks out of the business class and the paying populace and next year we'll be right back here trying to figure out why we're another $25 Billion in the crapper.
On the upside, it is almost 80 today and the sun is shining beautifully. Had a great lunch with my Congressional Rep on an outdoor patio and it's almost time to pour a cold one. What? Me worry?