Dem Gov To Raise Taxes...SURPRISE!
January 13, 2003
California Gov. Gray Davis, a liberal Democrat who just barely won a close race for re-election in November, has decided that the answer to his state’s budgetary woes is to increase taxes by $8.3 billion over the next two years. Along with some major budget cuts, this would supposedly help California deal with an alleged $35 billion predicted budget shortfall in that state in the next couple of years. Stop the presses! A Democratic governor wants to raise taxes...SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE (in my best Gomer Pyle impression)!
Lest anyone forgets, most of the budget problems California is experiencing can be traced back to the buffoonery leadership from Gov. Davis over the past four years. Does everyone remember that state’s energy crisis that resulted in rolling blackouts a couple of years ago? Can you believe this guy actually got re-elected governor after such obvious acts of incompetence?
Oh yeah, we are talking about California!
Also, why should anyone be surprised that a Democrat wants to increase taxes? Raising taxes is exactly what the Democrats have been doing for years. With the enormous budget deficits facing most state governments this year, there will be even more pressure than usual on state lawmakers to propose tax increases to generate revenue. The Democrats will do everything they can to make tax increases a reality!
Even soon-to-be-outgoing United States Senator Fritz Hollings thinks raising taxes is what this country needs to overcome the problems we are facing. If he decides to run for re-election in 2004, then Fritzy will be in for a rude awakening if he thinks people will be happy about having their taxes raised.
In addition to raising taxes on many California residents, Gov. Davis has proposed deep cuts in education (over $4.5 billion), healthcare and welfare programs offered by the state. Additionally, Davis wants to shift the burden of responsibility for administering state health and welfare programs to the local governments. In other words, Davis has taken the cowardly way out of leading the most populous state in America!
The tax increases that Davis wants to subject on his constituents target three specific groups of people: shoppers, smokers and “the rich.”
Under the Davis economic plan:
- The sales tax would be increased by one cent. This would generate around $4.5 billion for the state in 2003 at an average cost of $200-250 a year for each family in California. Although it is a nominal tax increase, it is one that will cause California taxpayers to tighten the belt even more. However, of the tax increases proposed by Davis, this one is the most equitable.
- The cigarette tax would be increased by $1.10-per-pack. That’s right, let’s nail the smokers! HA HA HA HA HAAAA!!! Okay, now that I have that out of my system, I believe this is the most ludicrous tax increase proposed by Davis. Smokers in California will either decide to quit smoking or cross the state line into neighboring states to buy cigarettes. The result will mean an even greater shortfall in budget projections. This is NOT a good solution!
- There would be tax increases on the rich. What in the world does THAT mean? Democrats think anyone who makes more than $50,000 a year is “rich!” What are the tax increases and what percentage of the “top earners in the state” will be forced to pay these extra taxes? You know what, though. This part of Davis’ proposal can be pretty funny if you think about it. How many actors living in Hollywood would be considered “rich?” And since most of them support liberal Democrats, they either cannot or will not say speak out against the tax increases. You gotta love THAT!
Davis’ plan also calls for the addition of several new “fees,” which is just another word for a tax. They include additional charges on libraries, veteran homes and cars. Whether it is an increase in taxes or fees, Gov. Davis is trying desperately to squeeze blood out of a turnip in California!
Of course, state Democratic lawmakers, who control both houses of the state legislature, are already lauding this plan as the best solution to the economic woes plaguing the state. However, Republican lawmakers fear that higher taxes will damage their economy further and have vowed to block any budget proposal that includes them. Since the state budget will need to be approved by a two-thirds majority of both houses of the state legislature, the Republicans will need to vote in one accord to prevent the governor from increasing taxes. At the same time, state Republicans need to come up with their own solutions to the budget problems facing California.
State Republican lawmakers are skeptical about Gov. Davis’ claim that there will be a $35 billion shortfall in the budget in the next two years. If that prediction holds true, then it would be the largest budget deficit California has ever had. Republicans believe Davis has inflated the numbers to give more credibility for his tax increases. Davis claims the numbers are based on the struggling economy and the decline in the stock market. Davis said that the revenue generated from the tax increases would be given directly to local governments to deal with the most pressing problems facing the state.
Once again, it comes down to the age old argument of what is the best way to raise revenue. Do you raise taxes to force revenue to be paid to the state? Or, do you cut taxes to give people more of their own money to spend and get the economy moving again?
President George W. Bush has been leading the way with his proposed tax cuts to help stimulate the national economy. With Gov. Davis making tax increases the key to his economic stimulus plan in California, the battle over revenue raising will intensify in the coming months. Look for many more Democratic and Republican governors to follow Davis’ lead and propose tax increases of their own in the coming days to deal with the deficits facing their states.
Here is a question I would like to pose to Commonvoice readers today: Do you think you pay too much in taxes, not enough or just right? Click on the COMMENT link below and tell us what you think.