How to Make Government Bigger and Californians Smaller
Gov. Jerry Brown's budget, which passed a few days ago, reminded me of the old adage that one lie leads to another.
All of his previous budgets have been built on crafty fabrications, faulty assumptions and deceptive gimmicks that were nothing short of misleading.
This latest budget insults the intelligence of almost every thinking Californian. After raising taxes by $6 Billion using Proposition 30, Brown increases spending by more that twice that amount. In spite of overwhelming and growing opposition to his pet project, the high-speed rail boondoggle, Brown locked in a permanent funding source.
By earmarking 25% of the capital confiscated by the cap-and-trade scheme, Brown has found a way to flout voters' concerns and to keep alive the project that has become the symbol of government waste.
The sad thing about cap-and trade is that while it robs our state of much-needed capital that could be used to grow and expand the economy resulting in more private sector jobs, virtually all of the money has been earmarked to grow government by any and all means possible.
What government-subsidized affordable housing has to do with so-called man-made global warming is anyone's guess. It's just another lie--a green lie instead of a white one.
There are so many new taxes in this budget it's hard to keep track of all of them. Gov. Brown almost doubles the smog fee and approves a 6.5 cent tax on oil extraction--which, in spite of claims to the contrary, will hit every hard-working Californian who drives to work. The budget also creates a de facto ban on fracking, at a time when that represents the strongest potential for unleashing California's natural resources and creating untold millions of new jobs and billions in potential new state revenues.
There's a bill to increase spending at the DMV just to deal with the impact of AB60, which grants California drivers licenses to illegals. As I predicted last year, that one bill has created a tremendous amount of havoc, requiring a second bill to undo the damage done to employers in the name of helping those illegally present in our state.
Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security is threatening to reject all California drivers licenses if there is not enough to differentiate the new licenses from licenses for citizens and legal residents.
Instead of Gov. Brown pushing for fundamental reforms like school choice, which could break the union stranglehold, it was the judicial branch that acted boldly on behalf of California's students and declared teacher tenure unconstitutional.
Gov. Brown threw the California Teachers Association a bone and approved transitional kindergarten for poor kids. His other initiative will penalize school districts for being fiscally conservative: If a school district keeps money in reserve for a rainy day, it will now need to submit a justification, thanks to the all-powerful California unions.
That's a tax on educational opportunity for our next generation.
Perhaps the most offensive tax is the "Patriot Tax" on fireworks. Taxing fireworks, which is a tax on patriotism just in time for 4th of July, is just deeply offensive, and fundamentally wrong, especially during a time of war.
What a waste that Gov. Jerry Brown would spend his political capital rewarding his campaign supporters instead of improving the lives of all Californians, especially the most vulnerable among us.