Diary

Why is this California Senator voting “No”?

Sorry, not either of those Senators.

The California legislature is getting ready for a Saturday session, deals having been made by some of our own Squish legislators with the Democrats to raise taxes, rather than face the ire of the state labor unions.

We have our own race to sign on the Left Coast, with pressure being ratcheted up on legislators from both sides of the isle.

There are stories aplenty of people fed up, ready to pack it all in a U-Haul and head east, closing businesses, trying to sell homes before their value drops below the point of no return. Rather than cut taxes, state Democrats of course want to raise them, further driving taxpayers out of state to find more sane areas to live. And they find GOP legislators to throw in with them, just as the Three Stooges in the US Senate did today.

California state senator Bob Dutton (R- Dist 31) posted today on his official webpage his reasons for “no”, and it’s time his colleagues on the other side listened;

As California suffers through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, I think often of that dedicated employee who just found out he or she has just lost their job and is going home to tell their family.

I can’t get the image out of my head of that person walking in the front door and deciding exactly how to break the news to their spouse and kids – how to tell them that the life they enjoy is about to radically change.

The change they are about to experience isn’t because of what’s taking place with the economy, but rather what measures the state took to balance its budget after years of mismanagement.

That’s the image I will carry when I go to the floor of the Senate to cast my vote against a budget that will raise taxes on California residents by a stunning $14.5 billion.

This proposal includes a 1 percent increase in the state’s sales tax rate, which is already the highest in the nation; many counties will have a tax rate of nearly 10 percent. The Board of Equalization recently conducted a study that determined a 1 percent increase in the sales tax rate would cost the state 58,000 jobs.

According to the Sacramento State School of Business, for those who don’t lose their job, this 1 percent increase will cost a family of four that earns $40,000 approximately $200 additional dollars a year. That’s about two weeks worth of groceries. I’m wondering which two weeks this family will have to decide they just won’t eat.

I, for one, am not willing to do that to families.

This budget proposal includes increasing the tax on gasoline by 12 cents per gallon. The Sac State School of Business says this extraordinary increase will cost that same family of four an additional $400 annually.

That’s another four weeks of groceries that this family will have to do without should this tax increase pass.

I, for one, am not willing to do that to families.

Then there is the doubling of the Car Tax for every registered vehicle in California. A vehicle valued at $20,000 will see an increase of about $130, meaning that family of four will lose another week and a half worth of groceries.

I, for one, am not willing to do that to families.

If that weren’t enough this proposal contains a provision to increase your income tax liability you have each year by 5 percent and reduces the amount you can deduct for children from $399 to $99. That’s another week’s worth of groceries for that same family of four.

I, for one, am not willing to do that to families.

With all these tax increases, Senator Abel Maldonado points out that this budget still gives $1 million to the State Controller for new office furniture.

With all of these taxes, Sen. Bob Huff has accurately pointed out that despite the downturn in the economy that has left “thousands of Californians left wondering how the dream of homeownership could turn into such a nightmare and desperate to know when and from where they’ll get their next paycheck,” that the answer is “to take even more of your money to pay our state’s bills.”

I, for a one, am not willing to do that to families.

Even with all of these new taxes there is nothing in this budget that protects businesses from the hundreds of millions of dollars a year they have to pay for frivolous lawsuits to trial lawyers. It doesn’t do anything to help that nurse who must leave open heart surgery during an operation because she is forced to take a coffee break.

I, in good conscience, cannot look in the mirror and raise the taxes on the average family of four by more than $1,000, as the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has estimated. I can’t ask that family to go 10 weeks without groceries.

At the end of the day I have to look in the mirror and feel good about what I see. I will be voting no on this budget.

Even in California there are some who stand tall and say “Enough of this crap!

Hat tip to Steve.