I try to not deal with issues as local as state level, but the recent budget impasse in California has the potential to cripple the rest of the nation.
I’ve lived in California for a few years, and I am deeply interested in California’s prosperity. I was concerned last year when voters approved issuance of bonds to pay for a train from L.A. to San Francisco. We were at the very beginning of the current economic Depression, and I felt that to spend money on something that will accomplish nothing useful would have been a waste of time. You see, the trip is about 350 miles long, which equates to about two tanks of gas (let’s call it $60.00) if driving, or one plane ride that will cost about $60.00. Currently, Amtrack offers a trip for about $60.00 that will get you from L.A. to SanFran. So, why do I need another train option that will cost at least that much?
The Governor and the legislature also came up with an idea to have the people voluntarily increase taxes so that the state could continue it’s discretionary spending spree. Luckily, the people were tired of being gouged to pay for phantom benefits. They were already getting taxed by city and county government programs that might or might not demonstrate benefits.
People were tired of paying taxes on the city and county levels, so they denied the state a freer hand with increasing taxes.
What I heard last night was strictly poetic. The state legislature and the governor’s office have reached an agreement to pay for the 20-something BILLION dollars by taking money from county governments around the state. Why is that poetic? The state is taking money that the county and city governments have been charging the people. So really, no change for the people, but the smaller governments, who have been on a permanent campaign to tell consumers that they shouldn’t be angry about never ending taxes– have been taxed by the state!
And are they mad! They are planning on suing the state to stop the taking of these monies. They are blasting the governor and the legislature for such a bad deal. Apparently, they don’t like having their pilfered funds poached from them.
I have video of a conference between a representative from the state government and one from the smaller local governments. For clarity, the gentleman in the greenish jacket is representing the local governments.
“You are trying to kidnap what I have rightfully stolen.”
But nobody is happy with this arrangement. The state legislature is still trying to change the current rule that says all tax increases must be approved by 75% of the legislature. They want it changed so a simple majority is needed. I hope they fail miserably at this goal.
So, sure, the taxpayer won one today, but the battle isn’t even over, much less the story about the battle. Californians especially need to be watchful of what the politicians are doing, but every taxpayer should demand accountability from those who line their pockets with the money used to buy the pants.